Eilis Burns – March 19th

With a few cancellations, we have 45 booked for the evening, so if anyone else would like a place, please let me know – myrtlevilleswimmers@gmail.com.  Just to note, while we say there are 50 places, there are only about 30 chairs, so this really is a standing-room only event!

Also, Eilis is travelling down from Dublin that evening.  She expects to make it on time so 7.30pm is still the time.  If there’s a small delay, Denis has been working on a tune for Gordon’s Ballad and will entertain the group with that 🙂

Eilis Evening

The Ballad of Gordon Adair.

Former Sandycove swimmer and now committed Myrtlevillian, Gordon Adair, had a tough time recently when he tried to go back for a swim around the Island down West.  He was met by some of the Desperados – Mister and The Bull.  For them, you’re in or you’re out – and after breaking bread (or eating cake) in Myrtleville so regularly, they told Gordon – you’re out.

The confrontation was witnessed by a local songsmith and he composed these words to commemorate the events.  I’m not sure of the tune – or even if it has one – but there’s definitely a John Spillane vibe to it (tuneless, in other words).

” Oh listen now and you shall hear of the trying times of Gordon Adair.

A Sandycove swimmer he thought that he was, until he met Breda and Marie and Ros.

They not only swam, but often they’d bake and Gordon Adair is a fiend for a cake.

He found himself often on Myrtleville’s shore – not lapping around Sandycove any more.

For breakfast he went and he loved the crack. As time it slipped by – would he ever go back?

“Sure no-one will notice and why should they care?  I’ll be alright”, hoped Gordon Adair.

Oh now he was in for a mighty big land, for some Sandycove Swimmers his downfall had planned.

He left it a long time but then realised, he’d better go lapping or be criticised.

To the Island went Gordon to lap it in full, but waiting there for him – Mister and the Bull.

“We’ve seen you on FaceBook, you Myrtlevillian.  You sold out the Island for brownies and flan.”

“You’re swimming there daily you traitor, Adair.  You’ve even had one of those Hats on your hair.”

“You’re not swimming round here”, said they with a sneer – “But”, said poor Gordon, “I’m doing Windermere”.

“Ha,” says the Bull, “sure that’s only a Lake. You won’t need to train here – go back to your cake”.

Gordon Adair tried again to get in, but his hundred-lap hat, they put in the bin.

They did it to Gordon a lesson to teach.  “Feck that”, says our hero, “I’m off to the Beach”.

To Myrtleville’s sands he pointed his way, hoping that this was a chocolate cake day.

So here ends the story of Gordon’s ordeal.  He was badly treated, I’m sure we all feel.

But never fear people, the tide will go out and those desperados – he’ll see them about.

They’ll want to come swimming at our lovely beach and Gordon will charge them in tarts, made of peach.”

Gordon - overdoing the cake?

Gordon – overdoing the cake?

They feed him.....

They feed him…..

.....and they wipe his face.  Why would he go anywhere else?

…..and they wipe his face. Why would he go anywhere else?

The Denisians.

As he swims at 10.30 during the week, many of you may not be aware of the huge following Denis Condon has built up.  It began when he was swimming alone, occasionally. Never one to shirk on safety, he invested in a swim float and deploys it on every swim.

Denis - before the Denisians arrived.

Denis – before the Denisians arrived.

What he didn’t expect was the wave of followers who took his lead. Recognising that if the top athletes like Denis had a balloon, they should have one too, they flocked to the beach.  Known to some as De Boys with De Buoys, they proudly identify themselves as The Denisians.  Some days, you’d hardly get in the water with all the crowds he has down with him.  There are so many, Denis had to give them numbers as he couldn’t remember their names.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Denis and Friends on a quiet Thursday in Myrtleville.  I think someone should check how no. 513 and 552 are getting on.

Of course, no matter how many followers he gets and how exalted his status, there’s still the banes of his life to put up with.  Mnás, Denis, Mnás.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Mnás – in action.  No respect for De Man.

February – the coldest month. Crowds swimming.

The first year I swam in February was 2012 – in a wetsuit.  I got brain freeze, followed by dizziness, followed by a sharp exit from the water after eight minutes (that had a bit to do with the seals in Adrigole Harbour too, but mostly the cold).  Clearly (looking at the land temperatures table below), I was a total wimp.  On average, February 2012 on land was way warmer than this year – so we can expect the sea was too!

Mean temperature in degrees Celsius for Cork_Airport

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2015 5.4 4.8 5.1
2014 5.5 5.0 6.9 9.4 11.0 14.5 16.3 14.2 14.8 11.2 8.4 6.3 10.3
2013 6.0 5.1 4.3 7.4 10.0 13.5 17.3 15.3 13.5 11.9 6.7 6.4 9.8
2012 7.2 7.4 8.3 7.1 10.5 12.4 13.8 15.0 12.6 9.2 6.5 6.5 9.7
mean 5.6 5.7 6.9 8.4 10.9 13.5 15.3 15.2 13.3 10.5 7.8 6.1 9.9

My wimpiness in 2012 is confirmed by the many Myrtlevillians who made the decision to swim through the Winter this year and have taken any weather thrown at them.  Dizziness?  Brain freeze?  No problem!!   The coldest month is over and we now have up to twenty new year-round swimmers.  Very well done to everyone.  A few of the many pics Siobhan took during the month….


So now we can all agree – the open water season runs from January 1st to December 31st.  We’ll all be roasted in the Summer.

The T-Shirts have landed!

Now available for €10 from Centra Crosshaven – this year’s must-have fashion item is here.  While most of us mere mortals won’t be able to make these T-Shirts look as good as the top models shown below, we’ll still give it a try 🙂

DSC_1915DSC_1917DSC_1922DSC_1929DSC_1930They’re available at the Centra for convenience, rather than flogging them from a car boot at the beach. €10 is the cost price – not marked up!  Get yours now – they’ll sell out fast. Get a new Hat too 😊

Change of plan on the ear moulds!

A local audiologist, Mary Duggan of Vita HEAR, has worked with the Phoenix Kayak Club and – I’ve now learned! – a few Myrtleville swimmers, to provide customised ear moulds.  Everyone has been very happy with the service and product.  Since she’s locally based and thus more flexible, we’re going to go with Mary for the moulds.  Also, importantly, the cost is €70, rather than €99 from the other vendor.

For those who have signed up, you’ll get an email shortly about the times for fitting on March 19th (we’re sticking to that date).

The moulds come from Bachmaier in Germany.  They float and the cost includes fitting, a case and a lead.

Here’s some information on Swimmers Ear:

If you haven’t signed up and want to do so, email Damian O’Neill – myrtlevilleswimmers@gmail.com.