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.

Swim Sponsors announced

During a review of the 2017 Myrtleville to Church Bay event, it was noted that some participants commented that there were only prizes for first to third in male and female categories.  Other boys and girls felt left out and went home feeling sad that they didn’t get a prize.  “Other swims give everyone a prize”, said one commenter.  “I deserve a medal too”, said Pat Lowry another sad boy.

Responding to this feedback, the non-committee of the Church Bay swim conducted a call for voluntary sponsors, in order that an expanded range of prizes would be on offer.  While we won’t have one for everybody in the audience, there will be more winning swimmers.  We are delighted to announce four new categories, prizes and sponsors.

Given that this is a new departure for our event, we felt it was appropriate to allow each sponsor to nominate – or indeed, invent – the category for which their prize would be awarded.  The criteria for each winner were decided by the various sponsors.

The additional prizes to be competed for on July 3rd are:

  • Category One:  First female swimmer named Sheehy who has a sister named Carmen
  • Prize: Romantic night for two in Charlie’s Bar on Union Quay
  • Sponsor: Denis Condon
  • Category Two: First male breast stroke swimmer from Barnsley who knows his way round the snap and sup in KC’s
  • Prize: 1 year subscription to Weight Watchers
  • Sponsor: Cáit Ní Ghréilligh
  • Category Three: First mustachioed Alcatraz swimmer named John, who helps out Penny Dinners a lot
  • Prize: Voucher entitling winner to pay for two weeks holiday in Lanzarote
  • Sponsor: Martina Kiely
  • Category Four: First brave boy named Pat who has a brother called Eoin and does paramedicy stuff
  • Prize:  A big hug from his fan club
  • Sponsor:  Denise Lowry

We are hopeful that we will receive further similar no-strings-attached sponsorship offerings.  Great to see the generosity of our sponsors.  

Don’t miss your chance to win!  Get entered now:



The Secret Six

Following on from the very high-profile Myrtle Turtles channel relay this year, another group of Myrtlevillians – known as the Secret Six – are believed to be focused on that bit of dirty stuff between England and France for next Summer.  

I say “believed” but “rumoured” might be a better word.  Unlike the constant media bombardment undertaken by the Turtles (OK, OK, some pictures and made-up stuff on this site), the Secret Six are so far below the radar, they might be using the Chunnel to get to France, rather than swimming there.  Nobody’s even sure who they are.  Much searching on d’interweb has thrown up some possible candidates, but all images are hard to make out and clearly being adapted to avoid identification.

Secret Sixer 3.

Secret Sixer 1.

Secret Sixer 2.

Secret Sixer 2.

Secret Sixer 1.

Secret Sixer 3.

Of course what the Six have to understand is that nature (i.e. de meedja, i.e. me) abhors a vacuum – so we’ll just have to make stuff up.  

Accordingly, we are delighted to announce that the Secret Six are, in fact, doing a nineteen-way Channel swim, via Myrtleville.  This will be a world first, in case you didn’t know.  

The team will be piloted by Denis Condon, aboard a boat which he plans to “borrow” from a moorings in Crosshaven – possibly after a feed of drink at the Christmas party night next Saturday.  He intends to hide the craft in the “fresh-water” camp in North Cork/Korea – because nobody in their right mind goes there, so the boat will  be safe until it’s needed next Summer.

In the meantime, the Secret Six are loitering around the beach and various pools, denying they are doing any training and practicing secret hand-signals known only to the team members.  

Secret Sixer Signalling. Is that Denis with the boat outside?

Secret Sixer Signalling. Is that Denis with the boat outside?

Rumour has it there are female Sixers, but no sightings have been reported as yet and at least one has been heard to have taken up some alternative training.  According to sources, she has “gone mad altogether for de dancing – no stopping her”.

We will monitor (or make up, as required) developments with interest.  Go Secret Six!

Keeping it real, down Myrtleville way

The LoneSwimmer himself, Mr. Buckley, succumbed to a moment of pique a while back when confronted with the Lidl ad for togs.  He threw down the goggles/gauntlet publicly (or on twitter anyway) and challenged the model to an open water swim.  No response from the model.

The unwittingly offensive Lidl ad, with the non-responsive model who won't race LoneSwimmer.

