After-drop is real

A timely reminder to be careful swimming through the Winter.

From: Editor’s Blog | Simon Griffiths | H2Open Editor |

“If you have spent any time hanging around open water swimmers you may have heard the term “after-drop”. If you’ve done any swimming in cool water, you may have experienced it. For the uninitiated, after-drop refers to the decline in your core body temperature after you have got out of the water.

When you swim in cool water the body cleverly tries to protect vital organs by reducing blood flow to the skin and limbs. Thus the core stays warm while the skin, arms and legs cool down. The process is known as peripheral vasoconstriction. Shortly after you exit the water, peripheral vasoconstriction ends. Cold blood from your limbs and skin returns to your core where it mixes with warmer blood thereby causing your deep body temperature to drop, even if you’re warmly dressed and move into a warm environment. This is why you often only start shivering 10 to 15 minutes after leaving the water.

It’s a good theory, but can it really be true that your core temperature keeps falling for quite some time after finishing swimming? Last week I had the chance to find out when I took part in a study at the Extreme Environments Laboratory at Portsmouth University. For the experiment I had to swim in cool water (16 degrees and 18 degrees) for two hours while the researchers monitored (among other things) my deep body temperature. After two hours at 18 degrees my body temperature had dropped by about half a degree. I towelled off, dressed, put on a coat and hat and drank a hot tea. I was then able to watch my temperature fall to just over 36 degrees before it stabilised and then started climbing back up. The same thing happened at 16 degrees but the effect was greater, the minimum temperature lower and the time taken to stabilise longer. After-drop is real. While your average body temperature may be increasing, your core will be cooling.

What to do about it

  • Get dressed quickly and warmly. Immediately after swimming you may feel great as the cooled blood has not yet returned to your core. Best to wrap up warmly before it does. It’s much harder to dress when you’re shivering.
  • Don’t take a hot shower as this will increase the rate at which cooled blood returns to the core and makes the drop faster and deeper. Cold water swimmers have been known to faint in hot showers. Wait until you’ve warmed up again before showering.
  • Don’t attempt to drive or ride a bike until your core temperature has recovered. Driving and shivering is not a good combination. If your core temperature drops too much and you become hypothermic it can also affect your cognitive abilities. Again, not good for driving.
  • Drink something hot and eat something. Shivering is a highly energy consumptive bodily function. You need to fuel it.
  • Keep an eye on your fellow swimmers. Someone who appears completely fine getting out of the water may be in trouble 10 minutes later and may need your help.
  • Get out of the water before you get too cold as you will continue to get colder after swimming – give your body a margin of safety.”

If you want to learn more – and if you’re swimming in the Winter, you should learn more – get a coffee and spend some time on Donal Buckley’s blog – the bible of cold water swimming.

Strictly-related Disorders on the Rise in Cork

This just in – from roving reporter, Glen Barton.

Withdrawal symptoms from the massively successful Strictly CUH event in Cork Opera are being reported to have caused one stardom-struck dancer to suffer from serious side effects of ‘I’llparkmyaudianywhere disorder’.

Loosely parked Audi prior to much-needed swim class therapy this week.

Loosely parked Audi prior to its owner’s much-needed swim class therapy this week.

Doctors say our very own Myrtlevillian hero, Marie Watson, is the fourth known case of this kind in Cork, since Friday 18th November.  

Marie at the disorder-causing event.

Marie at the disorder-causing event.

Symptoms are isolated and usually only experienced in empty car parks. Recovery from these rare cases has been solely as a result of hydrotherapy – along with aquatic therapy techniques including Ai Chi, Aqua Running, Bad Ragaz Ring Method, Burdenko Method, Halliwick, Watsu, and other aquatic bodywork forms.

It is hoped that the patient will make a full recovery and will be rehabilitated to white line realignment parking soon.

Visiting of the patient in CUH Children’s ward is strongly discouraged 🙂

Turkey & Towels

Lots of people asking for towels who wouldn’t be in Centra Crosshaven regularly, so Siobhan is going to bring 10 blue ones and 5 yellow ones to the Turkey swim tomorrow at 2.30.   €20 each, if you want to sort your Christmas present problems 🙂

Myrtleville Swimmers towels - Antoinette demonstrates safe usage.

Myrtleville Swimmers towels – Antoinette demonstrates safe usage.

Turkey Swims 2016 – starting tomorrow.

Mariah Carey and Band Aid are on the radio so it must be time for Turkey Swims.


Remember this is open to everyone who swims regularly in the Sea, no matter where they normally swim! This is not exclusive to any club or group of swimmers, If you want to swim on a date, come along and join in, no matter where the swim is on!  At Myrtleville we can swim on any tide so there is a mix of Morning/afternoon times to try and suit all people days. The Sandycove times are based on tides and are the same as the Sandycove swim calendar. There is a swim on every weekend to give people options.  There is nothing too early, swimming after a party night out is not pleasant!.  

How the ‘Turkey Swims’ work:
** Swimmers Sign In and pay €2 on the day of Swim. (someone will have a money box and sign-in sheet – probably Carol, Angela or Eoin).
** Money Collected goes towards Prizes drawn on 17th/18th Dec at both locations, These include Butcher Vouchers (instead of an actual Turkey) and many other spot prizes (The Edge Vouchers / wine / chocolates / selection boxes etc!). We had over 30 prizes last year.
** Don’t Forget to Pay and Sign In, if you don’t you are not in the draw!
** Make however many swims you can.
** The more you swim, the more times you are entered for the ‘draw’.
** A Swim has no min/max time or distance. Turn up and do what you feel comfortable with on the day. Togs or Wetsuit, up to you, swim safe, stay warm, swim with similar speed buddies. Turning Up for Fresh Air and a chat also counts, sometimes that’s what we need.
** The Swimmers Turkey Series is a Social Event for Cork OW swimming in the Winter. Remember to bring your Flasks for after the swims, Nibbles are always welcome too!, there is talk of some people bringing cake! Have Fun and Enjoy 🙂

Meet a Channel Pilot – Fri 11th

All Swimmers – from Rob Bohane, Bernard Lynch & Carol Cashell:

Friday night 11th November Andy King, CSA English Channel Pilot, will be stopping by in Cork to meet with a few of us for a few drinks. We will be meeting him at the Sin Ă© Pub on Coburg Street at about 8:30 pm. (If you’re arriving late we may also go to the Shelbourne Bar later).


Andy has successfully piloted 3 swimmers from Cork across the English Channel with the most recent being Bernard Lynch. Having found out that he regularly holidays in Ireland but has never stopped in Cork Bernard and his boat crew wanted to put that to rights.

The invitation is open to all swimmers who just want to go for a drink and don’t mind being bombarded with Channel talk, those who are entertaining notions of future long distance swims and of course obsessive Channel nuts!

Don’t worry it’s not a recruitment drive – no commitments on a first date!!

Hopefully we’ll see you there,

Rob, Carol, Bernard