Highland Open Water Swims - More Info

We have firm dates, rough distances and very approximate start times for three charity open water swims I'm helping to organise this year.

I've been asked a few questions - all of which I promptly pass on to boss-organiser Jeff.

He is on Facebook at @Highlandopenwaterswim and who can be reached through the Highland Open Water Swim website.

Still, I thought I'd put down a few thoughts about how I see these swims in the hope it might answer a few more obvious questions.  If anything on here conflicts with the official website - I'm wrong and it's correct!

Firstly, these are not your normal organised events - the sort of thing run by Dirty Events or No Fuss Events.  These are about like-minded cold-water swimmers getting together to tackle a challenging swim.  Each individual is responsible for their own safety, just as when you head down to the loch to swim with your friends.

The main safety aspect is that we will be swimming as a group, and we will all be using bright tow-floats.  Tow floats are compulsory.  As organisers, we will try to provide additional safety cover in the form of a boat and some kayakers but no one should assume these will be available.

This is an entirely voluntary thing.  If some of the support kayakers abruptly decide they don't fancy going to the start (as happened last year) then they won't be there.  Nevertheless, we will do our utmost to provide a boat and kayak cover at each swim.

Entry is free.  We won't charge you because we guarantee nothing in return and you swim at your own risk.  However, in return for organising the get-together, for doing our utmost to keep you safe, and for laying a few comforts like soup at the finish, we hope you will donate to the charity Children With Cancer through Virgin Money Giving.  Right after you register.  There is no minimum donation - £30 is a lot to some people and not a lot to others.  Your call.

Head to the Highland Open Water Swim website now to register and donate.  

So here are a few more details as they are at the moment, but please be aware, these will probably change.  Every swim was tweaked last year in response to availability of safety cover and tidal and weather conditions.

Corran Narrows 440m  19th March 
Those coming from Ardnamurchan will take the Corran Ferry as foot passengers to the Nether Lochaber side and we'll swim from there across to Ardgour.  First ferry is 08:30.  Aim to start 9:00-9:30 to catch slack water at the start of the outgoing stream, taking swimmers away from the ferry route.  Precise timings nearer the day.

Loch Sunart 1.4km  22nd April
Assemble at Resipole campsite, take a RIB across the loch to a designated point, then swim back to the campsite.  Still working on times but I expect to be in the water about 10:30.

Sound of Mull  2.2km 6th May
Assemble Lochaline.  Last year we took the CalMac ferry to Fishnish then swam back.  We swam to the Morvern shore, then took a RIB back to Lochaline because it would be too difficult to swim against the tidal stream at the loch entrance.  This might be an early start because the best time to be in the water looks like being 09:30, so again we're still working on the timings.

Me swimming Sound of Mull in diver's hood!

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