Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Got up this morning at 5am ish and could hear the wind howling outside; clearly it was going to be a rough sea this morning.
Unfortunately it was a very low tide which meant that even though the sea was rough and there was wave after wave, it was not overly swimmable. It seemed no matter how hard you swam out you were held back by the waves and you could always put your feet down. At one point I was swimming away trying to make headway whilst Paul Smith was casually strolling next to me and chatting. I thought, bugger this, so I put my feet down and walked with him; nice to chat actually, although slightly surreal to be casually chatting whilst being bashed by waves. A good morning for chatting, but not so good for swimming. That aside, the sky was once again showing of with amazing colours.
Monday, 28 November 2011
A dark and wet start to today, although hardly any wind at all. Not many at the arch this morning, just below the normal number. The tide was going out, which meant a slight pull to the west, but only slight. Air temp around 8 degrees and sea temp 9.5 degrees. A low tide which meant a short walk out, which in cold seas is quite painful (you have to try it to understand it).
Bob and I swam around the pier and headed straight back in, being over taken along the way at great speed by Lindy and Dr Mark; both with the speed of a bullet (I am so jealous!).
Total swim around 25 minutes. Very good to still be swimming around the pier at the end of November; last year we stopped 3 days ago amongst a heavy snowfall! At this rate we’ll be swimming around the pier into December; I doubt many ever get to say that.
Another amazing sunrise today; very inspiring to see. You find yourself standing waste us in freezing sea water just watching the sun come up and not realising your starting to ice over; very calming indeed.
Unusually I decided a Saturday morning swim would be good; especially as yesterday wasn’t as full as I’d have liked. So I convinced Big Bob to join me and we met at the arch at 7.30am and braved the storm! Actually it was one of those seas where it was rough but enjoyable. There was a very strong tide pulling to the east (marina) and a lot of very high swells. We went in middle of our beach and it took about quarter of an hour to just get from middle of our beach to the groin; usually this is about a 1 minute swim. We kept heading west against the tide until we got passed the Thistle Hotel (about 25 minutes in total) and then we turned around and headed back our beach; the swim back taking about 2-3 minutes only! A massive tide jus shooting us back.
The swells were big which gave it that feeling of one second being higher than the other and the next being lower, a real roller coaster ride. Scary at times, dangerous at times I’m sure, but a great invigorating swim all the same.
Total swim time 32 minutes by the time we left the sea; air temp around 8 degrees and sea temp 9.4 degrees.
Afterwards we headed to the Red Roaster for a glorious cappuccino and met with 5 other of our morning swimmers who had already been and gone before we even got in.
Brighton is certainly full of crazies!
Friday, 25 November 2011
A wavy day at sea today; white horses galore. We went in on the safer beach and Bog Bob, David, Sean and I swam out just passed the café before heading back. The waves were breaking really high and fast way out passed us and raising us high into the air and dumping us back again. Also a strong tide to the east made staying near the pier impossible.
A fund swim and certainly a challenge, but unfortunately a short one and not as satisfying as one would hope sometimes!
Gym after work so will work up some sweat and some achs there instead.
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Palace Pier 24/11/11 from the sea 7.05am
I took my camera along this morning to capture the sun rise we witnessed yesterday, but the sun stubbornly refused to rise. Of course that’s not true otherwise we’d be living in
Spitsbergen, however the mist/fog wasn’t there for atmosphere and the sun rise was not really noticeable.
I did however drop my camera near the shore on the way back and it took a wonderful photo itself of the stones on the sea floor whilst a wave was turning around them. One of those wonderful photos you couldn’t take if you tried to.
The sea this morning was very bumpy, unlike the last few days and the temperature was 9.8 once again. The bumpiness made it a harder swim and annoyingly I swallowed water three times in a row and was almost sick; sometimes the waves are just too random for you to understand and you end up taking water on board – not nice. Big Bob and I did the usual swim we’ve been doing, but had to work harder due to the conditions. Total swim 24 minutes.
