Cornwall Training Day 1

On July 1st I travelled the furthest I have ever been on my own – to Cornwall. I had been invited by someone to stay and train with them for my channel swim for a week, whats more, it was free. I was anxious about going but I knew it was an opportunity too good to be missed.

After a VERY long train journey on Saturday, I was exhausted but on Sunday it was straight to training so I could make the most of the sea!I had chatted to Loretta (who I was staying with) and we came up with a plan – walk with crutches, sit on camp chair, walk a little way with crutches, sit and rest etc until we got to the sea! It worked perfectly and we got in for our first swim at Porthpean Beach to discover the sea was bloody freezing. Talk about a shock to the system, the last time I had been in open water it was 20 degrees, it was only about 13.5 degrees in the sea – talk about a sea dip with chilly nips…

Once I had finally composed myself to get in and let out a small scream underwater as a result of the cold by which time Loretta was back having put the chair and crutches back. We swam to the first buoy and bumped into a few other swimmers Loretta knew so had a short natter before heading towards the cliffs. It reminded me a little of the swim I did with Open Water Torque last year. We bumped into a few more swimmers a little later and again had a chat with them.

I couldn’t believe how clear the water was and at one point Loretta stopped me and pointed out a crystal jellyfish and just as we were about to head into a cave she spotted a lion fish which I’ve never seen in the wild before so was quite cool. After that we headed towards the cave and hit a cold spot which actually took my breath away. 

Once I’d calmed myself we swam into a truly stunning cave. The sound the waves made crashing against the rocks were incredible, it was almost like there was someone playing the timpani somewhere deep inside the cave! After exploring a little we continued along the cliffs to the Lagoon but sadly the tide was in the wrong place for us to be able to swim through it.

We were coming up to an hour in the water so turned and headed back to shore as it was close to feed time. On the way back I got get bit confused because I saw a buoy that hadn’t been there when we swam past that point. Eventually a person popped up in full diving gear and it all made sense.

While Loretta got my feeds I swam round a bit in the bay to stop me getting cold. She threw me the feed and I tried to drink it but it was too hot she pointed out the most obvious thing that I hadn’t thought of – hold it in the water for a bit and it’d cool it down. Once I’d done that I drank the feed and threw it back to shore. 

We then swam out of the bay the opposite way towards the Duporth Bay and over towards Charlestown. It was on this bit of the swim I saw hundreds of little fish and even a starfish. It was such a beautiful swim, after swimming to the next bay we all of a sudden hit a freezing cold spot that was so cold both myself and Loretta stopped in shock! We were both starting to feel a bit cold so decided to swim back to the opposite side of the bay to a boat we had swum to earlier and then headed for shore.

When I got to shore Loretta went and got the camping chair and my crutches and also a tub of peaches. She had advised me to try the peaches as they would be good for during my swim, partly as the syrup stuff they come in is basically all fructose but also because that syrup then coats your mouth and tongue, which, gives you a little relief from the salt water which can make your mouth sore and your tongue swell up.I got out and sat down and made myself at least try them. They weren’t delicious but I could stomach them and I admit, they did what she said they would. I agreed to try them again but on a longer swim as part of one of my feeds.

Once up the beach we got changed and went to the cafe for an amazing hot chocolate and possibly the yummiest baguette I’ve had before we headed home. 

I was trying desperately hard not to fall asleep in the car on the way back so when we got to the house I had an hours sleep before dinner where I got even more information and advice given to me! We sorted the plan for the following day, which was all going to be about feeding, trying different flavours and different solids too. Also so I could have practice feeding from a boat (bottle on a bit of string) like I will have in the channel!I packed my stuff for another exciting day ahead and went to bed where I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow! 

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