Having signed up to a majority of events that are open water based I thought I'd better research some open water venues I could swim at and get out there!
Since I am a relatively new swimmer, although I could dispatch a method of swimming which was very much a 'save yourself' technique if I fell in Deep Water Soloing, actual swimming any great distance with reasonable technique is new to me.
I have never gone out of my way to go swimming in open water so the thought of the first time doing it at the Outlaw Half (1.2 mile open water swim) terrified me.
Most open water venues close through the winter and I was super excited to find that the local (3 miles away) diving centre Stoney Cove had recently opened its doors to swimmers.
I recently got a Zone 3 wetsuit for all my events, but after speaking to a few people they advised that I'd need some booties and a hat, it's December and the water is 5 degrees!!
So I was even more impressed to get a very speedily delivered box of goodies form Zone 3 which included a hat , gloves & booties - sorted!
So armed with my new bits, late in December 2013, I went to Stoney Cove to try it out.
The conditions are simple;
- swimmers must check in
- swimmers must carry a whistle
- swimmers must never swim alone or they need a spotter on the side
It cost £5 to swim and you pay this at the Dive Shop.
Paid up and kitted up I was good to go...
It was Baltic!! Once again I felt like I was doing more save yourself than actual swimming...
It was a good experience and I lasted about 30 minutes before I had to call it quits!!
You are not restricted in the cove it covers 13 acres and you can swim anywhere, they do have the wreck marker buoys and have a very rough guide to distances;
The facilities at Stoney Cove are excellent, as well as the Dive Shop there is a Café, Bar, changing rooms, toilets and most importantly showers!!
There is a rescue boat on constant standby and qualified first aiders on site.
Their open water swimming times are;
More information can be found here; Stoney Cove Web Site
Telephone; 01455 273089