Big Bob under pier (7.15am 24/11/11 9.8 degrees)
Last night I did 45 minutes in my gym at home (running, swim machine, core and weights) and I did feel it in the swim today. No more exercise planned for today, but am hoping to do a pier swim tomorrow if the sea is flat and then a gym after work.
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
I so should have had my camera with me at the beach this morning.
Coming back from our swim, literally standing in the sea by the shore with the sea up to my chest, we watched the Sun rising in the east with the pier between us and it. It was so quick to watch as the sun started its climb seemingly from beneath the ocean until it was a full round ball of light against the backdrop of the crisscross of the piers legs. It really was an incredible site to see first thing in the morning.
The swim itself was the same as yesterday; Big Bob and I heading through the pier just after the silver ball and then coming back through by the café and straight over to the groin the other end of our beach and then back again to the middle to collect our crocs. Damien, Big James and Paul F all went around the pier, whilst David and Shoichi did a similar swim to Bob and I. In fact coming back around the pier, swimming whilst day dreaming, I swam right into David! Considering he is 70 something and finds even walking difficult, he is a damn good swimmer and extremely tough. He just shrugged off the collision, made a joke of it and carried on; an amazing chap by all accounts.
Sea temperature down again to 9.8 degrees, air temperature down to 6 degrees (although climbing back up to 15 by the end of the day apparently), fog covering most of the pier and a very weak tide to the east. Cold for sure, however the sun rise was certainly enough to warm up your spirits.
I will try to remember to take my camera tomorrow and hope for a similar sighting.
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Had a rough night last night with my crones. I was OK all day at work, then after work I used the gym at home for an hour and again was fine. I possibly worked too hard as when I was finished I was sweating like a sweaty thing and my stomach muscles were feeling very contracted. About two hours later the pains started and then they continued until the morning. It naturally deprives you of sleep and leaves you feeling very sore, but worst than that is the lack of energy; it really does deplete you.
As such I didn’t want to do an around the pier swim this morning as the fear factor for me is getting half a mile out to sea and then the pain starting again and taking away what little energy I’ve got; especially in a cold swim which depletes you anyway. Luckily my swimming partner Big Bob was kind enough to stick with me at my suggestion we don’t go around. We headed out (in a very calm, flat and tideless sea) to just past the silver ball, then through to the other side, then back down the pier and through again to our side (pretty much the same route as yesterday). It meant we were only about a quarter mile out and very quickly were heading back to shore. We got back in about 16 minutes, which was bit too quick, so we took another 10 minutes to swim (right at the shore) to the donut groin and back; total time about 25 minutes and sea temperature up again to 10 degrees exactly. Sea swimming, especially in cold water, does wonders for the crones. Even though it can’t give me the energy it does take away the pains; which itself is a wonderful thing.
After work today I’ve got an hour in the gym with my trainer. I’ll still do that, but if it starts to cause any pain I’ll have to give my apologies and end it early. Hopefully though by the end of the day all will be fine and I’ll be back to strength (as long as I manage to get something to eat before then of course).Other news is that Richard Bates (my solicitor) completed his Death Valley Cycle (cycling through the deserts in
Monday, 21 November 2011
Two very different evenings; one giving a good nights sleep and one a good nights pacing!