The unwittingly offensive Lidl ad, with the non-responsive male model who won’t race the LoneSwimmer.

I was reminded of the LoneSwimmer’s challenge by another togs ad from H2Open:

More common or garden open water swimmers, like you'd see around the beach any day.

More common or garden open water swimmers, like you’d see around the beach any day.  Perhaps not our beach, though.

As the advertising industry is clearly interested in realistic portrayals of open water swimmers, I did a quick trawl of some of Siobhan Russell’s pictures.  I’ve pasted below a suitable portfolio of models, all available to pose for togs ads at any time.  Just come calling H2Open, Lidl et al – we’ve got what you need to shift togs by the bucket-load.

John and Frank - who wouldn't want to buy their togs?

John and Frank – who wouldn’t want to buy their togs?  John is available for assignments in the US while he’s over swimming to Alcatraz shortly.

Togs-R-Us - a range of options here for the ad agencies. As an aside, I bet not one of those Lidl and H2Open models could have kept up with Brenda for 13k across Galway Bay.

Togs-R-Us – a range of options here for the ad agencies. As an aside, I wonder how the models would have got on with Brenda for 13k across Galway Bay.

Festive togs market sown up by K. Murphy. Ad agencies beating down his door.

As Christmas products appear in shops already, the Festive togs advertising market should be sown up by K. Murphy. Ad agencies will be beating down his door.  He’s already well know in the wetsuit marketing arena – Huub, specifically.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

And finally, for any togs marketer looking to corner the grey dollar in togs – the main men for the mature market: Pat and Tom – keeping it real, 365 days a year.

All enquiries for modelling work for any of our portfolio above should be addressed to Condons’ Cuties Model Agency, Slip Top, Myrtleville, Cork. 

Note: Models shown are for illustration only and may not be actual size, but they can all swim in the sea. Quite well, actually.

Drop in local sea temperature explained

Sea swimmers in Cork have been wondering for some weeks now why the normal Summer temperatures have reversed, leaving us with sea temps as low as 11c on some days.  Not content to accept standard weather-related explanations, we dispatched intrepid reporters to investigate and can now reveal the cause.

Our investigators were led initially to news of rumblings of discontent down West.  Apparently a certain Vermontian was unhappy at the thought of running his Distance Camp in balmy 14 or 15c waters, as we had in June.  An unhappy Ned Denison is not a pretty sight.  Here’s a file pic of same.

No, that’s not a good one.  Here’s the one we meant.

Open water sea swimming in Cork, Ireland

Ned – not happy.

Not even Ned can change the weather, though.  Can he?  The answer was revealed yesterday with photos taken off Oysterhaven of a temporary moorings licenced by the Dept. of the Marine.

The moorings are registered to a “Mr. N. Den-iceman” – a shoddy attempt to throw us off track.  The steadily-melting glacier has spread freezing water, explaining the drops in sea temperatures and making Ned – and not another feckin’ soul – happy.

Roches Point to Ballycotton – Historical Revision

It’s with great disappointment that we have to announce that Liam Maher’s swim from Sunday must be stricken from the record books.  Following an objection from Bernard Lynch unnamed parties of blatant drafting, the Committee For The Consideration Of Spurious Complaints And Investigation Of Potentially Underhand Matters In Open Water Swimming (CFTCOSCAIOPUMIOWS) has ruled that the evidence favours the removal of Mr. Maher’s name from the roll of honour for this swim.

The committee ruling was supported by the following photographic evidence:

Liam arriving at the start of the swim. Just look at him - you'd know he was up to something.

Liam arriving at the start of the swim. Just look at him – you’d know he was up to something.

Experienced swim observers, witnessing the Maher arrival, were unimpressed. They could tell....

Experienced swim observers, witnessing the Maher arrival, were unimpressed. They could tell….

Liam had been honest about his lack of training during the Summer and the fact that the distance was daunting.  As the swim began, his strategy took shape.

"Clung to me, he was. Feckin' clung to me." an unnamed party was quoted as saying.

Liam, tow rope in place.  “Clung to me, he was. Feckin’ clung to me,” an unnamed party was quoted as saying.

More startling than the allegations of rampant, blatant, unapologetic drafting was the as yet unconfirmed report that Mr. Maher hopped out a few times and did his “swimming” on the support boat.  Who was that American one Donal said did that?


