Myrtleville Lap Hats

The fantastic new safety buoys (thanks #healthyireland ūüôā ) are in considerable and consistent use.¬† A number of swimmers have asked if there will be a lap-counting system, similar to that practiced in other, less popular swim venues – where it’s important to numerically note anyone swimming there since, as they say, what’s seldom is wonderful.¬†¬†

This is obviously a serious matter so it was felt we should respond like a proper club, for once. The lappy-hat situation was referred to Central Council level. After much deliberation the Central Council referred the matter to the Joint Committee, who referred it to a Strategic Policy Panel, who established a Working Group, who recommended the issue be considered by a new committee, the Committee Of Dedicated Swimmers Who Absolutely Love Lapping Or Pontificating (CODSWALLOP Committee, for short).  CODSWALLOP have now duly pontificated. 

“We in Myrtleville have often said that our swimmers are more than just numbers.¬† We would not dream of reducing their achievements to mere figures.¬† On this point, we were also unable to determine how to answer the very reasonable question from D. Condon about what he would do once he ran out of fingers, like. Numbers were therefore out.

However, due to demand, there will still, indeed, be a recognition system for laps achieved in Myrtleville.”

The system will operate under three levels, will be self-regulated and only vaguely numerical.¬† It’s more of a feeling thing.¬† The levels are as follows:

1. Rakes Of Feckin’ Laps (ROFL Level)

This is the entry level achievement and is expected to be the most popular.¬† Swimmers will be entitled to wear this hat once they’ve gone for a few swims and feel they know the buoys well (“dere’s six of dem, like.¬† Yellow ones.”).¬† The ROFL hat is for anyone who feels justified in answering “rakes of dem” when asked if they are doing many laps these days.¬† This could be two laps for some or a hundred and six for others.¬† Really – who cares?¬† You want ROFL hat?¬† Have a ROFL hat.¬† If you want, we’ll have a presentation ceremony.¬† Rob Bohane is available for that kind of thing.¬† Whatever, like.

2. Laps – Many And Ongoing (LMAO Level)

This is a level for all regular swimmers. If you’re out there and going around lappishly, award yourself a LMAO hat.¬† Soon all your friends will want one.¬† It’s above the ROFL because of its connotation of all-year round swimming and “dere’s no stoppin me, like” charisma.¬† If you’re a LMAO guy or gal – wear a LMAO hat.

3. Langerload Of Laps (LOL Level)

This is the pinnacle of achievement in Myrtleville.¬† We really don’t expect to see many of these hats, or at least not for a few years.¬† You’d want to be out there a lot to justify a LOL, like.¬† They’ll stand out from the crowd, the LOLs.¬† “Look, he’s a LOL, lah. Look, lah.¬† A LOL”.¬† That’s what the awestruck other swimmers will say when they see a langer in a LOL hat, like.¬† We’ll wait to see who comes out of the pack to justify a LOL for themselves.¬†

How to get a relevant hat:

Once you feel you have achieved the level required to wear the relevant hat, here’s what you do.¬† Get either a blank hat or one you can turn inside out.¬† For demonstration purposes, we’re using one Bernie Lynch gave us after some ould swim he did in 2016.¬† You’ll also need a permanent marker – any colour you like.¬† No restrictions on your creativity.¬† Your workspace should look like this:

Then, make your hat.¬† Here’s a sample with fancy wave motify things (yes, that’s what they are) – but don’t be restrained.¬† Make yours as unique as you like.¬† Then, wear it with pride.

Just to be a bit motivational, we also did one for LOLs.  Aim for it.  Push yourself.  You know you can do a langerload of laps.  When you do Рwear that hat.  You are a LOL.  Definitely worth an exclamation mark, a LOL.

Be sure to send in pictures of yourselves in your new hats as you work through the levels.¬† You know we’d all just love to see them.

The Liam Maher Perpetual “There’s Always One” Trophy.

Those who attended the prizegiving for the RNLI swim last Thursday night will have seen the presentation to Carol Cashell on behalf of Mr. Liam Maher. 

Carol subbing for Liam Maher at the presentation ceremony.

Some of you may recall that Liam has something of a history with the event.  

