Welcome to Waterblogged

Welcome to our Blog. The majority of the content is about our outdoor swimming activities; with other comments, thoughts and pictures along the way. See our website http://community.lincolnshire.gov.uk/blueskyswimming/

and our videos on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Nicola8259


Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Stop Press - Web Site Details .... UPDATE

Just to say that our web site URL is:


The old web site is showing on some of the links - eg RALSA

There are separate pages under Forthcoming Events for the Big Jump and the Great North Sea Plunge.

Joining details for our Big Jump on 11 July http://community.lincolnshire.gov.uk/blueskyswimming/section.asp?docId=88740

Registration form for the Great North Sea Plunge on 18th September http://community.lincolnshire.gov.uk/blueskyswimming/section.asp?docId=88723

Thank you.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

THE BIG JUMP - 3pm July 11th 2010

At a secret (for now) location deep in the heart of Lincolnshire, Blue Sky Swimming will be hosting the first UK event to register for this European Wide Event...

If you fancy coming along to join in the fun, take a look at the geography, make sure you're not prone to agoraphobia and send us a message to let us know you're on your way...
...or join in the chats on http://www.swimclub.co.uk
LOTS MORE TO COME!!! Only now I have to break free from the shackles of my desk and run off for an evening swim somewhere...

Monday, 28 June 2010

River Swimming Addiction

What a beautiful picture of Nicola captured post swim and post heroic dog rescue (see blog below - I was completely ineffective sculling around in the water)
GORGEOUS clear skies stretching for miles across the fens but beware of the web footed natives when you venture this far into deepest Lincolnshire, we can have a reputation for being suspicious of "newcomers"

A Watery Weekend

Second swim in the Witham on Saturday evening - brave getting braver this time. This time we dived in (well I sort of plunged to start with) off the Southrey side and swam up river and back down several times. We were joined by Olive the black labrador and Nic had to recall her lapsed lifesaving skills to get the dog out and back on the pontoon - note: labradors are heavy and slippery when wet ... I have some nice bruises to show for it.

Sunday and Nic is at the beach 'toute seule' for the day. Made the best of my time with a stroll from Sutton on Sea up to Mabo to speak to the RNLI guys about the boat launch on 18th September's Great North Sea Plunge. I hadn't realised that there had been a big 'to do' about the team losing their land rover vehicle (well not losing literally, but being replaced by a tractor). And Bill the lifeboat manager had resigned after 41 years of service, so sparking a campaign on Facebook. I read all this on the front page of the 'Leader' - And I thought Sandra and I were 'The Story' in Mabo!

Good news: our friend Sara Payne at the East Coast Target newspaper has done us proud again with an update article about our summer solstice swim. I hadn't realised just how much I had rabbited on last time she 'phoned me. Mind you I think I could get some more copy mileage out of the 'Nicola nearly drowned in the North Sea' as a child; especially if I take the 'deprived fenland upbringing' angle - parents' distracted, not noticing the 'middle one' was missing etc etc. I can feel a Misery Memoire in the making.

I think I now win the 'tackiest / strangest' postcard competition with Sandra : found these 3 in a newsagents in Sutton on Sea. Cleary golliwogs are still legal tender on the Lincolnshire coast. An alarming sort of animal cruelty theme running here too.... Still they were only 25p each.

HEADS UP: WATCH OUT FOR THE BIG JUMP - Our River Swim as part of the European River Swimming Festival - on 11th July at Southrey - http://www.rivernet.org/bigjump/ We will be the first in Lincolnshire to do it! We like being first!

Also, we are hoping to join up with the RNLI challenge of Swim a Mile at our Great North Sea Plunge on 18th September.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Topsy Turvy Week...

What a long week!

Started off brilliantly (if a little disorganised!) with night time summer solstice sea swim on Monday...

Dull at desk, quickie evening dip and bask in the sun at Bourne, tired on Tuesday...

World Cup Wednesday, say no more...

Thrills on Thursday, escape from work for swim in the sun and summer breeze...

Fuggled Friday, daydreaming about getting in the water this weekend....

Tuesday, 22 June 2010


We ended up at Huttoft for the midsummer swim in a nice piece of symmetry as this was the spot of our 2010 New Years Day swim - how we love a bit of serendipidity!
In yet another perfectly rehearsed piece of planning, I find myself travelling NW to Sutton on Sea whilst Nicola motors along SE to Gibraltar Point - we probably crossed paths at Partney!

Disappointing start to the evening saw us dithering over our commitment to drive out to the North Sea for a cold, dark dip after both enduring long difficult days at work...
...as usual, it fell to Nic to be motivational and off we set into the East (albeit different locations!)

So, here's the lovely scene at Huttoft at 9pm just before we finally got around to donning cozzies and starting the long walk down to the sea -cleverly, I'd managed to cock up the tide prediction as well!