Liam…..Swimming…..Boatman washes his hands of the carry-on.

Right to the finish, the tow rope stayed in place.  Has the man no shame?  Well, maybe a bit….

Caught on camera as the enormity of the con he pulled off weighed down even his giant shoulders.

Caught on camera as the enormity of the con he pulled off weighed down even his giant shoulders.

The CFTCOSCAIOPUMIOWS ruling is final.  While representations on behalf of Mr. Maher were heard, the fact that the aggrieved unnamed party was wearing a Myrtleville Hat meant that whatever he said was taken as gospel and nobody listened to Liam.

The Revised Swim Success picture is below.


Revised Roll of Honour:  Cashell, C., Irwin, E., Maher. L., Lynch, B. (AKA Unnamed Party).

Well done to all three successful swimmers.

Is it Bulman or Bullman?

Sometimes trying to piece together what happened at swims from the pictures taken, can get a little confusing.  I thought the spelling was Bulman, but then wasn’t sure if it was Bullman or Bull Man.  Siobhan Russell did her usual fantastic job and by all accounts, it was a great event.  That wasn’t where my problems lay – it was in the extra pictures I found referring to bulls and swims.  Anyway, I worked out the order and what was happening in the pictures – I think.

Firstly, Finbarr reconfirmed his Myrtlevillian credentials and introduced his family.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Finbarr and his gang from Myrtleville. Myrtlevillians Abú, says the Big Man. 

From comments on the web, it seems Ned Denison was being unusually lenient in allowing last-minute entrants.  The arrival of a large group of same was spotted by Finbarr.


It’s fair to say that there was some concern on the faces of other swimmers when they realised that the new group was being allowed to enter.

11351270_1146503975375488_792132520248154764_nRepresentations were made to Ned by Gary and Landy, but Ned felt he couldn’t turn down the late-comers – although he was a bit dubious about it as he eyed them up.


It’s from here on that the pictures and Bulman vs. Bullman confusion caught me out.  I think the shot of the start below confirms the late entrants just took over and it’s Bullman and not Bulman.  That’s definitely Rob Bohane leading out – sure, who else?

Start of 2015 event

Safety cover from Tom was superb as always – although it’s a different boat to usual.  Lots of drafting going on too.

Crofter swims cattle across seaHope I pieced this together properly.  Here’s a few more nice shots from the day – in no particular order.

11391484_1146501672042385_6265197866783311845_n 11336829_1146501625375723_9138150034179156202_o 11334161_1146502342042318_9028837373981112681_o

Tight finish2 Tight finish

11312969_1146503675375518_127549128494020029_o 11140222_1146397865386099_4643640736531897388_o 11053911_1146504912042061_4205432131265532429_o 10501942_1146502308708988_5709655293442039848_n 11393051_1146399948719224_837016351482058147_n

Secret training camps in North Korea-Cork

Disturbing rumours have reached Myrtleville of the emergence of a shadowy cult practicing black arts in “freshwater” camps.  Original correspondence indicated the location could be North Korea, but we now believe it is more likely to be North Cork.

The motives of the organisers and active recruiters for the camps is unclear, but their targeting of Myrtleville to seek recruits is clearly due to our international fame as the best swim location in the world (unimpeachable source: B. Lynch).  Their motives, however, must certainly contain some sadistic tendencies.   Sadism is really the only explanation for why anyone would willingly exchange this…..

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Myrtleville – where God intended people to swim.

For this…..

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

North Korea/Cork – where God knows why anyone would swim.

For the public good, trusted envoys were dispatched to the secret location to attempt to capture images of the unimaginable activities being engaged in and to warn unsuspecting swimmers from being lured to the dark side.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Undercover agent at the secret location. Practically invisible.

Clear images were difficult to procure as the subjects took flight, splashing wildly to avoid the lens.

A particularly fast disciple who rumours indicate was returning to the scene for the first time in a long period of time.  Other disciples referred to him as "Fish".

A particularly fast disciple escapes the attentions of our intrepid investigators.  Referred to as “Fish”, rumours indicate he was returning to the scene after a protracted absence.