This prize was awarded to Mr. Maher for his noteworthy performance last Thursday night at the finish of the swim.¬† There is always a very focused stage at the end when safety concerns dictate that all volunteers are closely engaged in monitoring the swimmers as they exit the water.¬† Liam chose this point to arrive, demanding to know “Where are all the bags?¬† Are all the bags here?¬† Who didn’t bring down my bag?¬† My bag isn’t here.”¬† You will note in all of this there was no mention of “I can’t find my bag”.¬† Oh no, it was all down to the organisers and I was the eejit who happened to turn around and catch his eye.¬† Bernard knew better – kept looking out to sea.¬† I’ll have to learn his zen-like powers of concentration.¬†

Anyway, back to Liam’s bag – which I personally was responsible for losing, he left me know.¬† It wasn’t in the pile.¬† No way.¬† He was certain.¬† He’d checked.¬† Repeatedly.¬† Not there.¬† No.¬† I believed him.¬† Apparently it was the only Manhattan Marathon (boat assisted) Bag on the beach so if it was there, he’d see it.¬† Hence, it mustn’t be there.¬† Up and down the beach I searched.¬† All the way back up to the van.¬† Down again.¬† I was accosting people carrying bags of the same colour.¬† “Did you take Liam’s bag?¬† Didya?”¬† Things were getting bad.¬†¬†

I asked Bernard again.¬† Only the tenth time.¬† He fixed me with his steely, zen-like focus and said “I couldn’t give a flying” – “Damian, all the bags are there.¬† All of them”.¬† I stopped.¬† Drew breath.¬† Considered.¬† “Could Liam be a complete feckin’ eejit who can’t see his own bag?”¬† Hmm. I walked back to the pile of bags.¬† It wasn’t there.¬† However, it was less than five feet away from the pile.¬† Sitting on its own.¬† Happy.¬† Serene.¬† Waiting.¬† Five feet.¬† Five.¬† Maximum.¬† A good deal shorter than Mr. Maher himself.¬† Right there.

I knew then that the specially restored, vintage 1996 Kartworld Champion trophy we had been saving for a deserving recipient had found its home.¬† Here’s Carol passing on the trophy to Mr. Maher……

….and said Mr. Maher out on the serious lash celebrating his win by demonstrating that if the bag had been twelve feet away, he could still have reached the bloody thing if he’d just feckin’ looked.

The trophy has now been officially named the Liam Maher Perpetual Trophy and will be presented to a deserving recipient, as yet unknown, at the next or future swims.¬† There’s bound to be a recipient.¬† Like the trophy says, there’s always one.

Update on “Where’s Denis?”, the fun game for all the family.

We’re delighted to announce that Denis Condon has resurfaced, although not in Myrtleville.¬† Liam Maher (who has a lot to answer for – see tomorrow) was trying to get back into the Myrtlevillian good books and took it upon himself to trawl various establishments to find Mr. Condon.¬† He’s a martyr, is Liam,¬† A martyr who will be stoned soon, as it happens.

Anyway – found him….and doesn’t he look thrilled??!!

Who wouldn’t look happy when you’re out for a quiet night in a secret location (I hear Nana’s on Douglas Street is a nice spot, by the way) and this happens….

Yes, that’d make your night alright.¬† We know you’re back in Cork, Denis – come back to Myrtleville (there’s jobs to be done…).

Have you seen this man?

Missing since a jaunt to the Rockies and notably absent at the swim last night, Denis Condon – where are you??

Whatever we said (and we said a lot, repeatedly), we didn’t mean it (well, maybe a bit, but not really, like) and we want you back (the showers need to be fixed, they keep running so you have to get the sand out of them).

Come back, Denis, all is forgiven (maybe not all, but enough for now).

Results – 2019 RNLI Myrtleville to Church Bay Swim

The results are now online with Sportstiming for the 10th Annual RNLI Myrtleville to Church Bay Swim.

Click here:

Thanks to all of the volunteers and sponsors who helped to make the event possible ‚Äď the RNLI, Coast Guard, Gardai, Order of Malta, Funkytown, Sports Timing, Centra Crosshaven, Port of Cork, Cronin‚Äôs Pub, The Edge Sports and numerous fantastic individuals without whom nothing could run.¬† All of your time and efforts are greatly appreciated.¬† Thanks again to you all.

Tides and swimming in Myrtleville

Republishing this important article from 2014 on our local tides.¬† If you don’t have time to read it all, just skip to How might this impact my swim?¬† It’s important to know.

From Bernard Lynch & Ian Venner

This note is intended for those new and not so new to coastal swimming and simplifies some of the calculations and facts which you may well expect to see.  Much of it is specific to Myrtleville.

The tidal streams (coastal currents) are the most important part of the tides you need to understand as a swimmer.  Most OW swimmers average between 2-3km/hr.  Tidal streams near the shore in the harbour can run at between 0.5 to 1.0 km/hr Рso they can make a very big difference to your swim.  The speed of the tidal stream varies during each High Water/ Low Water (HW/LW) tidal cycle, and also varies between spring (very high/very low) and neap (not very high/not very low) tides.  Spring tides occur a day after a full moon and recede over a period of one week to a neap.

