Chilly dipper, winter swim challenge

This time last year I was preparing for a winter of open water lake swims, got as far as the end of October before national lockdown put a stop to this challenge. By the time we got back to the lakes in April/May, the temps were no longer classified as winter swimming.

What’s different this year? – well after a summer of swimming in skins (swimsuit, hat, goggles only) I am resisting the wetsuit and hope to go as far into the depths of winter as possible without the neoprene.

I have signed up and leaping into the Silver Polar Bear challenge – swim 250meteres twice a month from November to March in skins.

For those that know me, I hate the cold! Am asthmatic, live in landlocked Wiltshire, so no quick access to the sea.

However, thought I’d put my lockdown lard to good use, joining Helen Webster on a Cold water safety course, have my membership at the fresh, clear, good vibes Lake32 in the Cotswolds and just in case neoprene wetsuit, booties, gloves and hat at the ready.

I have flasks for coffee, fleeces, woolie socks and hat, an onesie and DryRobe prepared for use.

As inspiration, I am reading Roger Deakin’s Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey Through Britain book which has amazing observational details, is funny, wise and a wonderful read for all swimmers or explorers of the UK. I may also venture away from my local lake.

Anyone care to join me on the Polar Bear or Penguin (neoprene allowed) Challenge? local meetup or virtual.

16th September: Last late night lake swim session done, as nights drawing in and sun sets on summer swims, still 20c air & water temperature.

Hands up if you enjoyed that one ☝️

Couple of reference documents if interested from my post last year:

The secret to acclimatising to cold water

My Octopus Teacher – Netflix film

Cold water swimming may protect the brain from degenerative diseases like dementia

6 Amazing Health Benefits Of Cold Water Swimming

6 Tips for Cold Water Swimming

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