Sharon and I spent the night in
; seeing a show and staying overnight. We checked into the London Hilton Park Lane and immediately were told we had been upgraded from a standard room to the Executive floor; how kind we thought. A quick shower and change and we were off into to see the show (Ghost – well worth a see). Afterwards it was to a bar for cocktails and some snacks. On returning to our room at the Hilton we found neither of the keys worked. So at half past midnight I was back at reception asking for new keys. The receptionist presented me with new keys for a different room; explaining that they had to give our room to another guest and had moved us! I was a tad confused and a little annoyed; until she explained they had moved all our stuff to the Presidential Suit on the very top floor. To say I was surprised was an understatement; the room is the biggest in the Hotel and can go for over £5,000 a night!! She had no idea why this had been done, but there you have it. So the 1st Lady and I found ourselves in the largest suit the Hotel has. Massive bedroom (you could land a small plane in it), 3 lounges, two bathrooms, a steam room shower, a dinning room with table for 12, a balcony, views over the whole of London and a Butler call button. One of the most random things to have happened to me in many a while. To say we slept well is an understatement. London
Back in our own room (all feeling rather small now!) and I ended up taking Mia back to her bed 5 times before giving up at 4.00am. I also took Jesse back to his room 4 times, eventually giving up at 4.00am. That is 9 bedroom visits between midnight and 4am. The 1st Lady slept on!!
Back to the arch to find it very busy for some reason; nicely busy however. Sea very calm, not much wave action, but a very strong tidal pull to the West. Temperature fallen BELOW 10 degrees, to 9.8. A big drop from last week. Big Bob and I swam to the helter skelter, drifting to mid beach with the tide, then swam back towards the pier, under it to the other side, then down the pier to the café, back through and headed to shore. Total swim 24 minutes, against a strong tide. A good strong swim, but temperature starting to bite now. I hope to be able to still go around the pier until Monday next at the earliest to beat last years 26th Nov swim; in fact 1st December swim around the pier would be something, but we shall see; I might still not be carrying enough fat for that one!
Signed – The President (for a night)
Friday, 18 November 2011
A rough night at home and a rough sea; I genuinely could not say which was the rougher.
A cacophony of coughing from around 11pm until early morning; all three little Starr’s (bless them) coughing all night; Asher and Jesse staying in their own beds until about 5am, but Mia the little minx in our bed from 11pm and despite us taking her back a half dozen times she never gave up and by 2am she was firmly in our bed, coughing loudly right into my ear and spending the next 2 hours pulling the duvet off me and around her until I got so fed up I had to leave the bed and sleep on the floor. A cold, uncomfortable and sleepless night.
The sea was about as unwelcoming as my bedroom was! Big Bob, Damien and Me headed in our own beach whilst Little Bob and his crew headed in the other side. We made it as far out as the silver ball, but the waves were fighting us all the way and turning us over, swishing us around and throwing us into the air like we were badminton shuttles. On getting to the silver ball (about half way along the pier) we decided to head straight back to shore. The ride back (and it was a ride) took a fraction of the time, but it was physically challenging to just stay on top of the water rather than being pulled under and as we got closer to the beach it was a case of holding tight and hoping the waves didn’t pummel you too much. Certainly one wave took us all under and over just to make a point as to who was the boss! Safely back on shore my head felt a little shaken about, but job was done and the day ahead now beckons; surely the day can only get easier now!!
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Another quiet morning at the arch; Little Bob, Big Bob, Damien, Paul and David.
A quick swim for me this morning for two reasons; firstly being tired & achy and second in
today for work so an early train. Las night after work I had an hour in the gym with Ross and he increased ALL my weights as well as adding another set onto each. I then did an hour in the pool on speed; interval swimming and timing myself; all that lark. Adding that in with another night of the twins disturbing us and I woke this morning with every fibre tired and aching. So no way I was going to do a big swim today. Derby
The sea was certainly bumpy today, no wavy, just very bumpy. The air temperature was a lot warmer which in turn raised the sea temperature from 10.2 yesterday to 10.5 today; you really can notice it even though it’s only a small increase. I swam with Big Bob and Paul to the helter skelter and then let them continue around the pier head on their own whilst I headed back; that was plenty today for me as I now I ach even more!
Tomorrow hopefully (if I’m not too tired after my
trip and kids tonight) I’ll do a longer swim. Derby
What a dull blog today; sorry!
