Today we were going to do a 1.5 hour swim at water temperature 11 Degrees Centigrade. Now this is important to note. When I swim, I like to swim for 45 minutes before my first feed, then feed every 30 minutes. I use Maxim energy drink, which is what is recommended for channel swimmers. My swim was quite uneventful and I swum around the harbour for 45 minutes before swimming towards the shore, treading water and shouting to my wife (who was sitting in the car out of the rain, doing her nails) for my drink. "I haven't got a drink" shouts Barry, who watches and helps from the beach with the General. "Not you. I'm talking to my wife" I shout back. Beccy, get's out of the car, puts on her mac, put's the umbrealla up, rumages around in the back of the car, then gently strolls down the beach while I tread water freezing my n#%s off and eventually arrives, careful that the umbrella is secure so she doesn't get her hair wet. She throws it in to me, I drink it, throw the empty container back then continue for a further 3/4 hour.
When I got back after 1.5 hours I was cold. I got out, walked up to The General to give her my number and I was greeted by "Hoffy! What the hell do you think you are doing stopping for a drink? You don't need a drink after only 45 minutes. Consider yourself bollocked. The first one of the season!". I walked off stunned, but just very slightly chuffed. I had heard about Freda's famous bollockings, and I was the recipient of the first one of the 2007 season! What an honour!
Getting out and changing uder a little shelter close to the beach, to get out of the rain, was a very cold experience, and for the first time since my hypothermia experience in Felixstowe, I felt cold. The picture above shows this quite clearly I think.
When we arrived back home to Bury, my shoulder felt quite sore. I took off my shirt and to my surprise I found quite a nasty rash on my right shoulder. It was funny, in the channel swimmers forum the previous week, someone had e-mailed in to ask whether people shaved or not before swimming. Someone e-mailed back and said it can leave a rash if you don't. I personally had never experienced a rash until now. By the following Friday, it was still very sore and had a crusty scab on top. I can assure you, I will not be swimming without shaving again!