This is an account of my plan to, and preparation for, an attempt to swim from Jura to Scarba, across the famous Corryvreckan Whirlpool. In doing so I intend to raise money for The John Muir Trust,the leading wild land conservation charity in the UK. Inspired by the work, spirit and legacy of John Muir.
Who wants to come and have a jolly time whilst I fight against jellyfish, killer whales and currents? I have a limited number of places on the support boat which I will offer to interested folk on the following basis;
1)ifyou can guarantee £75 sponsorship money ( doesn’t have to be all your own but it does have to be raised legally!). I don't need to have this in advance but if you subsequently fail to raise it .......
2)if as far as possible you can make your way to Loch Feochan and the base for Coastal Connection (google post code PA344SF.) in a green as possible way. Car sharing will be acceptable as you need to be there by 08.00 on August 23rd.
3) you are on time for departure... the boat WILL NOT WAIT.
Please contact me via this blog if you are interested.
Time has started to rush towards the 23 rd and I have to remind myself of how far I have come since my first post in March. I can now swim front crawl reasonably well (if slowly) in the sea: I am no longer worried about getting swamped: the sponsor ship money is getting nearer my target. The jelly fish remain a concern though particularly the lion's mane variety. I have heard that this is a "good" year for jellyfish i.e. a bad year for anything that runs into its stinging tentacles. It is thought that overfishingis one possible cause.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14235582Although lion’s mane jellyfish can grow to 2 metres across the ones found in UK waters are considerably smaller. Their stingis not fatal but not something I will relish receiving on my uncovered face, hands an feet.
This week’s training
Tues 26/07 11.30 Exactly 4 weeks to go to my swim. Meanwhile at Hackley Bay I saw my first positive sighting of a grayling butterfly at Forvie this year. It is difficult to show its lovely wing patterns as it usually closes its wings when resting (as below)This species is on the UK Boidiversity Action Plan. There are concerns that numbers are declining and a certain golf development just south of Forvie may well have a detrimental effect on the numbers locally.
Grayling butterfly ( Hackley Bay)
Swim-wise the wind was onshore and the surf just the wrong side of moderate. Still I managed to swim 8 widths with a fair bit of stopping to avoid the bigger waves. As I bobbed around like a cork I wondered if you can get sea sick swimming....
27/07 Lovely day, warm sunshine, blue skies: is summer finally coming? Saw 6 flavours of butterfly plus 3 of damsel fly on the walk to and from Hackley. The grayling are definitely here with many seen flitting about the cliff. Also found out that one of my favourite flowers, grass-of-parnassus (Parnassia palustris), flowering right down on the edge of the beach.
This is a surprise as I have only ever seen it in ditches before and would not have associated it with the harsh conditions found on a N.E. seashore boundary but looking it up not only does it grow in bogs but it also grows in the arctic and in dune systems. There was still moderate swell but I did more swimming and less waiting for the bigger breakers to pass.
28/07 Dull, overcast day with rain at times. This doesn't matter for a swimmer except making sure that towel and clothes are covered up whilst swimming. The wind had shifted to the west and this meant an offshore wind so the surf had all but gone. Still it was slightly choppy and I looked forward to a continuous swim for the first time in a few weeks. I have developed my own way of overcoming the gasping of the first few strokes by swimming without totally submerging my face for the first 50 metres or so , then gradually getting down to it. I still breath every alternate stroke rather than every 3 , the latter is more efficient . Unfortunately after a good first length I seemed to run out of steam and ended up doing a lot of slow breast stroke. The consequence of this was a really tardy time of 39 minutes. This is a bit depressing to say the least. Still next week the tides are all in my favour so fingers-crossed that the wind stays moderate and I will have some better swims to build my confidence. This will be my final push before I set off.