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
A quiet morning down the arch;
David, Paul Smith, Little Bob, Bella and me. Big Bob overslept and everyone else; who knows.
So I went solo around the pier in a flat sea, pretty much like yesterdays conditions in fact, although the temperature had dropped a lot since yesterday. It was down to 10.2 degrees today, which is a massive 0.5 degree drop overnight. I could really feel the difference as well; my forehead hurt for a good minute when I got in and my fingers were slightly bent when I came out. At this rate it will be in single digits by next week; then it really starts to hurt.
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Air temperature this morning shouted “wiiiinnnntttter” isacoming. Sea temperature down to from 10.8 to 10.7 degrees and shouted “gonna start hurting you anytime soon”. The joy of sea swimming.
Actually in all seriousness despite the cold it was a nice swim today. Low tide meant a short walk out, which whilst painful does mean that you can put you feet down earlier on the way back; which is a comfort when you are half a mile out to sea and you know that when you get closer to shore the tide will let you stand. The sea was calm all the way out and then was just a little choppy (just a little) on the way back. It was so clear that the whole way around the pier you could see the sea floor and all the crustations crawling around and hanging onto the pier.
I still think it’s great we can swim around the pier mid November; hopefully we can make it into December, that would be amazing.
Monday, 14 November 2011
Sun 11 degrees and dropping! 10.8 degrees to be exact, that is if my watch is exact.
This morning I woke up in Mia’s bed,
woke up in the spare room and the kids woke up in our bed. Now how is that for strict parenting; you can see who’s in control in the Starr house; and it ain’t me that’s for sure!! Sharon
I was at the arch by 7.00am and hit the beach by 7.15am with Big Bob, Damien and Shoichi (Bella, Little Bob and Lindy were there, but all else quiet). The four of us walked in (a low tide this morning) and within about 50 metres we were off and heading around the pier. Damien and Shoichi are quick; probably about 25 metres ahead of us all the way. We met for a quick chat at the head of the pier and watched the starlings doing their morning dance, then heads down and back to shore. Coming back around the stairs and under the pier to our beach Big Bob got stung on the top of the right leg at the back! No way of knowing what it was, but on inspection later it looked like a jelly fish sting. A line of dots with a circle of dots above; he was quite sore by all accounts. In this temperature I was amazed they are still there and with that amount of open water it was millions to one to that it would hit someone; maybe it should be considered “lucky” like when a bird poops on you? Personally that sort of luck I can do without!
The sea is certainly starting to drop in temperature now; just from 11.1 to 10.8 you can tell the difference. It’s still warm for November though in the air; last year on this day the air temp was just 6 degrees, yet it is double that today; in fact yesterday (Sunday) was so warm we took the kids to the seafront and I was just in a tshirt. The sea temp however is almost exactly like last year on this day. I recorded today as 10.8 degrees and yet this very day last year I recorded it as 10.9 degrees. Interesting that it is almost exactly the same. Last year the snow hit at the end of November and the sea temp dropped to under 9 degrees; mmmm I wonder what the next two weeks will bring then??
Friday, 11 November 2011
Writing this at 11am on 11th November 2011; clearly this date does not signify the end of the world; which is a very good thing as I’ve just booked a holiday for February next year.
A quick swim for me this morning as I needed to be at the office for 7.45am; I could have gone earlier to the beach and swum with Damien, Paul & Shoichi at 6.30am, but tiredness got the better of me and I was not there until my usual 7am. I joined Big Bob and Yvo for a swim towards
West Street, but left them two thirds of the way and headed back so I could get to work on time. Temperature in the sea the same 11.1 degrees, but the conditions were odd. The sky was kind of murky and foggy and mauve in colour. The sea looked flat and calm from the top road, and to a great degree it was, but at the same time there was movement in the tide and every 30 seconds or so there would be a few waves from nowhere. I couldn’t really get to grips with what it was doing! Certainly bit by bit it was picking up and I would guess that by this afternoon it will be very choppy out there. Just a bit odd; I was happy to be back in the arch at 7.30am having a shower and getting dressed and catching up with Little Bob after his recent holiday; nice to have Little Bob and Lindy back; they are simply nice folk to see in the morning before the day starts.
