It’s early morning, well early-ish, on a bright fresh spring-like morning. We’ve had a week of rubbish weather and the sight of blue skies and sharp sunlight is very welcome. Gone, for a moment, are the whirling winds that have been battling the shoreline, gone are the grey skies and flying clouds, and now there is finally a glimpse of spring to come. We have all become more aware of the greens shoots appearing in our gardens and hedgerows, and the call of mating birds is once again filling the morning. Just for a moment we can forget the horrors of the world and look to the sea for solace.
The delight and positivity however is slightly shaken once we start to wade in. On entering the water we are swiftly reminded that the sea temperature has not improved one iota; the pebbles are still strewn across the floor of the sloping beach and we are indeed firmly still in February! Looking at the temperatures on Cambermet in Chichester Harbour, it is suggesting that the water is currently 6.5C. I mean, at least it’s not under 5C so that’s a bonus….? (I wouldn’t advise glancing at Bramblemet just now as it’s still not working fully and the temperature says 0C!).
We dinosaur step in, gasping and squealing, before giving up and splashing ahead. The combination of cold, sunshine and friendship brings giggling, nattering and smiles. Even the slightest hint of warmth in the sunlight spurs us on and encourages us not to moan (too much) as we talk about how wonderful it will be swimming in the summer. But actually, I have to admit, it’s pretty lovely now. Yes of course it’s cold and a little uncomfortable but it’s fresh and exhilarating. There are a few fellow swimmers and walkers, but mainly we’ve got nature to ourselves.
A little bit of sunshine really does lift the spirits though (and boy do we all need that just now). What might seem like a ridiculous idea of swimming daily in the rain/sleet/wind suddenly feels so much more positive. It might only be February but the sun is returning, we are heading towards the summer and the thought of swimming without squeaking. Here’s to looking forwards.