It took a VERY long walk out through pretty strong breakers and ebbing tide drag to get enough depth for shoulders to get under water and knees off the ground... It was a bit spooky/exciting according to attitude to be so far out with no reassuring presence on shore to call the emergency services should we start to drift out into the North Sea! We're definitely enjoying the benefits of cold water acclimatisation though and bobbed around in the breakers for a good 15 minutes before the customary struggle with lifeless fingers, salty skin and inappropriate outfits to get back dressed.

After all this serious training we felt a little champagne was in order to celebrate the solstice, shame we're such girls that neither of us felt able to open the bottle! Thanks to the lovely Jason who had been hoping for a quiet evening watching the waves for popping the cork straight into the dunes. We were able to cater for the entire beach and ended up sitting in Steve & Chrissie's cosy camper van sharing the Bollinger - GREAT conclusion to the longest day of the year.

Now, where next...?

Down Let the Sun Go Down on Me .....

Solstice Swim - late setting off, sun disappearing behind the horizon - zipping along the roads in Bertie to get to the beach before dark. Communication failures between me and Sandra meant we arrived at Huttoft (Nic getting there via Skegness) in the dusk. However, we were not going to cop out at this point ... tide on the turn (Sandra read the time table incorrectly - rising tide, not!) and there were some big waves which crashed over me several times bringing back all that childhood fear of drowning again - yes on Huttoft beach once more where - if it wasn't for the attentiveness of parents - I'd have been in the mud flats (mmmm I'm still making the most of the guilty consciences of M+D).

I'll leave it to Sandra to blog about the new friends we met - Jason the champagne cork popper and Steve and Chrissie in their luxury motorhome.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Summer Solstice

It's an auspicious start to the Summer Solstice here in deepest Leicestershire; crystal clear skies and soaring temperatures as the sun rises on the longest day of the year.
Champagne is chilling in the fridge, jeans are drying off on the car dashboard in the sun (as usual I've prepared with military precision!)...can't wait for this evening's twilight sea swim. tee hee!!!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Probably not quite the birthday treat he had been hoping for, but Dad got the chance to play lifeguard at our first unplanned Lincolnshire river swim. Here's Felix breaking all the rules sitting in the front with Grandad as we bounced along the fen track to Tan Vats - "the end of the line, boy!" Soundtrack in the car added to the ambience - Box Car Willie was giving it some welly!
This is what a 69 year old (looking good!) looks like from the perspective of his 6 year old grandson!

Now, where did those silly sisters go.....
Perhaps it was the pike/eel/shark/killer swan that the boys kept shouting were about to get us!

Ooh! The sweeping vistas, the endless skies, the bumpy roads! We really ARE fen girls!!

First River Swim in Lincolnshire!

Wow ... we did it! We swam in the River Witham - secret squirrel location - with Dad on lifeguard duty. Nic in first as usual - but tentative and keeping within reach of the rope and lifebuoy. Sandra 'tombstoned' in - it must be 20 feet deep - and then straight out to the middle. Once I got my confidence I felt okay and it was just amazing to feel the cold, green water - managed to keep out of the way of the pike.

Sandra's posting will follow with news of her sneaky reservoir swim too - not to be outdone by me spending Sunday afternoon sunning myself at Peterborough lido - 20 degrees in the clear water - beautiful!

Here we are getting in - Dad's video 'tek-neek' no better than Nic's.

Thursday, 10 June 2010


Had a long boring day at work, really dragging....swim kit in the car is beckoning me out for an uplifting quickie dip at Bourne. Just called to check they're open and it's looking seriously dodgy for me to drive 40 miles round trip on the off chance that the 3 swimmers currently in the pool are going to stay long enough for the lifeguard to hang around for little old me to turn up for the last 1/2 hour - BOO HOO!!!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

New Challenge - Swim Across London

River Skirth at Billinghay ... swimming spot potential?

Hello! Enjoyed a swim at Bourne last night with Sandra - big raindrops falling on our heads and around us - lovely! I'd had a headache since midday and my drive down to Rutland for a meeting - after diving in the cool water I immediately felt refreshed. Arrived earlier than Sandra so sneaked in a few lengths on my own - heard her before I saw her! We really wanted to get on the inflatable for the under 14's fun night.

Okay - here's advance news of our August Challenge - Swim Across London. Mais Oui! And we will have Sylvie the French Femme to join us so we are going global. I've contacted a choice few wild women who I think will be up for this. Let us know if you want to join in - eithfor all, some or one of the swims - towel holders and tea fetchers also welcome, oh and photo takers too. Wednesday 4th August is the date and it will be an early start and late finish. We'll definitely do Tooting Bec and Hampstead Ponds and we should do Uxbridge since it's just been renovated back to its original glory. Watch this space for the itineray.

