Some swimmers incorrectly believe that no boats can access Myrtleville Bay or the area in or around the yellow marker buoys. It is correct that Jet Skis are prohibited from the buoyed area. Boats are most definitely NOT prohibited.
Boats are “advised to keep a safe distance from the buoys and swimmers, to navigate with extreme caution and minimise wash in this area”. Mariners are expected to use extreme caution but us swimmers must also be very careful and take responsibility for our own safety, especially on sunny days with a lot of marine traffic and some – to put it nicely – less experienced boat users.
On a more regular basis, whether sunny or not, you’ll quite likely see working boats around the bay. Anyone who has done much swimming in Myrtleville must have met – as in, swam into 🙂 – some small marker buoys for lobster pots in various places. These buoys should mean one thing to swimmers – a boat was used to put them in and a boat will come back to take them out: like they’ve done for decades. Those working boats will be in and out regularly. They are perfectly entitled to be there. They watch out for swimmers in the water and we also have to watch out for them.
It’s not often I take the side of d’Islanders down West, but when you’re right, you’re right. Ned’s right. A race around Cork City? No way that old guy could win. They told him that too. Repeatedly.
In the presence of a witness (hi, Eleanor!) before the swim, I told that “useless trio” (TM – Coach Eilis) of Lynch, Maher and Shalloo that if they lost to the “geriatic yank” (TM – Coach Eilis) not to bother coming back to the beach.
They lost. Big time. He gave them odds. They still lost.
No wonder Ned felt emboldened to swoop down from on high and challenge all comers in Myrtleville. How’s this for a swooping geriatric….
Ned – you da man. The Goliath of Cork.
Note, to really understand his inspiration, you might watch this. Hint – Ned is Achilles and 2.50 in is the key bit. I wonder, does that make Dave Merriman the king?
As everyone who knows her is aware, Coach Eilis is a shy, retiring person not given to public expressions of opinion. It takes a lot for her to feel she needs to comment on a situation or event in swimming and then only in the calmest, most supportive and encouraging way. I was therefore surprised to receive a phone call from the Coach, the content of which I have tried to capture below. It is – believe me – almost verbatim. I just took out the bad stuff she said about the three bandidos. This is a family site, after all.
Me: Hello, Eilis?
Coach Eilis: Damian, listen to me, did you hear about that round-Cork swim last night?
Me: Well, I….
Coach Eilis: What the hell is going on with that Myrtleville crowd? Jim and Bernard and Liam?? Myrtlevillians? Myrtlewasters more like it. Ned? Ned, like? They let that geriatric feckin’ Yank win?
Me: Ah, well….
Coach Eilis: The excuses? He swam under the wall out of the current and they wouldn’t? Why not? Afraid of a bit of sewage and a few dead animals and shopping trolleys? WIMPS! They’re a disgrace. They must have known he’d swim through shite backwards to get ahead – but he’s ancient, sure, half the man he used to be – and he still beat them!
Me: Yes, ah…
Coach Eilis: Get the word out – they’re nothing to do with me. They obviously forgot everything I taught them before Covid arrived. Useless. When they come crawling back, I’ll have them doing drills with the beginners. At the back of the lane too. Useless.
Me: Oh, ah, right…
Coach Eilis: At least Rosie did a great swim – no cheating or messing. Fantastic swimmer.
Me: Yes, she…
Coach Eilis: But that other three!!! Useless!! What a shower – beaten by a half-dead ould fella. A disgrace!! Nothing to do with me. Nothing. He even gave them a head start!
Me: He wha..?
Coach Eilis: Yeah, Ned left them head off into the sunset and stood there to give them odds then beat them anyway. USELESS!! I’ll have the three of them lying on the pool deck up here to bend and twist them like morla and everyone laughing at them.
The call continued in this vein for a while longer. It was unprintable. Lads, I wouldn’t be heading towards Silver Springs any time soon if I were ye. She’s waiting.
If you ever wondered where the phrase originated to describe a strapping, fit man I reckon the photo below is the perfect example of it. We all miss Tom Bermingham on the beach, but many of us only met him in his sixties and seventies and didn’t know him as a younger man. This great picture is of Tom exiting the water at the first Crosshaven Triathlon in 1984, in his forties. Seriously – look at the muscles on him! Could you imagine facing him on a hurling pitch?? A horse of a man, if ever there was one. He’s sadly missed but always remembered.
As an extra bonus, the young man beaming beside him and proudly carrying his shoes is our regular swimmer, Brian Twomey. Before the buoys, if the weather was bad you’d be lucky “to get as far as Brian Twomey’s house”. Now you’d probably say “buoy 2”. 🙂
A fantastic picture and one well worth sharing. Thanks, Brian.