What’s it all about….?

At an existential level, that’s not an easy question to answer.  Fortunately, we don’t bother with any of that deep stuff on this site, so the answer is easy – it’s about the RNLI.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

RNLI – as posed by Gary, Eleanor, Carol, Anthony, Brian and Orla – for Siobhan Russell 🙂

Next Saturday is about raising money for the RNLI, while enjoying our fantastic home swim around the mouth of Cork Harbour to Church Bay.  If you’re not entered: do it now – RNLI Myrtleville-Church Bay 2015 Swim Entry Form.

If you are entered, participant information will be emailed on Friday, July 3. In summary:

Registration: 15.45 – 17.15

Safety Briefing: 17.30

Swim start: 18.00

See you on Saturday!

Jellyfish – not all friendly!

Rebeca Power got an unpleasant surprise last Thursday swimming out towards the Dutchman, when she felt a feeling like a bite and ended up with these marks on her leg.


Looks like it could have been a bite and Rebeca wasn’t sure, so we called in the experts.  Carol Cashell sent the picture to the Coastal & Marine Research Centre Environmental Research Institute in UCC for an opinion and here’s what Martina Gosch had to say:

“So we’ve definitely ruled out a seal. Even if it were just a pup taking a nibble out of curiosity or scratching with its nails we would expect to see far more damage and the breadth of the wound is far too small for a seal’s mouth. There are no shark species in our inshore waters that are dangerous to swimmers, so I would encourage bathers in Myrtleville not to avoid going swimming there. 

Our best guess (and I stress guess) is that its caused from a nasty jellyfish sting. Prolonged exposure to their tentacles can cause this type of damage. Furthermore we are in peak jellyfish season and the odd venomous one will occasionally come in quite close to shore. There are other options too like scraping off random detritis or coming into contact with a scorpionfish. However its near impossible to tell exactly what caused this injury – but it’s not a bite.

Our advice would be to keep an eye on it over the next 24 hours. Should she experience any nausea or fever go straight to her GP as it could become infected. Also perhaps wearing a wetsuit at the moment while the jellies are around might help avoid incidents like this over the summer.”

Or, as all sea swimmers say at this time of year – bloody jellies.

RNLI swim on July 4 – keep those entries coming!

Several people have mentioned the “must get around to putting in their entry”: Get it done here:  RNLI Myrtleville-Church Bay Swim 2015

A few more nice pictures from Howard Crowdy from the 2010 event.

Lizzie Lee from Bishopstown and Ivan Kelleher from Friars Walk pictured at the start of the Myrteville to Church Bay RNLI Sea Swim  (pic Howard Crowdy)

Lizzie Lee from Bishopstown and Ivan Kelleher from Friars Walk pictured at the start of the Myrtleville to Church Bay RNLI Sea Swim.
(pic Howard Crowdy)

Dipping their feet into the ocean at the start of the Myrteville to Church Bay RNLI Sea Swim were Chris Mintern, Fermoy with Trevor Woods, Ballincollig and Padraig Maguire from Douglas (pic Howard Crowdy)

Dipping their feet into the ocean at the start of the Myrtleville to Church Bay RNLI Sea Swim were Chris Mintern, Fermoy with Trevor Woods, Ballincollig and Padraig Maguire from Douglas
(pic Howard Crowdy)

Carol Cashel adjusts Sean O'Farrell's swimming cap at the start of the Myrteville to  Church Bay RNLI Sea Swim  (pic Howard Crowdy)

Carol Cashell adjusts Sean O’Farrell’s swimming cap at the start of the Myrtleville to Church Bay RNLI Sea Swim.
(pic Howard Crowdy)

Garnish – great, as ever.

Another lovely day out for swimmers in Glengarriff on Saturday.  It’s getting to be an expectation of glorious weather each year at this stage!  It’s a beautiful place to swim and a great place for a night out in the Summer.

Siobhan Russell did her usual fantastic job capturing the atmosphere.  She was even in the water early in the day, checking it out for camera angles with Maria and Marion.