One of the ringleaders was snapped from a distance.  The Klan-esque hooded cloak was a particularly disturbing image noted at the camp. Referred to by disciples as DonCon, camp followers say he is rarely seen without his bucket.

The most disturbing image from the reconnaissance was of the cruel treatment meted out to our own unsuspecting Anne Sheehy.   Anne was tricked into attending the camp by formerly trusted acquaintances who had been brainwashed by the cult.  She was pilloried for wearing The Hat and forced to do underwater jumping jacks in the black, salt-free substance known in the camp terminology as “fresh water”.11243461_10206705370099415_3378020364402246023_oSo – a warning.  Be careful who you listen to and trust when you’re at the beach.  They’re amongst us – plotting, planning, trying to cull unsuspecting swimmers and lure them to the camps to feed their numbers. They’re scheming up competing events to our own “world’s greatest swim” (source, again, B. Lynch) – the RNLI swim.  They’ll use seemingly innocuous words like “fresh” water to lure you in – their plausible patter is designed to make you forget that “freshwater” is, like “pool”, a synonym for “THE GATES OF HELL!!!!!”  Don’t be fooled.

Be Warned!  Be Vigilant!  Together, we can defeat this evil cult.   Viva Myrtleville!!

Ruling on SISC voting sufficiency.

Vote buying sub-committee meeting in progress.  Member's identities concealed for national security reasons.

Vote buying sub-committee meeting in progress. Identities concealed for national security reasons.

At a recent meeting of the vote-buying sub-committee of The Award Winning Myrtleville Swimmers ™ ® © Not A Club, the matter of the proposal made to Sandycove Island Swim Club members, prior to the winning of the Award leading to the name change to The Award Winning Myrtleville Swimmers ™ ® © Not A Club, was considered.

Many views were expressed by committee members, ranging from – “Feck ’em, we have it now.” (Fair point, Kieran), to – “Ah sure, say thanks anyway, there’s hardly anyone left down there at this stage.” (Good man, Bernard, always thinking of others).

Taking all submissions into account, the committee ruled as follows on our obligation to honour the offer made to buy votes for the ILDSA Award:


“Notwithstanding the appreciation expressed by our members for the votes received from SISC members in the recent successful “Great Leap Forward to the Award” campaign, this committee was unable to determine to its satisfaction the sufficiency of these specific SISC votes being of sufficient, satisfactory sufficiency to have successfully assisted in determining the aforementioned successful outcome.

Furthermore, it is noted that senior members of the SISC committee sought to abrogate the strict terms of our offer, to wit:

  1. Mr. Ned Denison sought to re-use old images of himself letting it all hang out, rather than participate in a new photo-shoot of him skinny-dipping around the Island with Mr. Molnar. Member Russell was very let down by this.
  2. Ms. Angela Harris sought to not have Member Lowry wear his pink wet suit while following her around sprinkling fairy dust at the Sandycove Challenge.  This amendment to the terms was felt to be particularly cruel, as Member Lowry rarely gets a chance to get the pink suit out and he was really looking forward to it.  He also objected to being called “creepy” for wearing it.

Taking these points into account, the Committee ruled the offer was rescinded and The Award Winning Myrtleville Swimmers ™ ® © Not A Club was not obliged to honour it.”

The issue of whether this might now mean we couldn’t trick SISC members into voting for us in future was considered.  However, as generations of political parties have been ignoring pre-vote promises and relying on the electorate to forget, it was decided that we’d just offer even better promises next time to bribe the voters.  In fact, when all was said and done, the whole offer – like most pre-vote promises – was just…. well really, it was a load of…

A big load of Bolix.

A big load of BOLIX.

Update on the changing shelter.

Work to get a shelter built on the beach is moving along.  Obviously, the main focus is on making the structure low-key and in keeping with the surroundings.  You may recall one of the early designs.  You’d hardly notice it on the beach.

Changing area - proposed design.

It was suggested that this was so small it might actually be missed by visiting swimmers.  Kieran Murphy has proposed a way to draw some attention to it make sure it doesn’t completely fade into the background.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Kieran Murphy’s contribution to the design of the new changing shelter.

I think this is just the most tasteful and appropriate proposal. Fair dues, Kieran.  You’ve a real eye for eco-friendly design.  I’m certain there will be no objections to it.