February swimming

Safety bit first – nicely put by Ned Denison:

“It is still the coldest time of the year in the sea. For anyone swimming in just togs: there is no such thing as a safety stop in cold water. You need to keep moving. If your swimming partner is a bit slower…then swim loops around them or zig-zag behind them. Keep your stroke rate highish to keep your heart pumping warm blood around your body. Stopping for two minutes is just a bad idea. You get cold and if you are going to get any cramps – that will be the time.

2. There are two places that you want to be:

  • swimming in the water, or
  • “all the way out” – on land.

Over the years the injuries have typically happened in the middle. The slipway at Sandycove is concrete and if you are exiting when a wave hits….not good. The Myrtleville beach at knee depth is where you can get knocked over and hurt your knees.

Take a minute to look at the conditions before you get changed. Plan your entry between any wave sets and go steadily. Same coming out…look up and back when 25 meters from the end and plan and execute a steady exit.”

Waves were biggish on Saturday with the Easterly wind, but everyone got in and out safely. Some people completely ignored Ned’s rules though and not only stopped moving but did it while not “all the way out”.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Safety-flaunter Anne Sheehy.  Not a bit of a poser.  Oh no, not a bit.

Fancy new togs seem to be the order of the day.  Jim thought his were de latest fashion, but had to give way to Trevor for pure dead fancy, like.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Jim runs away and refuses to pose with Trevor as his togs are too fancy.

Daniel turned up and insisted on hugging the mnás while singing drunken ballads with his eyes closed – like Finbarr Furey.  “I wish I was…….lah, lah di lah di lah……join in, everybody……”


OK, OK, that’s just mean – so here’s the last word to Daniel in the picture of the weekend.  One man and his wave(s).  Nice work, Siobhan!12764836_1332186936807190_295121001222909682_o

A Real Job

Get a haircut and get a real job“, said George Thorogood.  I can handle the first bit, but on days like this I’m very conscious I don’t have the second one sorted.  I need a real job where I can go swimming in the middle of the day, whenever I want.  Just pure jealous.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Myrtleville swimming – 24 February, 2016

€45,000 Grant for Myrtleville

The 2016 Local Authority Press Release from Minister Simon Coveney’s office yesterday contained some very good news for Myrtleville.

As an investment in Marine Leisure, €45,000 has been allocated for development work on the slipway and access in Myrtleville to be undertaken by Cork County Council – incorporating shelter and changing facilities for all beach users.  This will be particularly appreciated by the growing numbers of people enjoying the beach through the Autumn and Winter months.

Tom Bermingham got straight to the point and asked “Will I see this in my lifetime?”.  The good news for Tom and the rest of us is that this funding has to be used in 2016, or it will be lost.  We can expect to see quite rapid progress and completion in this calendar year.

Our thanks and appreciation to Simon Coveney for his continuous support on this project and for taking the time to visit the beach to discuss it recently.  This is a genuine good news story for us all!

Simon Coveney in Myrtleville in January.

Simon Coveney in Myrtleville in January.

Swim gear update

With so many of our swimming colleagues falling for the “charms” of the dark side (otherwise known as pool swimming), some have now begun to suffer the consequences. Pools are harbourers of germs, holders of buckets of bacteria and the fastest known way to spread a cough.  Pool swimmers are opened up to a vast array of infections.

Former Open Water Swimmer, B. Lynch, has spotted a commercial opportunity in this sea of bugs and will shortly be marketing the new Anti-Germ-Whole-Face-Bacteria-Deflecting-Snorkel-Mask (Patent Pending).   He is particularly confident that the triathlete market will be extremely lucrative, as no triathlete can possibly train or compete without the latest, hippest and most expensive gear. 

Modelling the prototype here, Mr. Lynch is sure that no self-respecting swimmer will be seen in a pool without one.  Available from all good sports shops and off the back of Denis Cregan-Condon’s van, once he gets some knock-offs made up in China.IMG_0602 (3)

For those not willing to invest in the mask – keep swimming in the sea.  Germ free – relatively.

Forecast good for swimming

The forecast for the next ten days shows lots of North and West in the winds and overall they look quite light.  Some days with a little rain, but mostly dry.  The wind forecast should mean calm conditions in Myrtleville and a great chance to get in in the sea and get through February in style.

You won’t be alone.  There’s a group there each morning at 10am during the week; the usual 08.15 Saturday swim and quite often two swims on a Sunday – 10am and 12.00.  There’s no excuse to be stuck in the pool – got some saline to clear your head.

Open water sea swimming in Cork, Ireland

Myrtleville in the sunshine – 24 February, 2013

The Condon School of Meteorology

Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere.   There are many schools of thought and systems in the field of meteorology.  As some of you may know, in Myrtleville we are followers of the Condon System of meteorological reporting and prediction.  This is often known as DWx2, or by its full title of “d’wedder and d’water”.

It has been noted by some observers that the Condon System often produces forecasts – or even current weather reports – which are at odds with what appears to be reality.  For instance, you could be standing on the slip in Myrtleville with the rain lashing down and twelve foot waves hopping off the beach.  Denis will loudly proclaim: “d’wedder’s gettin’ better and d’water’s roastin’ –  feckin’ roastin’, boy!” (or mná, as appropriate).

Following this proclamation by Denis, you are then left with the choice of:

  1. disagreeing with him – thus creating a doubt in your mind about whether you’ll be able to get in to the quite-evidently bloody freezing water – or,
  2. agreeing with him – thus tricking yourself into thinking it’ll be ok, as you shuffle down the beach towards the water reciting, “Denis says it’s warm! Denis says it’s warm!”

Of course, everyone chooses to go with option B – it makes life easier and we know he’s right that we will be glad we did it.

Still DWx2 is a bit confusing, so by way of public service here’s an explanation of how it works.  Suppose, for the purposes of illustration, that the Met Eireann weather forecast is as follows:

“SW gales, gusting to force 9.  Sea temperatures of 8c and consistent, heavy rain.”

The DWx2 forecast would then read: “Fierce interestin’ swimmin’. Loadsa shelter in under Bunny’s.  Roastin’ water – about 14 degrees and a nice shower to keep de waves down”.  In other words, “d’wedder’s grand, boy/mná – and d’water’s feckin’ gorgeous”.

You can apply this system to any other forecast you wish because – in the Condon School – “d’wedder’s always de berries and d’water’s ALWAYS roastin’ or – at worst – toasty”.  Oh, and “ye’re all fabulous and fantastic for swimmin’ in de sea”.

Here’s Kieran Murphy’s take on the Condon forecasting system:

Winter swimming

Well done to all of the large group who have stayed with the sea this Winter.   Mr. Motivation, Denis Condon, has been attracting crowds for his 10am swims every week day and it’s fantastic to see it.  The fact that he’s lying through his teeth – or completely deluded – about it being “toasty, roasting or too hot” every day hasn’t fazed anyone.  As Denis knows, once you get in – you’ll love it!  It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a wetsuit, togs, boots, hats or whatever you want – just keep swimming 🙂

Kieran Murphy captured some of the fun and beauty of Winter swimming with his drone.


Of course, as always, we’re spoiled with the great pictures Siobhan Russell gives us.


Winter swimming, beautiful setting and lots of good company.  You can’t beat Myrtleville.