Driving home last night I went past our native village of Billinghay in the fens - mist was rising off the fields and I stopped to have a look at the River Skirth for swimming potential - water level high and mud level high too! Ah memories of sitting on the river bank watching the coaches going to the coast ..... wow what entertainment we had ... good job we had the swimming pool - and it's still going strong. Brilliant. http://www.billinghaypool.blogspot.com/ But of course there were the pubs too - Coach and Horses hasn't changed much. Last time I was in there I was asked to leave for 'laughing' (or taking the p*** I imagine).

Monday, 7 June 2010


Gibraltar Point with the boys and friends Pete & Sue - lovely, lovely, lovely!

Everyone got into the water, except the grown up boys who stayed at base camp to "look after the picnic"!

Tide was falling fast during the afternoon so Sue and I ended up on a long hike out across the sands (and mud!) for the last swim of the day. Even then, and despite wading out for miles, I still ended up beaching my knees trying to swim in the shallow water.

We were joined by a fellow swimmer who strangely chose to ignore our cheery "hellos" despite being one of only 3 people in the Lincolnshire North Sea at that point and swimming within feet of us - tres disappointing! Nicola won't be surprised to hear that we think she was the same solo swimmer we observed back in April who upset our bravado by getting into the water before us!!

Sunday by comparison was inland delights - trip to see the Bowland Oak, the largest/oldest specimen in Europe/UK??? Some confusion over claims to glory, but it is a glorious tree ...


Thanks to the really friendly farming family who look after this remarkable tree at the top of their veg garden and let you visit in return for a modest donation to the Air Ambulance.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Mid Week Blues....

... I was suffering badly from the blues yesterday so decided to conduct a thorough scientific experiment into the uplifting effects of outdoor swimming.

I think the results are clear :



OK, so I had to drive 150 miles round trip, but never let it be said that I'm not prepared to suffer in the name of cold water swimming!

Sea at Mabo was a bit murky to be honest, still rinsing out the cozzie, but lovely waves to roll around in and wave back to the lifeguards on shore - no idea what they were saying through the loadhailers?!!

Will have to check out the left bank scene one day, never knew Mabo was so arty...

Nicky looking happy too, frolicking on the silver sands....

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

3 Lidos, 3 Miles, 2 Women, 1 River ...

...OK, so it doesn't quite have the neat ring that the anally retentive waterblogged sisters were hoping for...but, WHAT A FANTASTIC DAY!!!!!

Clear skies, fresh breeze, crystal clear light quality to set off the sparkling blue water in these 3 great pools:

True to character we had the day planned out to the smallest detail with military precision but still showed enough flexibility to be able to incorporate a big pre swim brekkie at Little Chef and an impromptu diversion to swim in the Cam for an hour or two.

This was my first river swim and something I haven't yet recovered from (in an entirely GOOD way) Thanks again to the lovely Judith who we met at Jesus Green and immediately bonded with - she was the only other swimmer without a wetsuit and with a personality!

We dived in (bellyflop for me, overly conscious of the unknown depth and wanting to avoid getting ditched in silty bottom!) and swam upriver from Newnham to Dead Mans Bend. We coasted back down to the lawns for mugs of tea with our combined picnics - a bit of a weird mix of bread and cheese, cherries and strawberries, beetroot and pork pie! This was one of my best days of 2010, an experience which I will never forget and something I'm craving to do again really really soon..

Ok, so we got to Peterborough 3 hours later than planned, but hey ho, we still pulled in the full 3 miles. I have to give credit entirely to Nicola for this - I was deep into my river reverie and just couldn't be arsed to do my share of lengths at Peterborough, choosing instead to sit like a lizard soaking up the sun to bring my body temperature back up (yeah yeah, I know, thin excuse...)

...my performance at Bourne was even more lacklustre and had to steal 6 lengths of the one local lad who was still in the pool by the time we arrived in lowering skies after 6pm!

Nic just kept going....brilliant stamina, where does she get her energy from?!!!

Now I've just got to get the silt and chlorine out of my cozzie before next dip - when will it be?

Diving in at Billinghay - 28th May

After our photoshoot with David from the Sleaford Standard! Our technique (Tek neek) is not as good as it was 30 years ago .... poor leg action here - especially from Nic - weak splash effect and neither of us dared to 'run up' in case we slipped. Ahh...

Diving in at Jesus Green - 30th May

Wow - What a perfect day we had for our 3 Lidos challenge. The sun shone on us all day - a cool wind and a bit choppy at Peterborough but a glorious, fantastic day. This is just a brief post to capture our first lido on Sunday 30 May - Jesus Green, Cambridge. Beautiful pool - 90 metres long and unheated - glorious. Sandra will be here with a more detailed - and bragging post ... Check out the slide show above for pictures and Nic's You Tube channel - link above -for all the video clips.

And we went on to greater things with our new-found friend Judith who invited us as her guests to Newnham Bathing Club on the Cam where we swam in the Cam river - glorious -if a little fresh at 13 degrees.

More feedback on our day soon - we did all 3 lidos and a mile in each - despite being a woman down.

Thank you! x