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Woke up at 5am and lied there contemplating the swim that was to come. My arms, legs and neck were aching from a very tough gym session with Ross last night and from the beating I got from Mia all through the night as her arms and legs lashed into me as she once again found her way into our room and spent the night spinning around as only sleeping children are able to.
After yesterdays swim I was determined that today I would simply swim around in short circles near the beach and leave the pier swim to those much more hardened swimming professionals that I now consider to be my friends. Of course the best laid plans………
Damien, David and Yvo headed out to go around the pier, leaving Big Bob and I contemplating our swim; Bob certainly wanted to head around the pier, only I was feeling the nerves. So we agreed to head out and just see where we ended up; of course we ended up going all the way out and around again. It was actually so much easier today because even though the temperature as the same as yesterday, the sea itself was calm. Not exactly a mill pond, but the waves that were there were quite friendly and there was a decent tide giving us a helping hand on the way back.
10th November and still swimming around the pier is quite an achievement so I feel happy that I followed Bob out into the ocean.
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Sentiment of the day – “so pleased I’m back”
I said this at 7.50am with utter sincerity as soon as I was able to stand again by the shore.
At the arch by 7am and waited for Big Bob for a 7.15ish start. James, Bob and I headed straight into the sea, diving through some fairly big waves to get away from shore and our into the sea. The air was cold, probably under 10 degrees and it was raining lightly again; the sun not quite breaking through gave it a slightly eerie feel. The water temperature was just 11 degrees exactly, so once again a little lower than the day before. Unlike yesterday however which was completely flat, today was very rocky out there, with waves very constant and high and building by the minute. The swim out was good actually; I felt strong and able and was enjoying the battle against the waves to make it forward. Heading around the end of the pier was somewhat harder though as the waves were bigger by then and you often find that at the end of the pier it’s quite a tumble of waves from all directions and a lot of peaks and troughs as the waves crash into the pier head. Coming around the other side I started to feel tired and the cold was just settling in a bit. By the time I had cleared the pier and was around the steps heading back under the pier to our side I was really feeling it and having to battle on. It was at this point I looked around for Bob and James; just to see if I was keeping a good speed or not. Luckily for us James wears a wetsuit and a bright orange hat so is very visible and I could spot him quickly and then see Bob next to him. They were parallel to me, just further along to the groin whilst I had stayed closer to the pier. By the time I got to the Pier sign I was really shattered and could easily have “got out”; of course being out in the sea in a high tide there is nowhere to go! So on I had to plod until I was able to put my feet down; which was basically right at the shore. Was I pleased to be back !!!
Once again another crazy and energetic (and somewhat risky) start to the day; and once again another victory against the sea and against common sense!
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Monday came and went and I never made it to the sea. I was at the office at 6.00am and then in London by 8.30am and didn't get back to Brighton until 6.30pm and it was then straight home to see the kids and then into the gym at home for a pointless 30 minutes - pointless because I put in less than no effort and was on the running machine with droopy eyes
Tuesday (today) however was a much better start; at the arch by 7.00am and in the sea by 7.15am. Big Bob, Paul and Moi swam around the pier. Yvo, Damien and David did the same a bit before us and Alex and Paul Smith a little after. So that was 8 of us all swimming around the pier before work in November - pretty impressive stuff in this weather. The air temperature definitely has dropped and it was spitty rain; so the sea was definitely down once again. I never checked the sea temp, but I would guess low 11s. You could really feel the difference today and we almost didn't go around, but buy the time you were into the swim and near the end of the pier you definitely warmed up enough to keep going; up to then though I really felt the cold in my breathing.
