Jim Buoys now for sale to the general public

Swim buoys or swim / tow floats are an essential piece of safety equipment for Open Water Swimmers – but how safe are they in reality? How robust? Would they really keep you afloat in a crisis? These doubts, which have assailed many swimmers, can now be assuaged by using the new-to-the-market, flotation-guaranteed, Jim Buoy (TM – Patent Pending).

Developed using all his Naval skills by Lieutenant Commander (Ret’d) James Shalloo, the Jim Buoy is made of fierce tough plasticy stuff and with a rope on it that’d hold a bull in field of heifers. You’re safe as houses with one of these lads on ya.

C’mdr Shalloo with the Model X Jim Buoy – now on the market for all safety-conscious swimmers

To order, contact Jim directly on 1800-JIMBUOYS. He’s waiting to take your call.

What about De Buoys?

Just to make everyone aware…..most of you will have seen our buoys have taken a battering over the last two years – especially those further out. Work is under way to replace and repair the damage our storms have caused. Four broke from its mooring and was unfortunately holed by the Dutchman on its way to land at Fennell’s Bay. We’re looking into a temporary repair on that. Five is either dieting or sucking it in, but is definitely showing signs of distress – and thinning.

We are very pleased to say that Cork County Council have agreed to fund the purchase of two new buoys to replace Four and Five. We will then see if Five can be repaired and kept as a spare. The lead time on the new buoys was six to twelve weeks. We ordered two weeks ago, so hopefully June at the latest.

The rope on Three has frayed to three strands (from four). This was tied up by Marcus and Dave this morning and we are looking at a temporary fix on that until Marc Lake has his boat back in the water in April to do a full service on all buoys.

Thanks again to Cork County Council for their ongoing support. Keep swimming – safely.

Bernard & Damian

Early update on swim conditions for June 16th

It’s heartening to see such an interest in this year’s RNLI Myrtleville to Church Bay swim, with half the available places already booked. Training plans are being put in place and important questions are being asked.

Perhaps the most important and urgent question received thus far came from one potential entrant who wanted to know if we could be sure there wouldn’t be any jellyfish upsetting her karma for the swim. To be fair, this particular swimmer has considerable form in the jellyfish-avoidance arena. She once got out at the slip in Fountainstown and walked back to Myrtleville in preference to facing the – admittedly – considerable volumes of jellies she met in the earlier part of her 8km swim. If I remember correctly, she went to Dino’s on the way home. You’d be hungry after dodging jellies, like.

We have been in contact with the relevant jellyfish experts, consulted meteorologists and astrologists, read the runes and can categorically state that there is no scheduled influx of jellies of which we are aware on June 16th. Defo not. Hope that helps.

Obviously all questions posed are on condition of anonymity, so we won’t be revealing who the jelly-phobic swimmer is.

Completely unrelated – here’s a nice picture of Claire Canning. How’re ya, Claire? No jellies in the Ganges, I’d say.

The Hat with Claire Canning in the Ganges. Look at the local version of Siobhan Russell just behind her!

A helpful guide to Bernard and Notbernard and also Bernard, but not Bernard Bernard

In fairness, there’s always some fella has it worse than you. In my last post, I was trying to sort out any confusion around myself and Bernard (I’m not Bernard, and also not Notbernard by the way) but it never occurred to me that someone else swimming in Myrtleville – poor old Bernard: not Bernard Bernard, another different Bernard – like, an actual other Bernard but not THAT Bernard. You know? Well, he had a real problem. At least I can say “No, I’m NOT Bernard” but he has to say “Yeah, I am Bernard, but not like, Bernard Bernard, you know – Bernard, but not BERNARD. LIke?”

Here, I’ll show you. The one on the right is Bernard. And on the left.

So that’s Bernard. In the jacket and hat.

So that’s Bernard in the picture and also Bernard, but not that Bernard, not like Bernard Bernard, like. It does get confusing.

For example, apparently Noreen Fox was organising a group for a sunrise walk in Baltimore at one stage and she texted Bernard to invite him. Bernard Bernard, like. But she meant to ask Bernard, not like, Bernard. Well, actually, yes – Bernard, but not Bernard Bernard. He wasn’t even in Baltimore. Bernard was, though. Not THAT Bernard, but Bernard. I don’t know how they worked it out. Mad stuff.

Keep me out of it anyway. I’m Notbernard or NOT Bernard, like.