Very nice to see a splash of Myrtleville T-Shirts and hats throughout the day.  Audrey and Brenda were so put out with Ruth for not wearing hers that there was a bit of a debate about whether they’d let her hang around with them 🙂


Orla Houlihan, Maeve Mulcahy, Bernard Lynch, Carol Cashell and Trevor Malone.  You’re in with some speedsters there, Maeve!


Tomás came back from Copenhagen for the swim – but may have wished he hadn’t.


While others got their numbers and prepared themselves mentally and physically for the task, that guy I’ve been warning about who’s often loitering in Myrtleville had followed the crowds West and was on another recruitment drive – “Why go in there?  Come in here with me…..I will tell you about “fresh” water….we have camps….join me, join me.”


Unfortunately, there are always stragglers on the periphery of the herd who can be enticed away from safety.  Where, oh where, was brother Pat to protect poor Eoin?

1891199_1161650603860825_3987631368034206380_nThose who escaped the North Kork clutches moved on to the pier, to get ready to swim. Siobhan got in front of the lens with one of her heroes, Mr. Redmond.


Mr. Elliot set the high sartorial standards for the kayakers.


Agnieszka, James and Gary – getting ready for the 5km. Smiles everywhere.1623573_1161722957186923_1277075587731268201_n

10246674_1161733910519161_6930446856595185333_nWell, smiles almost everywhere.  Siobhan captured a lovely shot of Angela Harris as she spotted what her dad was wearing.  Even Orla was shocked.      11265208_1161688240523728_7836899257918162029_nLove the hat, Mr. Harris.  Ciaran O’Connor also eyes it up.  They’re in Centra, Crosshaven, Ciaran!10250223_1161737320518820_2371547133018197917_n

Anne Sheehy modelled the T-Shirt and Hat combo – as well as the eye of the tiger: focused on the swim at this stage.


And finally to some actual swimming!  There were great personal achievements for loads of Myrtlevillians right through the field with first-time 3k, 5k and 7k swimmers. Well done to everyone who swam and to Ossi and Imelda for organisation.

Trevor Malone swam a little 4km in Myrtleville on Saturday morning with Eddie Irwin and Jim Shalloo, then travelled down with Bernard Lynch on Saturday evening and was the fastest around the 7km.  He was so fast (1hr 34 mins) that a kayaker told him he’d miscounted and to head off on his third lap.  Trevor’s reply was to the point, shall we say.   He did a great job considering that Angela – still a bit peeved about Dad’s hat – actually pointed him on to rocks and steered her kayak in front of him.  Ah, Angela.


All the same, I reckon Brenda and Marie would have taken Trevor if they didn’t keep stopping for pictures.  Proper Gaddin’ About, ladies 🙂


Entries for our own swim on July 4th started to come in on Saturday evening from swimmers on a high and using the Garnish outing as their qualifier!  If you’re not entered, do it now – RNLI Myrtleville-Church Bay 2015 Entry form.

Drag weights and smiles.

God loves a trier and credit has to go to Carol Cashell for working so hard to achieve her qualifying swim for the RNLI Myrtleville – Church Bay Swim on July 4th.  After a number of un-ratified attempts, she showed her true character on Monday night last.  Not only did she smash the 1500m qualifying distance by doing 4km, she did it while wearing drag weights she had picked up on a jaunt to England, just to demonstrate her strength.  Well done, Carol and roll on July 4th 🙂

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Carol and her drag weights. Please, do not try this at home or in the water. Carol is a professional with many years of experience in winning and wearing drag weights of this kind.

Elsewhere on the beach, the temperatures are rising – slowly, it has to be said – and there are lots of people back in the sea and loving it.  Liam Maher managed his qualifier swim too and was delighted (his entry under Qualifying Swims was “Plenty” – so the committee tapped him for a real swim).      11537243_1159164520776100_3306169357911871257_n

More visitors from around the country are appearing – a bit further than Tipp this time.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Conal McBride down from Donegal to get some warmer water, with Patrick “The Shadow” McCabe.

Sinead O’Donnell conducted an experiment on what happens if you put a wet foot into dry sand – results below.  Imagine that. I wonder if the two guys on the right have any intention at all of “getting down” – as in the old phrase “It’s grand once you’re down”.


