People often say to be its easy for you to go into the sea every day, you don’t feel the cold. This is not true I guarantee you, even in the hot summer months I find it a challenge to enter the sea. It is always easier to go into the sea when you have company to do so. Locally in Doolin there is a group called the ‘aquaducks’ that are committed to jumping in daily. A few embark on long swims while others of us dip in and out. Crab Island is located just out from the pier and it’s a great achievement to swim out there and back. The day when the sea is rough is when you do not notice the cold as much because you are in survival mode and focused on getting out alive. As I said to my mother it is only when we are close to death that we feel alive!
The dark mornings are definitely more of a challenge although Doolin Pier is lit up year round. On a flight recently I met a woman who mentioned that she swam every morning in Galway at 6am with a head torch! That softened my cough.
We have had the dolphin swimming with us on occasions; I like to keep a safe distance. The challenge in the summer is to exit the water before the boats come into the pier! The new boats move fast so there have been a couple of close calls! One of our girls was bitten by a Lions Maine last year and had a severe reaction and towards the end of the summer we had a sudden influx of Portuguese man-o-war-a beautiful looking species if it doesn’t bite you!
The health benefits are huge both physical and mental. It takes courage and energy to get in but the buzz after is unreal. You never regret a swim. The key is not to think about it and just do it. It sets you up for the day and is like an injection of energy, endorphins activated and charged.
During the summer the kids gather for pier jumps and the craic is mighty, somersaults and all sorts into the water. We are spoiled as we have a choice of places to swim locally and a number of different groups to join. It is the meeting with friends and the connections you make the make jumping in the sea particularly special.