Four miles in the pool this morning means just one thing … second brekkie!

The River Swim

Last week we finally got the rest of the family to calm down enough to let us swim in our local river in jolly ol Blighty. My sis in law told us about a lady who fell into the river and died earlier this year so they were ‘you cant’t, you’ll die’. Turns out, she was drunk and fell in near the river mouth and was swept out to sea in February. Its very sad. However, 1. we were not drunk (at least before the swim.) 2. Not near the river mouth (about 10 miles up stream) and 3. it was now July and that water was toasty warm compared to Loch Ness! We’re going whether you like it or not. After much crying (I kid you not) and explaining that we swim miles every week they relented and decided to let us do it. Err OK?!?

The one condition was, that father in law would accompany us in his kayak. I thought this might actually be useful, no need to sight down the river, just follow the boat. Sadly this was not the case. Note to self, never ever ask FIL to kayak for me on a swim. It was a fancy kayak and he had all the gear including a full armed shorty wetsuit on. I told him he was going to roast. I’ll be alright, he wasn’t.

We got ‘tea’ed’ up  (Britain runs on tea, you Americans just throw it in the harbor :) at a little cafe near the bridge above. We stripped to our cossies and then waited for the tide to go slack, it was still rising when we arrived. My FIL is not a patient man and decided that we needed to start with the tide still rising?!? I told him we would be swimming to stand still? It’ll be alright! It wasnt! We ended up spending 10mins just getting under the bridge. WTF!

We had a small audience of incredulous on lookers as we started. I felt we were continuing the tradition of odd ball, nutty Britishers doing stupid, crazy things for fun. Or at least Mrs Alt was cos Im with you tea dumpers now. My plan to swim off under the bridge and into the distance did not go so well with the still rising tide but we got under it and things got a little easier.
We stuck to the quieter river bank and about 20mins in, the tide finally went slack. So we were making progress albeit slower than I wanted.

Its a great way to see the country side, that is, three inches from the surface of a river and glimpsing it every second or so. We freestyled it, we breast stroked it. However, the best bit is when you are both freestyling, breathing on opposite sides so that you get to see each other’s big smiley faces with each stroke as you turn for a breathe. Im a born romantic me, I take my lady to all the best places :)

We saw three of the most surprised looking cows on the bank as we passed (wish we had a camera.) Lots of ducks, swans and geese with babies in tow. Waved to folks in boats and on the train as it sped over a bridge.

The tide started to pick up a little and our so called navigator, who just shot off into the distance and then sat waiting until we caught up, told us to be careful and to have an escape route if we got swept along too fast. Err OK, its barely flowing but OK. He also told us that we were just going around the last bend and we would be there. Where there was, Im not sure, I knew we would not be close until we saw the castle on the hill. At this point Mrs Alt unleashed her inner 5 year old and asked ‘are we nearly there?’
'Yes honey, your Dad says its just around the next corner' It wasn't …

We did round a bend to see Mrs Alt’s two sisters and mother on a foot bridge over the river (their pics above) screaming and shouting at us. Another 1/4 mile and there would be a beer waiting at the pub. It is amazing how energized you feel when you see folks you know hollering your name and whooping. That 1/4 mile whizzed by and we were hauling ourselves out in front of a pub load of people who probably also thought we were nuts.

A tad over 4 miles in total and so much fun. I suggested hanging out for six hours and catching the tide back up to the car. I was told, with a few expletives thrown in for good measure, that I was welcome to do that but I’d be on my own.
So we had a beery lunch, at least we had earned it. FIL had sweated out pints I’d imagine, in his fancy schmancy gear so I bought him and extra pint to say thank you.
All jolly good, cleanish fun and great day out.

Tags: swimblr

Busy morning at the pool.

Busy morning at the pool.

The 3am post

I joked with No 1 son last night that Mrs Alt would do her usual thing of ringing me at 3am to say ‘Hi, hope you got home safe?’
She and her military father cant do time zone math.
I literally just got back off to sleep at 3:00am (10:00 UK time) and lo and behold « rrring » « rrring » WTF?!? Sleep is sooo overrated right! 2 hrs until the pool opens …

Home!

Is it 7:30pm or 2:30am, either way its been a long day. I can hopefully use this jet lag to my advantage for a few daze and get to the pool early squirly. Got my river swim in with Mrs Alt earlier this week. Write up later.

See you Grande Bretagne!  Ill miss the food but I will not miss the traffic. 
This was the view from my car this morning. Not in a parking lot but on the M25 (freeway) doing a fantastic impression of a parking lot. Ridiculous!

See you Grande Bretagne! Ill miss the food but I will not miss the traffic.
This was the view from my car this morning. Not in a parking lot but on the M25 (freeway) doing a fantastic impression of a parking lot. Ridiculous!

Visited the church where we got married 23 years ago today. Strangely and to my relief, Mrs Alt is still with me :)

Tags: memory lane

Swimmin wi Nessie

We drove along the shores of Loch Ness today. Spoke to a few locals about the best place to swim?
Wha? Are you nuts? There is no best place. You just dont do it, yer idiot!

Even my grand uncles mouth fell open when I mentioned it. We got down to Fort Augustus and found a quiet spot.
It was a tad chilly, Mrs Alt tried the big toe test. Officially,  ‘no effing way’ on the Mrs Alt swimming scale. 
I got changed in the bushes and stepped onto some really slippery rocks. It was freakin cold but went for it. Apparently the water temperature averages 42 F or 6C! Nuff said!

I didnt give my nether regions time to acclimate. I think they were already making a beeline for the warmth of my kidneys. 
In and stroking as quick as poss. Feet numb in a few minutes, hands not far behind. Clambered back out, changed and into a hot car. 

Sadly no monsters to be seen. According to great uncle you need to slather yourself in Colmans Mustard (think manly hot, hot mustard,  not the wimpy American stuff) before getting in, to stand a chace

Swimmin wi Nessie

We drove along the shores of Loch Ness today. Spoke to a few locals about the best place to swim?
Wha? Are you nuts? There is no best place. You just dont do it, yer idiot!

Even my grand uncles mouth fell open when I mentioned it. We got down to Fort Augustus and found a quiet spot.
It was a tad chilly, Mrs Alt tried the big toe test. Officially, ‘no effing way’ on the Mrs Alt swimming scale.
I got changed in the bushes and stepped onto some really slippery rocks. It was freakin cold but went for it. Apparently the water temperature averages 42 F or 6C! Nuff said!

I didnt give my nether regions time to acclimate. I think they were already making a beeline for the warmth of my kidneys.
In and stroking as quick as poss. Feet numb in a few minutes, hands not far behind. Clambered back out, changed and into a hot car.

Sadly no monsters to be seen. According to great uncle you need to slather yourself in Colmans Mustard (think manly hot, hot mustard, not the wimpy American stuff) before getting in, to stand a chace

Tags: swimblr

Local school band in Oban. Pipes and drums. They were greet!

Local school band in Oban. Pipes and drums. They were greet!

We’re in Oban tonight on the west coast. And there she is again, gettin in ma shot!

We’re in Oban tonight on the west coast. And there she is again, gettin in ma shot!