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Friday, 7 November 2014

Swimming in some of the Worlds Clearest Waters - Silfra, Iceland!

Me swimming in Iceland with Basking Shark Scotland at Silfra, over 100m visibility, one of the best places i have ever swam!!!

Thursday, 6 November 2014



Where and how do you start to talk about one of the wonders of the world, a definite tick in the box for all swimmers a trip to Iceland...booked in January this year and eagerly awaited!!! Never having been before i had seen pictures, heard the rumours of its amazing waters and stunning scenery. A group of us, mostly swimmers (some of whom i already knew, some of whom were Facebook friends and others friends in the making) but with several divers as well, booked our places, booked our flights and on the 16th October 2014 we boarded our respective flights and headed out...well almost all of us...Jen Taylor for some reason only known to herself and despite having ALL day to get to the airport missed the flight by about 30 mins...and what a journey she had the following day to get to us...but battle on she did ...and eventually full of cold she arrive chirpy and ready to do battle with the water!!!  

Our plane journey flew by...pun intended....with giggles as Alison Darley and Loraine Macdonald....Loraine, your use of an ipod....priceless...believe me folks you had to have been there but its a giggle that will stay in my mind forever....suffice to use one you have to use the earphones!!!! But our laughter cheered the plane up and the journey flew by and before we knew it we had touched down in Iceland...bracing ourselves for the cold weather we battled to put our down coats back on before alighting the aeroplane. Luggage collected and into duty purchased....well it would be rude not too, we exited the building to be met with marvellous fresh air!. Our hosts had organised transport so luggage and passengers on board we headed to our accommodation, the Loft Hostel in Reykkjavik en-route being treated to a fantastic display of green flashes in the sky from the northern lights, its as if Iceland was pleased to see us. Literally dumping our luggage we boarded the buses again and off more northern light seeing...if we were lucky again.

First stop saw us looking at a beacon of light shooting directly up to the, and more importantly.....why??? Shane Wasik of Basking Shark Scotland ( our trip organiser explained to us that the Icelandic people celebrated the life and death of John Lennon with a beacon that would remain lit for a number of months, i felt privileged to have seen it. Leaving the bright light and in search of darker areas so that our eyes could adjust to the skies around us we headed towards open water swimmers know that that can mean only one some point we would have to get in...yipppppeeee!!!

Cameras at the ready, we stood by the waters edge, those that knew how to use them at night were busy setting them up in readiness to capture the elusive lights. For those less endowed with photographic knowledge we simply enjoyed natures finest sky born display. Greens and the odd hint of blue washed across the sky in front of us, it really does take your breath away when you see them and was definitely a tick in the box for me of 'things to see and do'. Wandering around in the darkness...well yes ok..trying to get close enough to the water to ascertain whether we could swim or not...a quick dip of the hand deemed it 'beyond chilly' we had just left waters of around 12 degrees in the UK, this certainly did not feel 12 degrees! 

Right we have no swim kit on towels ....but after a bit of walking...less than 5 mins to be exact we found HOT are kidding i hear you say..nope, we found a large bubbling stone well what is a girl to do...yep we did we stripped off and hot water skinny dipped whilst watching the norhern that is an absolute treat, Alison Darley and I were soon joined by our amazing friend Roger Taylor is loves water as much as we do. And so the three of us languished in the warmth of the water, our breath showing with every exhalation, above us the northern light danced their merry dance to a tune that only they were aware of. 

To say it was a  moment in my life that i will treasure forever, never did i think that i would get the opportunity to do this...and yet there i was living the dream. As we sat as we wallowed in the warm of the water...the only thing that could have made it more perfect would have been if it had been snowing!

All too soon the rest had regrouped and came looking for us, Shane's rather astonished tone when he found us and told us we were returning to the accommodation said it all....well we are open water swimmers after all....we were to surprise him a few more times during the trip....but with our swim  kit on this time!!!...More adventures to come from our Fire and Water trip...some of the clearest waters i have ever swam in....but for now it was time for bed and sleep we did, warm water skinny dip, a glass of red, the northern lights...Iceland certainly does hold true to its magical state!!!