Not a lot of people know this, but Bernard Lynch never washed his Speedos.  They’ve been living in the back of his car for about five years and drenched in saline or chlorine most days.  Imagine his surprise when he reached for them last week and discovered they’d mutated into jammers or been swapped by a family member.  I think we’ll have to start an online campaign to bring back the Speedos – he’s not the same without them.


Unfortunately, as we all know, the downside of Summer in Myrtleville is that some undesireables start to turn up on the beach.  The dodgy character below on the left was circulating during the week, muttering about “fresh” and “camps” and other lunacies.  Just move away if he approaches you.  He’s inherently harmless, we believe.

10409529_1158561344169751_958282014428536016_nGood luck to everyone in Garnish tomorrow.  Remember, it’s a perfect qualifier for July 4th!  Enter here for the RNLI Myrtleville – Church Bay Swim.

Mistaken Identity at the 2011 swim.

Get your entries in for the sixth annual RNLI Myrtleville-Church Bay swim on July 4, 2015.

You never know, you might get your picture taken – but perhaps not the right name in the Echo.  You can’t always rely on d’Echo to recognise even famous mariners like Cpt. Tom McCarthy!

ECHO SPORT - Mick Harris arrives on shore after his 2k Open Water Swin from Fort Camden to the RNLI station in Crosshaven (pic Howard Crowdy)

ECHO SPORT – Mick Harris arrives on shore after his 2k Open Water Swin from Fort Camden to the RNLI station in Crosshaven (pic Howard Crowdy)

It’s easy to get confused, though.  Here’s one of Mr. Harris – or another famous bearded man – with the winners in 2011. The girl in the wetsuit looks familiar and who did that young guy grow up to be?

Get your entry for July 4, 2015 in here.

First swims and claimed swims.

Things are getting busier, with well over fifty swimmers in last night in a steady stream from 5.00 onwards.  Sea temp was clocked at 11.7c and certainly was very warm close to the beach.


Cousins, Drew and Abby Lynch did their first ever swim to the Dutchman.  They said they’d have been much faster if they didn’t have to keep stopping to let uncle/dad, Bernard catch up.  However, they were very definitely not happy girls afterwards.  After everything they’d heard about Myrtleville there were —- NO CAKES!  Disaster.11427173_1152812811411271_7195857809304575822_nTrevor Malone continued his preparations for his Channel swim in a couple of months.  No doubt he’s feeling much more positive after getting a bit of technical advice on his stroke from Gary Frost.  Dowtcha, Gary.


Following the guidance on swim entries, one applicant decided last night was the night to appear to set the record straight and get a 1,500m in the sea ratified.  Prior to actually doing any swimming, she forcefully put her case to Irish Swimmer of the Year 2015, Ciaran Byrne and Bernard “I’m looking at something else, not listening” Lynch.  She talks a great 1,500m, does Carol.


Following her swim with Trevor Malone – of undetermined and un-ratified distance and direction – the following form was submitted this morning.


To be frank, the form raises more questions than it answers.  The Reasons for Signing are “She was in longer than me” and “I was with her in the water”.  Neither state that they actually witnessed or can ratify a 1,500m swim from yesterday.  I mean, if she’d just tried to keep up with the Lynch girls going out to the Dutchman, that would have been it – job done.

While the revised application will be put before MINACABSITWEVSC, I’d say she’ll have to go again – perhaps with a video camera and GPS system this time for verification and ratification purposes.  Maybe after that ould British Masters pool thingy at the weekend, Carol will be able to give this challenge the attention it deserves.  We know she can do it!  Go, Carol 🙂

Summer’s here….maybe?

Looks like we can expect some rise in the sea temps over the coming week.  Even as they’ve stuck under 11c, it’s fantastic to see eleven swimmers doing the 4km over and back to Fountainstown on Sunday.  Mike Elliot obliged with safety cover, as he so often does now.  Well done to everyone – huge strides forward from last year.