I wonder how long it will be before it'll be too cold again to swim around the pier; not looking forward to it as it will mean short sea swims followed by long pool swims. It's almost seems impossible that I'm now into my second winter of training!
I wonder how long it will be before it'll be too cold again to swim around the pier; not looking forward to it as it will mean short sea swims followed by long pool swims. It's almost seems impossible that I'm now into my second winter of training!
Friday, 4 November 2011
After getting home so late yesterday I didn’t want to do a big swim this morning; espcially as I have another busy work day and also an hour in the gym after work. Luckily the weather helped me out by being windy and rainy, whilch ultimatly took the decision away from me. Having a close look at the shore we all decided the safer beach was the safest option as our beach was just too dangerous. Shoichi, Alex, James and I got in, but the other stayed shoreside; it was really a case of just going for it and hoping that you timed it right; if luck was not on your side you would certainly know about it.
As it turned out once you were in it was wild but tottally swimable. I just swum around for a bit and then body surfed back to shore. James and I timed it just right because as we were leaving the sea the next wave that hit was a true monster and no doubt at all would have drawn blood.
Another week over; tired for sure, but safe and sound.
Off to Exeter today for 3 meetings, glam life I lead. Train not till 9am so time for a morning swim. Not many at arch today; Damien, Shoichi, Alex,
David & Evo heading around the ue whilst Big Bob and I heading East against the tide and staying closer to shore. Very choppy indeed , in fact getting in was challenging alone; Damien ran back 3 times before safely getting in to the amusement of us standing on the beach watching him. Total sim about half an hour and very up and down with the waves. Back to shore was a real timing issue to avoid being bashed; we all made it though apart from Alex who was grabbed by a very water heavy wave and spun over. He was fine luckily and enjoyed big the one with tne story to tell
Now on train for 6 hr journey a looking forward to getting home already; although it's likely to be after 1am. I bet no-one else on this train started their day like I did
No sim today which was a great shame as the morning I really fancied going; but was heading to Sheffield for a meeting and my train was leaving Brighton at 5.45am!
Coming back on late train I was sitting in first class (every now and then you have to treat yourself) and I witnessed another one of those lack of common sense moments. Two ladies,probably mid 50s, sat in the chairs next to me and were laughing about the crazy train journey so far; they had missed 3 trains, got on 2 wrong ones and had missed 4 meetings. They were now heading to Brighton for a conference that finishes at 5pm (it was already 6.30pm at this point). They were laughing so much it made me laugh with them. They decided to go Brighton anyway and have a drink and felt they deserved to go first class to end the journey on a high (not that first class on trains is much of a treat in all honesty). So when the inspector turned up they asked to upgrade to first class and asked the cost. He advised (or should I say spoke down to them) that you can not upgrade on the train. Laughing with disappointment they got up to move. He stopped them and told them he had to fine them £60 each for sitting in first class with standard tickets! They explained they thought they could upgrade otherwise would not have sat there , they also (between bouts of laughter) told him about their mad journey so far. He didn't crack a smile and stood by the rules and insisted they pay. It was clear that they were not trying it on and had planned to upgrade; but he would not listen. They ended up having to pay £120 fine between them and were also made to move. Absolute nuts!! What is wrong with the world!! Good for them though, not only did they not give him the satisfaction of getting upset but they paid up laughing even more and to his horror they both gave him a kiss; he looked mortified. Good on you ladies.
A day much like yesterday; same 11.9 degrees and very bumpy. Big Bob, James, old James and I swam around pier. Very challenging indeed as both temperature and waves against us. Older James however swam twice around the head; amazing!!!!
I think sometimes that I forget that it is quite an achievement to swim in November in the sea without wetsuit about 1/2 mile out to sea in very choppy conditions and all before work. As we do it every day I think we don't think about the enormity of it, but actually every time we do it we face life threatening danger and physically and mentally push ourselves; all at 7am when most people are just waking up. Interesting to think about!