Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Robson Green: Wild Swim

'Housewife's favourite' Robson Green features in a new program called 'Robson Green's Wild Swimming Adventure'.

I don't really watch much TV and can't say I would feature in Robson's natural demographic, but this program, the first episode of two which was shown this evening, actually proved quite interesting:
  • Actor Robson Green undertakes an aquatic journey through the wild waters of Britain in this new two part documentary series for ITV1. From a decidedly shaky start in the Tyne to his ultimate goal to swim to Holy Island off the coast of his native North East, the programme charts Robson’s adventures as he swims his way through lidos, tidal pools, lakes, rivers and seas.
Taking its lead from The Outdoor Swimming Association founder Kate Rew's book, Wild Swim, Green goes for a dunk in various locations in an around the UK.

Of particular note are his swims around Burgh Island in Devon - which I have always wanted to do ever since visiting the place back in 1996 (I didn't have my cold water 'hustle' on back then) and Llynn LLydaw, in the Snowdonia National Park (my spiritual home). Whilst next weeks' episode features a swim in the mighty Corryvreckan. A feature that I have sailed passed - and it scared the Jesus out of me. I never thought you could swim it - but now I know better, my next visit to Scotland will be with real purpose!

Until then I have my annual St. Stephen's Day/Boxing Day dip in the Irish Sea to look forwards to. I initially prepared for this by finishing my morning shower with two minutes or so under the cold tap. That was about three years ago and is something I have done just about this every day since and continue to do so.

I will try to post up a photo this year!


Methuselah said...

As a fellow lover of wild swimming I also tuned into this, then was unfortunately distracted by sundry domestic matters, none of which really deserved the attention they got.

I do remember Robson Green talking about the hypothermic kick you get. You hear lots of cautionary notes sounded by people about the dangers of swimming in cold water. When I swam across Buttermere lake earlier in the year, some people thought I was mad.

What's your take on this?

Presumably you don't don a wetsuit and cap when you take your Boxing Day dip!

Asclepius said...

Wetsuits? Damn those infernal contraptions.

My first Boxing Day Dip (BDD) was with some friends. We all rocked up at Balbriggan beach in a force nine gale. There were plenty of locals taking a 'constitutional' which was nice to see.

We got changed and then it dawned on me that my colleagues had procured 5mm bodygloves - and I was in my short-shorts, and pretty much naked as the day I was born.

Thus a benchmark was set and I refuse all clothing bar some thin swimming shorts (not even lined).

This year sees the promise of a speedboat and some deep sea dipping. If this comes off then I will adorn a life vest for safety reasons as we will be out in Dublin bay - but no more.

"Yes!" People think I am mad, but my cold shower training has progressed to a high degree of comfort in cold (after the initial shock). Adaption is fast and I am actually tempted to hit Llyn Llyddaw in summer. Will you be free for day then? ;)

Methuselah said...

Sounds good - how about we run up & down Snowdon then across the lake...?

Asclepius said...

How about we WALK up Snowdon, have a paleo feast (wheather permitting), saunter down, swim the lake and then do a few beach sprints and some 'Atlas Stone' type stuff?

(If however YOU want to run up Snowdon....) ;)

Methuselah said...

How about this: we walk up Snowdon, eat the feast, then run down (just let gravity take us) then swim, then sprints, then rocks...

Asclepius said...

If we do it all in Vibrams then it is a deal! (Although I am still not sure if I would manage to run up OR down all the way)

Maybe worth extending an invitation to Mr Conditioning Research as he is keen on the hills.

Methuselah said...

Done. Definately a job for the Treks. I'll mention it to my fell-running compadre as well. He's been up and down Snowdon more than a few times but I bet he's never been in the lake...

Lightning said...

Hello Asclepius
Actually Methuselah , as children , my cousins and I used to get dropped off at pen-y-pass . Then leg it up and down Snowdon . If it was a warm day we did tend to have a dip in one of the two lakes either on the way up or on the way down .
I would be up for revisiting my youth . I'm not wearing those silly "monkey feet" things though . Hopefully by then Inov8 will have bought their minimal shoes out so I can do it in style ;-)

Lightning said...

Oh , and , can I bring my own food ;)

Chris said...

Sounds great - it is a few years since I was up Snowdon. When are you planning?

I was up in the Trossachs today - glorious once you got above the mist. Some photos here.

Asclepius said...

Chris - great shots.

Lightening - you'd be more than welcome (and can bring whatever food/footwear you like) ;)

I will sort something out. Maybe late May as the lakes will be warmer then (I hope). It'd be nice to do a lap/width!

Pencil it in and we can firm up the details nearer the time. We would do well to miss the bank holiday weekends.

I notice that you are all seasoned walkers and fell runners. Looks like I will be last up. I might have to bring my gran (or put rocks in your rucksacks)!

If any other folk want to join us then contact me via the blog.

Methuselah said...

Cool, looks like we're on.

Methuselah said...

Shall we provisionally say wekend of 22nd May?

Asclepius said...

22nd May - pencilled in!