Missing the Cold
It seems almost blasphemous to even think this in the middle of Summer, but I’m going to say it; I miss the cold. I was interviewed for a podcast the other day about wild swimming (SHAMELESS PLUG:
) and when I was asked “do you miss the cold” I didn’t even hesitate. Yes, yes I do. I’m basically counting down the days ‘til autumn.
It’s absolutely lovely in the sea at the moment. It’s about 13-14 degrees in the North Sea right now, and it’s so easy to stay in for up to two hours in skins. When I say this to most people they look at me as though I’m mad, but really, to someone who has been swimming in under 10 degrees, this is like a bath! I’ve spent loads of time swimming around the bay, taking pictures of underwater life, and on big wavy days, just laying in the surf enjoying the sunshine. It’s glorious to be able to get out and have all your clothes warm from the sun, and be able to just walk around in shorts and a t-shirt after a swim. However (you knew that was coming!) one of the main reasons I enjoy wild swimming is the buzz. The burst of adrenalin you get from diving into cold water, and the post swim glow that lasts all day. That tingly slightly hysterical feeling you get afterwards just isn’t quite present when you come out of a warm sea. One of my swimming tribe has just got back from holiday where the sea was 26oC. He said he was actually sweaty coming out of the water! Blergh. Give me ice cold refreshment any day!
There are also hundreds of people out there enjoying the beach. Armies of kids lining up to learn how to surf and tiny ones squealing in the tiny waves. It fills me with joy to see so many people happy and enjoying the sea and having fun with the water. It’s great to see our beaches being used and appreciated. However this joy is only fleeting, when I see the debris that these seasonal visitors leave. I’ve never understood littering. It’s just so easy to take your rubbish with you. The lack of consideration of others is alarming. You can’t read the news or use social media without having a reminder of the impact that human waste, particularly plastic, has on the natural world. It’s not just the impact on the planet, it’s the danger that rubbish can impose on other humans. My local beach has had a warning issued that people have been burying broken glass in the sand. This completely baffles me, I have no idea why someone would do this. I almost understand leaving bottles on the beach due to laziness or ignorance, but to purposefully bury them knowing it would cause harm?
This increase in people and their rubbish is directly related to the weather. In the winter the volume of rubbish was tiny, as was the number of people! This is definitely one of the reasons I’m missing the cold weather. I was chatting to some of my fellow swimmers the other day and they agreed. We have a very strong protective streak about where we swim. It’s Our Beach, Our Sea and we wish that everyone had the respect and care for it that we do. Last week I came across what I thought was a big ol’ jellyfish so I went in for a closer look (because I’m clearly mad, no I wanted to get a good picture of it!).
Every time I’ve been on the beach and in the sea since around about May, I’ve picked up litter from the water or the sand. I find this incredibly frustrating, what more can we do? Have you got any hints or tips? Do you know anyone who has improved the awareness or state of your local swim area? I’d love to hear more from anyone who is involved with cleaning up beaches and our local wild swimming spots.
Hints and tips:
Take your litter home with you.
Use disposable crockery made of natural things like wood and paper.
Do a mini 2 minute beach clean when you visit.
Enjoy the warm weather while it lasts!
Listen to my podcast! (and all the others, they’re great!) www.thecreativechilli.com/its-just-me-and-the-sea-ch030/