The spring/neap maximum flow rate can vary from 0.5 to 1.5km/hr.  The flow rate within a 6 hour tide range will be three times as strong at its fastest (in the middle of the six hours) as in the first and last hour. This is explained by the Rule of Twelfths.

Rule of Twelfths

The level of water does not rise or fall at a constant rate throughout the 6 hour duration of a rising or falling tide.  The amount by which it will do so can be estimated mentally by means of the following rough guide:

  • 1st hour rise or fall = 1/12 of Range
  • 2nd hour rise or fall = 2/12 of Range
  • 3rd hour rise or fall = 3/12 of Range
  • 4th hour rise or fall = 3/12 of Range
  • 5th hour rise or fall = 2/12 of Range
  • 6th hour rise or fall = 1/12 of Range

This impacts tidal speed too – the fastest speed being in the middle of the period between HW and LW. In the table below, assuming a 12 foot rise and fall in the tidal height (typical for Cork Harbour) and a maximum tidal flow rate of 1.5km/hr, you can see the how fast the tide moves and rises/falls.

Time after HW Twelfths Change in Depth in that hour Avg tidal flowkm/h
+0.5hr 1/12 1’ 0.5
+1.5hrs 2/12 2’ 1
+2.5hrs 3/12 3’ 1.5
+3.5hrs 3/12 3’ 1.5
+4.5hrs 2/12 2’ 1
+5.5hrs 1/12 1’ 0.5

What else influences tides?

Other factors can influence tidal heights and flow rates. Low pressure will increase tidal height (think of it as less atmospheric pressure pushing down on the water).  Lots of recent rain will increase the strength of the ebb, especially out of Cork Harbour and Fountainstown too (it’s just more water trying to get out).

How might this impact my swim?

So what does all this mean for swimmers?  Be conscious of the time of HW Рnot because the beach might be more or less sandy, but because it should influence where/how you swim.  Swim against the prevailing tidal flow, so that if you get tired you will have the benefit of it on the way back.  For example, you might consider a swim from Myrtleville to Church Bay and back on the third hour of a falling tide (tide against you going to Church Bay and with you coming back).  You should not consider doing it on the third hour of a rising tide (tide with you going to Church Bay and against you coming back).

In reality, the tidal flows between Myrtleville Beach, the Dutchman and Bunny‚Äôs are fairly limited. ¬†There is a little more effect to consider if going Myrtleville/Fountainstown and particularly at Bunny’s point where the push or pull can be significant on the 3rd and 4th hour. If needed, there are plenty of escape routes onto the rocks between Myrtleville and Fountainstown¬†–¬†weather dependent.¬†Going to Church Bay, however, puts you into much stronger tidal flows and you really need to plan your timings.¬†Generally you would not plan a swim past the Dutchman unless¬†the tide was ebbing (going out) for the return leg. Equally, anything further afield needs careful planning with someone who knows the area and tides.

So what direction does the tide flow?

The diagram below broadly illustrates the direction of flow of the tides around the Myrtleville area.  Tides, especially close inshore, are subject to back-eddies and counter-currents, and there are a few of these to be found in the area shown.

To check tides, either purchase a tide table or click on this link.

You should always know the tide before you swim.  Swim Safe.

While the Don’s away…

It’s lovely when people go on holidays and send us pics of The Hat joining them in idyllic locations.¬† Here’s one from Denis away off in the Rockies.¬† I think he may have found the hat there after it fell out of James Slowey’s bag when he cycled over them on his jaunt across America last year.¬† The pics give us something to remember them by.

However, it seems that Denis may have been active in making sure some of his disciples would remember him through a different means while he was away.  Always one to encourage his faithful followers to visit the camps of North Corkorea, news has reached us of his latest torture scheme for those foolish enough to place their trust in the one known as The Don.

An anonymous tipster known only as Paparazzi Magnet was in touch to advise that this notice had appeared at the Knocka freshwater camps last weekend:

All reservoir swimmers. Be careful on entry/exit to the water. We found these thumb tacks in the water this evening on the slip. We picked up as many as we could but there could be more.

Clearly The Dastardly Don was making sure nobody would be enjoying his absence down Knocka way.¬† He looked into spreading Weaver/Weever fish there, but found they didn’t take to the fresh water (who could blame them).

We believe the Condon plan was to claim that the phantom tack scatterer had run for the hills when Denis got back, as the spate of tacks will mysteriously stop once he comes home.¬† Just wait and see.¬† You couldn’t keep up with him.¬†

Watch your feet down in that place.  For those not under the Condon spell, stay where God intended Рin Myrtleville.  In the sea.

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.

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.