Consternation in Myrtleville this morning! Kerfuffle! Discombobulation! Mad stuff altogether.
I was plodding along out by the corner at Bunnyconnellan when I saw three swimmers approaching. At speed. I mean – speed. It was the intrepid trio of Bernie, Jim and Trev. I turned around to head back to the beach – with them about 200 metres behind me. I was 500m out. As you can see from the first picture below (that’s me there in the distance on the left) they passed me – at speed, like – and were a good 200m ahead of me hitting the beach.
Now, I’m slow. I know that. I’m fine with it. I’m not that slow, though. They’re not more than twice as fast as me. Not on a normal day. This was NOT a normal day. The trio – they shouted – had suffered repeated, vicious, co-ordinated and just generally feckin awful seal attacks by up to nine seals. It started at two but they were definitely talking about nine by the end of it. I didn’t see any myself. Must have been going too slowly.
I think the second picture below is Trevor explaining how close they had come to near death at the hands of Sealus Attackus Beastus. Either that or he’s saying how big the seal was – which would take a bit away from the drama of the attack, to be honest, if it was that size. I say IT, but I mean THEM – THEM, dozens of THEM. You can see Bernard staring out to sea anxiously in case THEY were coming on still. Terrifying, like. No way was it just a couple of ould seals out for a quiet swim. No way. Attack. Definitely an attack.
Despite their horrific experience, the trio posed for a picture with a fan (sound, lads) and then made their way shakingly up the beach, discussing googling “Seal Attacks” and whether warning signs should be put up. Mad stuff. Mad.
BE CAREFUL OUT THERE! Watch out for dogfish too. Now THEY are vicious, I can tell ya that. Don’t start me about dogfish.
Thanks to Siobhan Russell for her fantastic work, as always. For those of you who may not have access to these on Facebook, click on the link to see all the photos from the night:
Here’s a picture of the winner, Neddie Irwin.
Oh wait, that’s an old one. That was 2013 when he did it in 33.22 and finished 18th – the youngest swimmer in the event. He knocked a bit off that time this year to 22.15. He must have done a bit of training for the past five years. And stretching.
Roll on 2019. Hopefully without any wind-enforced postponements.
Thanks to all the volunteers who helped and the sponsors – the RNLI, Coast Guard, Gardai, Order of Malta, Funkytown, Sports Timing, Port of Cork, Centra Crosshaven, Cronin’s Pub, The Edge Sports, Happy Pear and numerous fantastic individuals without whom nothing could run. All of your time and efforts are greatly appreciated. Thanks to you all.
A potentially fatal accident was narrowly averted on Monday night around 7pm as a RIB travelling at 28 knots came across a swimmer way off the beach and in the middle of the Western commercial shipping corridor into/out of Cork harbour. That’s well outside the line to the Dutchman or Bunny’s, if you’re not aware. The swimmer was in a wetsuit and had a black hat. No buoy. No brightly coloured hat. Nothing. If it had not been flat calm, the skipper would not have seen him. He had no expectation that there would be anyone in the water that far out. There should not be.
I’ve no idea who the swimmer was. The RIB skipper who contacted us about the incident used a very good line that I’ll reproduce here. Don’t take offence. He’s 100% right and he went to some trouble to document the incident and make contact about it.
“while your swimming community may think that they are at the centre of the universe the majority of people in sailing clubs and other boat users have absolutely no idea that you guys even exist and those that do see you as “water pests” in much the same way that a lot of road users view cyclists.”
Why put yourself in danger by going out too far, not using a buoy or not wearing a high-vis hat, at the very least?
We’ve been saying this for years. We are each responsible for our own safety. Be responsible. Please, listen and spread the word.
The forecast is looking good. Time to make sure you’re in. There are about 40 places left and they’re moving fast.
Get in now: enter now online on Active.
Don’t end up loitering on the beach shouting “anyone selling a ticket???” or with one of those “genuine swimmer seeks ticket” signs. They’re really sad. Get entered. Don’t be at the mercy of the touts. Especially since there are NO entries on the night and NO transferring places. Don’t be fooled 🙂
Entries close at 13.00 on MONDAY, JULY 2nd OR WHEN WE REACH 300 IF THAT’S SOONER.
May’s a tough month. Lots of swimming because the sun’s up, but cold. Very cold. I love May. Love it. Bye bye, Pool. The water feels cold – “I don’t care” as Trevor Malone said when he jumped in prior to his channel swim a few years ago. Of course, Trevor followed that up with “I’m swimming to France”. Most of us won’t be saying that!
Why am I talking about May? In June? I was too busy lately to spend time on important things – like reading loneswimmer.com. So, I missed the article from two weeks ago that I’d asked for two years ago. “Write fancy stuff about May, Donal”, I said. “More of that flowery shite that Mr. Finbarr loves”. “No”, said Donal. Only a few years later, he changed his mind.
Mr. Finbarr loved it, I’d say. The Myrtlevillians even got a mention at the end! FAME – at last! You can’t go higher than loneswimmer.com. Thanks, Donal!