Parking in the car park on the sea front by the pier, I was really pleased to see that the water was probably the calmest I had ever seen it, even if the sky was very grey and it looked very uninviting. This was going to be a good swim.
I went down to the sea shore undressed, Beccy put my kit in the bag, and started her usual walk along the sea front armed with backpack and marching shoes. I stepped into the grey sea and went rigid. It was absolutely freezing. I couldn't believe it! I splashed water over my body, and people started gathering on the promenade in disbelief. Eventually I eased myself in, and started swimming. God it was cold. Really cold.
After about 100 Metres, I stopped and started swimming breastroke. It was my face and head which was causing the problem again, as in Belgium in December 2007. I had an immediate "Ice cream headache" as I call them. I started swimming again for about another 300 Metres, but simply could not keep my head in the water.
Once out on the promenade, it began to hail. I just stood there talking to Beccy in my Speedos, no problem, not cold at all. I just looked at the sea feeling annoyed and defeated. But I have been in cold water enough times now to know something did not feel right on this particular day. I hadn't even been in long enough (about 6 minutes) for my temperature gauge to register the water temperature, but it felt around 8 Degrees Centigrade. I decided that I would wait now until the first Dover training in May before I went in the sea again, when the water had warmed up to a nice 10 Degrees Centigrade!