A helpful guide to Bernard and Notbernard

A bit of an interesting morning yesterday. Walking down the beach I heard a greeting from behind me – “Good morning, Bernard”. Surprised – as I hadn’t noticed his car and didn’t think Bernard was around – I glanced back and realised the salutation was aimed at me.

I was glassesless (functionally blind), so I had a good squint and realised that it was the Swimmy Swami himself who was addressing me. “Not Bernard, Marcus”, I replied. He seemed unfazed. A further squint allowed me to identify that the equally unperturbed person standing beside him was, in fact, Bernard’s sister, AnneMarie. I mentioned that I thought she might have recognised that I wasn’t her brother but she just said something about interchangeability and wasn’t a bit concerned. “Feckin hell”, I thought, and off I went.

Having given this some consideration, I think the best approach is for me to offer a pictorial guide to avoid any confusion in future. Let’s be very clear – there’s only one Bernard. I’m Notbernard. Sorry, not Bernard. No.

So, here we go…. First: Bernard:


Now, I hope that’s helpful and we won’t have any more cases of mistaken identity or imputed interchangeability. OK, Marcus? AnneMarie?

All hail the 200Plussers

Some wonderful news from d’Island down West was sent on at the weekend by one of our anonymous tipsters, called Liam Maher. It seems that a group of the elders of the tribe have taken on a new challenge for later life and have formed a synchronised swimming group called the 200Plussers. I admit that I was initally nonplussed by the 200Plus, but on investigation was left awash with admiration for our intrepid synchros.

Drawing motivation from the 2018 film, Swimming with Men, the inspirational quartet have reached the end of their collective tethers going around in ovals with goats bleating at them. They will henceforth devote their acknowledged and considerable water skills to performances – or making an exhibition of themselves, you might say.

Promo shot for the film which inspired the Plussers.

In case you haven’t guessed, the 200Plussers name is derived from the combined age of the quartet. While they have the young fella Hedderman to bring the overall average down, Ned has plenty of years to share around on his side, so 200Plussers it is. They did consider going with a name from their initials but felt that “The FRANnies” didn’t really capture what they’re about. Affirmative Age Action and all that.

The 200Plussers demonstrate what’s sure to be one of their signature moves. Such lines!

With their custom-made, individually monikored headgear you can just see the branding opportunities. All the fans are sure to have their own favourite and want to collect his branded hat. High times ahead in Sandycove. While some might snort and guffaw (Liam Maher, again – don’t get me started), I just can’t wait for 2022 when the 200Plussers begin a string of performance dates around the back of the Island. I’ll be in the front row, with popcorn. Go, Plussers!!!

He who enlightens

There have been some great swims by Myrtlevillians in the last few weeks. At the heart of their achievements is the guidance of a Guru. To swim greatly, great efforts are required. Efforts of the mind, as well as the body. Hard work alone will not achieve the zen-like calm all great swimmers evince. For that you need a guide. You need a guide who can lead you to the path of watery enlightenment. You need a guru, who can instruct you in the ways of the sea (even if he learned to swim in a lake) and fan the flames of Oceanic devotion. In short (actually, no – I’ve barely started) you need a Swimmy Swami to direct you to greatness and open the doors of perception. You need Maharishi Marcus.

As Myrtlevillians have achieved greatness this Summer, all have given thanks for the guidance of the wise one. Ever-present at dawn swims, moving from darkness to light as the sun rises on the world, the Swami is there. No fear, he counsels. No fear.

His guidance is truly international. As Nora Irwin prepared for her Cadaques marathon swim, the Maharishi was by her side through six million millimetres, offering her the key to enlightened success (“It’s French water so you’ll have to speak French to it – un, deux, trois, respirer, un, deux, trois, respire – encore!”). Guru Marcus knew this as he has mastered the art of LISTENING to nature. You need big ears to hear so much.

Truly, as Frank, Paul and Rebeca said after gracing d’Island down West with their inspired presence, it is with thanks to Marcus that their achievements were made possible. His connection to nature is supreme. Nothing comes between the wise one and the water. Nothing.

Giving praise to the water Gods. Maharishi Marcus communes with nature (censored image – this is a family site, like).

The path to enlightenment is open to all. Join him at dawn. Togs optional.

Notice to Mariners – what it means for swimmers

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 πŸ™‚ – 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.

Swim safe.

Ned’s Da Man

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?

Troy (Achilles Vs Boagrius) 4K – YouTube