Old photos

A couple of great pictures from the “Old photos of Cork” facebook group.  A lovely shot of three ladies out by the Crane as you head towards Bunnyconnellan.  Just 94 years ago.  I wonder if anyone swam out to meet them.

The second one is from the Examiner Archive.  Sunday, 13 August, 1939 and a big crowd at a regatta in Poulgorm.  Imagine, none of them knew that three Sundays later, WW2 would start.

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I, Android. The flipper diaries, part one.

I wasn’t going to write this, but some of the stuff was funny enough to be shared.  I became an android in January (“looks look like a human on the outside but with robot-like internal mechanics”).  

When I was wheeled in for the operation, one of the medical team remembered me from a previous visit and said, “oh you’re that guy who does the sea swimming”. She then calls a colleague and says, “this man swims in the sea all the time. Doesn’t your boyfriend do that?”.  “Yes”, says the colleague, “he’s training for triathlons.” “Where do you go now?”, she asks me – “would you be in Myrtleville or Sandycove?”

No, I’m not making this up and I wasn’t drugged at that point – just flat on my back waiting for a new ticky bit for my heart and wondering if I was on candid camera.

“I’d be Myrtleville, really” I said, refraining from further comment in case I was going to be identified and unable to defend myself.  She didn’t refrain though.  “Yaaaaaay!”, she says, turning to her colleague, “Myrtleville is much more fun, they’re great crack down there and really welcoming.  The Sandycove crowd are…….different, really.” 

Honestly, not even I could make this stuff up.

Anyway, I knew I was in good hands (discerning, intelligent people – clearly) and they did a great job.  Just one problem – I was told afterwards – you can’t swim any more.  Oh.  Hmm.  That wasn’t great news.  “Never fear”, I thought,”I’ll ring Bernie Lynch.  He’ll have a plan”.  I don’t know why I thought that after the hames he made of advising me about the weever fish attack the last time, but I rang him anyway.

Fair dues, he had a plan.  “No swimming?  Yerrah feck that.  We’ll get ya flippers and a snorkel.  You’ll be grand.”  When you’re at a low ebb, it’s great to get some clarity and certainty.  Then he started messing it up. “”Sure I remember doing laps of Sandycove when I was diving and we used to do them with flippers, no arms – nothin’ “. “C’mere”, I said, “what has laps of Sandycove got to do with it?”  “Don’t worry” he says, “it’ll work in Myrtleville too”.  I suppose I’d just have to trust him.

As soon as I get the all clear in March, I’m down to the beach.  Arrival doesn’t go well.  As I get there, Celine Hyde pulls into my space.  Right in front of me.   She gets out and says, “first come, first served”.  There must have been an EGM while I was away and new rules dreamed up.  I bet Denis Condon is behind it.  Anyway, I was on a mission so I parked all the way across the road and got on with it.

Armed with Abby Lynch’s old snorkel (cleaned with Milton by Ann Lynch, I’m assured – not that I’d care) and a pair of long diving fins covered in dust and spider webs, last seen outside of the Lynch garage in the 1990s, I head for the sea.  Marcus Austin is on hand to take a picture and keep an eye out.  “If I go under too often, Marcus, come and get me….” The new life of the android flipper has begun.

Cosmic, man. Cosmic.

There is no excuse in life for belittling the efforts of people to educate and better themselves.  I firmly believe this and have therefore been very disappointed by the reaction to the news that three of our good friends are travelling to Valentia Island to attend an Astronomy course. 

The three spacers (an unkind description really, Ann Lynch – you should be more understanding) are going to be learning all kinds of totally cosmic stuff about how the planets align, whether the moon is 98% full or really like, full full, like and generally broadening their minds and opening the doors of perception.

Open water sea swimming in Cork, Ireland

De three spacemen, heading West for the stars.

Unfortunately, the reaction to this news from certain others has been less than supportive.  The view from some quarters is that a skite was planned for a weekend on the drink with some ould course as a convenient excuse and the details were kept quiet from those who might have wanted to attend for the “course”.  

Speaking on condition of strict anonymity, Liam Maher said: “this astronomy thing has to be nipped in the bud.  Are they looking to swim to Moonrock and back at midnight or what?  There was a weekend on the tear to be had and the boyos kept it quiet until it was too late for us to book.  Sure Trevor and Alan and myself and the rest of the lads never get a weekend away.  This was our shot and they kept us out of it.  There’ll be consequences for this.  Consequences”.

In fairness, though, the anonymous commenter quoted above has a history of good begrudgery.

I say well done to the three spacemen and look forward to seeing them really connect to their inner cosmic souls and share the love around the beach in Myrtleville. 

Peace, brothers.  Peace.

Rob de Bull, Mr. Finbarr and Bernie on the way home after the Astronomy course.

Volunteers needed – always. Let’s work together.

It’s a great time of year for planning which swims to enter over the Summer.  Some are taking entries already and Carol Cashell is putting the Munster OWS Calendar together (thanks, Carol 🙂 ).  

While you’re making your plans, give some thought to helping out at one of the swims.  Most swims are very glad to get offers of help – registering, timekeeping, parking, kayaking, boat-support – the list of jobs goes on and as numbers of entrants rise, more volunteers are needed.  

Here’s a blast of Canned Heat to get you in the volunteering mood.

All pictures thanks to Siobhan Russell.

Back Beach Boys – Beware

Some of you may recall the efforts to encourage swimmers away from the heaven that is Myrtleville and into “fresh” water.  These efforts were thwarted, but now a new challenge has emerged.  Under the guise of offering an opportunity to swim on those rare days that the SE winds make Myrtleville “challenging”, a number of bad hombres and mnás are seeking to lure unsuspecting swimmers to “the back beach” in a secret location (over in Fountainstown). 

They make ludicrous claims like “no swimming in Myrtleville until December” and issue the siren call of  “join us for a feed at the back beach”.  This is being done on a day when Myrtleville looks like this…….

Beautiful, swimmable Myrtleville. Just waiting for you to enjoy.

Don’t be fooled!  Don’t go down that “back beach” road.  The rogue splinter group appear to be led by a shadowy, anonymous figure known only as “Daniel Swagrzyk, formerly of Barnsley, now living in Fountainstown”.  How we’re supposed to identify him from that limited information, I just don’t know.

Be strong, Swimmers.  Resist the cake calls. Stay close to home in beautiful Myrtleville.  The “back beach”?  There be dragons.