Siobhan Russell is back in the sea herself, but she followed the swimmers across to get some beautiful scenic shots yesterday.  Seriously, who’d swap this for North Korea-Cork’s “freshwater” camps?   Sadists – I’m tellin’ ya.




She wasn’t the only one keeping an eye in the sky as our daily swimmers, Tom and Pat, followed them over too.


Back at the beach, we had a visit for a pose swim by Sham “The Body” O’Riordan – seen here sucking it in standing naturally beside Peter O’Mahony.  Sham’s lost all unnecessary body weight with all the marathons he’s running.  He can’t even fit in his wetsuit any more.  Peter’s looking fit too – must be all that rugby!


The busy beach continued after the earlier swims with locals, regulars and visitors from Clonmel.



Hopefully we’ll see 13c and over soon – roasted, we’ll be.  Usual swim tonight 6pm.  Bí ann, gan teip.

Entry form completion – some guidance.

As the entries come in for the RNLI Myrtleville-Church Bay swim on July 4, 2015, it’s noticeable that some swimmers either don’t understand the seriousness of the qualifying swim requirements or are simply trying to trade on past glories.  A sample of the – failed – submissions under qualifying swims are as follows:

Qualifying Swims:

  • 20ft paddle in the kids pool in Leisure World May 2013
  • Plenty
  • Would you like to see my world rankings for 1500m… will that count 🙂
  • 10 laps of San Francisco Bay (I swear !!)
  • Managed it last year
  • Lots (this from the man who in 2014 said: Just lots, more than you can imagine)
  • Swam in the pool at Source with Bernard

Of course, none of these attempted entries passed scrutiny.  Lads (and Lassies – ye’re no better) – there’ll be no living in the past now.  The Myrtleville Is Not A Club Annual Best Swim In The World Entry Validation Sub-Committee (or MINACABSITWEVSC for short) won’t stand for this kind of flippancy and blatant flouting of the rules.

Either do the required qualifying swims – in 2015, mind – or entries just won’t be accepted.  ‘Tis a disappointment, really.  I’d expect it from the fella below, but the rest of ye?  Sure, you can’t be doin’ that lads.


Proper entries to be submitted here!

Is it Bulman or Bullman?

Sometimes trying to piece together what happened at swims from the pictures taken, can get a little confusing.  I thought the spelling was Bulman, but then wasn’t sure if it was Bullman or Bull Man.  Siobhan Russell did her usual fantastic job and by all accounts, it was a great event.  That wasn’t where my problems lay – it was in the extra pictures I found referring to bulls and swims.  Anyway, I worked out the order and what was happening in the pictures – I think.

Firstly, Finbarr reconfirmed his Myrtlevillian credentials and introduced his family.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Finbarr and his gang from Myrtleville. Myrtlevillians Abú, says the Big Man. 

From comments on the web, it seems Ned Denison was being unusually lenient in allowing last-minute entrants.  The arrival of a large group of same was spotted by Finbarr.


It’s fair to say that there was some concern on the faces of other swimmers when they realised that the new group was being allowed to enter.

11351270_1146503975375488_792132520248154764_nRepresentations were made to Ned by Gary and Landy, but Ned felt he couldn’t turn down the late-comers – although he was a bit dubious about it as he eyed them up.


It’s from here on that the pictures and Bulman vs. Bullman confusion caught me out.  I think the shot of the start below confirms the late entrants just took over and it’s Bullman and not Bulman.  That’s definitely Rob Bohane leading out – sure, who else?

Start of 2015 event

Safety cover from Tom was superb as always – although it’s a different boat to usual.  Lots of drafting going on too.

Crofter swims cattle across seaHope I pieced this together properly.  Here’s a few more nice shots from the day – in no particular order.

11391484_1146501672042385_6265197866783311845_n 11336829_1146501625375723_9138150034179156202_o 11334161_1146502342042318_9028837373981112681_o

Tight finish2 Tight finish

11312969_1146503675375518_127549128494020029_o 11140222_1146397865386099_4643640736531897388_o 11053911_1146504912042061_4205432131265532429_o 10501942_1146502308708988_5709655293442039848_n 11393051_1146399948719224_837016351482058147_n