Captain Nick versus the Loch Ness Monster!
How better the to end the year than with more one final crazy thing? Today I battled the Loch Ness Monster! A couple of weeks ago before I left for Scotland I was joking with my fellow Training Captains (Ann & Christy) that we should have an open water swim in Scotland and that Loch Ness would be the best place for it. Unfortunately when I get an idea like that stuck in my a head I like to follow through on it.
This took careful preperation, firstly I needed to increase my body fat to keep myself from freezing in Loch. I was up to the task and with a careful regiment involving eating Mince Pies, I was ready. Next I needed to pick the right day from a weather point of view with the help of the BBC's weather forecast the date of December 30th was chosen. Now it was by no means a warm day, the sun was out but the temperatures varied between -1C and 3C (33F to 37F), luckily water temperature was around 5C (41F) so no worries about overheating in my wet suit :-)
After a long drive up to Loch Ness, I was ready to start my swim just after 1pm in the warmth of the afternoon Sun. The area where started the swim was particularly rocky which made for a careful and lengthy entrance into the water. My feet, hands and face were numb as soon as they hit the water. The visibility in the water after leaving the shore was almost non-existent, my hands disappeared from my sight in less two feet down the water. Below me was an abyss, over 1000 feet deep, in which a monster waits and waits, but for what? Prey or a photo opportunity perhaps? While I was swimming a number of tourists begun to watch, perhaps to see if Nessy would pull me down into the depths of the Loch.
I didn't take long before a chill started in my hands and feet, so cold they felt like they were burning, as I had no support with me out in the water and I didn't want to end the year with hypothermia, I thought it best to head back to the shore. Just as was turning around I felt something brush by my leg, I momentarily stopped as if something were about to happen. All was quiet and still, I started off again realizing what brushed by my leg before was none other than my other leg :-) I made it back safely to shore to warm my feet and hands that were now shaking uncontrollably. I must go back again, maybe on a slightly warmer day, to seek out Nessy.