Pictures from myself,  Roger Taylor and Christine Menzies

ITV Ident 2013 - Lake Swimmers

More footage used by ITV in the yellow hat on the right! :0

ITV Winter 2013 Ident: Swimmers

Made in Loch Lomond in 2013, ITV are using the footage again.....i  am the woman in the yellow hat....:)

Friday, 24 October 2014



Just a quick picture to tempt you ....from a recent trip to Iceland swimming. Picture by Shane Wasik of Basking Shark Scotland.....writing the blog as we speak......!!!!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014



Extremely special friends Jonty and Penny, the former of International Ice mile fame being the worlds only disabled ice mile swimmer, have a very special addition to their family - Norfolk terrier Roscoe.

Roscoe when he first appeared was a tiny bundle of cuddly fun. Fluffy and simply the sweetest of natures....the perfect pooch, definitely winner the hearts of everyone he comes into contact with.

Roscoe is a regular at Ellerton Lake in North Yorkshire where he has been known to take a dip or  two under the watchful eye of 'mum' Penny from the jetty, from a quick acclimatisation dip to completing his 10m badge (as issued by us!!!) he seems to be taking to his aquatic adventures as much as his 'dad does.

As this amazing little pup has grown in both age and maturity he has become quite a character and holds close to my heart, his greetings are amazing and his love of life is brilliant, he is fearless (nesting swans earn nothing more than a cursory glance before being barked at as close as we dared let him get...there was a wire fence in-between but the male swan was making the type of no- nonsense noises that scare a female let alone a pup!!!) and as cheeky as can be.....just ask him mum ....he appears to love her slippers!!!!

The little man also has his share of famous admirers - Cassie Patten, Bronze medal winner at the Beijing Olympics amongst a host of other successful medals to add to her wealth of experience and success, whom not only stunning in the flesh ( as they say) but is as gorgeous on the inside as she looks on the outside. Taking an instant liking to little Roscoe she carefully clasped him to her, sat down and wrapped in my Dryrobe, proceeded to cuddle Roscoe into a deep and comfortable sleep, where he stayed while dad Jonty and I swam, got changed and then joined in the chat, what an utter privilege to spend time in her company.....fingers crossed one day i will get to attend her swim clinic too!!!

 Not that the wonderpup confines himself to merely staying in one place.....he was recently on the Isle of Bute to meet some of the most incredible swimmers, for example Ram Barkai founder of the International Ice Swimming Association, Mike Read - king of the channel, a host of international attendees from countries such as Russia and the wonderful Shelley Taylor Smith who had travelled from Australia.....he lapped up the attention but ever the open water pup he was looking out for water

 Need to be near water satisfied it was time for mum Pen and I to take him for a longer walk and the perfect setting of the Mount Stuart Castle (  grounds seemed perfect, and they proved to be every bit the young pup dream ( who knew pups could wee so much!!!).

For a pooch with such tiny legs he certainly put in the mileage that day!!!

And after all that aquatic excitement, walking and adoration, what is left to do.....that's right, as dad says.....recharge the 'fun batteries'!!!!

Many more adventures from the open water pup to come i am sure, find him  on facebook so see  more pictures and hear of his fun and adventures!!!!!

Monday, 13 October 2014



11th April.....every year!

For most if not all of you that read my blog you have a love of the aquatic lifestyle and all that can be associated with it, its only seemed fair that we set up a day where all of us can come together globally and celebrate our love of the water. 

And so after a bit of discussion it was decided that i would create and International Day of Swimming, its open to one and all, no barriers of age, gender or ability, you can swim for as little or as long as you want to, on minute or one day, it does not matter as long as you enjoy it. Set on the day that swimming was introduced to the Olympics in 1896, it seemed fitting to show that we were able to enjoy water as much now as people did then, and look at how much swimming has changed over the years. 

If the date falls on a week day, feel free to do your swim on the weekend before or after and do take pictures, we love to see them. Here are a selection from this years swims from around the globe. 

So if you have a love of swimming and all things aquatic and feel like celebrating set up a swim in your local swim spot, invite as many as you can and enjoy....oh and make sure you get some pics, as you can see from this years New Zealand swimmers they really loved it... lets take the aquatic joy global....and where can you post your happy swim pics -