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A Week Of Adventure - Swimming

Posted by Alex Clasper on


 The Sunday Swim 

The finale to our week of adventure arrived on a chilly yet bright Sunday morning. I had somehow been cajoled into thinking that a swim may be a good idea on a November morning. With a love for water of course I agreed.

            Open water swimming has becoming increasingly popular sport with a warm summer and the rise of more and more people exploring local areas. It seems an easy sport to enjoy. For some the monotony of chasing lanes in a chlorine pool isn’t all that attractive. I certainly fall into this category.

I found myself in a car park on the banks of the Avon Estuary home to our stand up paddle board adventure only days before. I had dabbled in open water sessions earlier this summer and was unsure whether I had time to fit yet another sport to my arsenal. Similar to  running, I liked the idea of just putting on a wetsuit and going for swim I can get on board with. Even in the winter chill I knew it would possibly be worth it if not a little foolish.

Staying Warm in the Pro Change Robe

Cheered on by my peers I bunked on down under the Pro Change Robe as I did the oh so not elegant dance into my wetsuit. The Pro Change Robe has been a welcome addition to my kit bag recently. Being a rather large frame at 6’2 having enough room to wiggle into my gear whilst staying covered comes in handy.

Man getting changed under Men's Pro Change Jacket


Once I had immerged from the Pro Change Robe. I was met with chuckles from my ‘friends.’ My impatience with shopping had led me to purchase a wetsuit far too large for my needs. This unfetching attire on a lazy Sunday only added to the odd scene. As local dog walkers and passers-by watched as a guy in his late 20’s waddled along a footpath. Followed by Luke and Stu’s holding their camera phones to capture any comedy material. To which I provided in bucket loads.

            Each person has their own tactic when approaching a cold encounter. Some like to slowly tip-toe in. In the hope that with each step will bring warmer water. For me I think I have to just go all in or nothing just get on with it. The slight error on my part was planning the tide as I found out due to my embarrassment. I continued to wade through muddy, silty gunge much to the pleasure of my chummy friends on the bank. Who were having a great old time.

 Man wearing wetsuit walking into water

            At last I found some depth in the middle channel of the estuary. The water was fresh which prompted a pleasure over pain sort of shock to  my face. I dropped a few notches on the temperature gauge and shot straight to baltic. In the past my chilly experiences have always been resolved by keeping the body moving. So off I swam disrupting the sediment with each kick and occasionally billowing up for air, to catch the school boy grins of Luke and Stu on the bank; they looked delighted.

            I fell into a rhythm plodding away to the bridge for a breather. I was certainly not going to be catching Ross Edgely on his swim around the UK anytime soon. The enjoyment of being on the water without any craft is a liberating sensation. I can certainly see the attraction. The simplicity of experiencing the estuary entirely from water level was a real treat. To be in the water as opposed to floating above is a surreal treat well worth embracing the cold for.

Man swimming in Avon Estuary  

One more lap then back to the path to meet the guys. Grinning at this rather odd scene as I emerged a fully-grown swamp man, oozing mud and gunk along the foot path with each sodden step. Back to the car and the Pro Change Robe was straight on no messing around. A quick change and I reached for my insulated water bottle, which had done a fine job keeping my coffee warm. All in all opting outside is most certainly worth it!

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