On the way from Crosshaven to Kinsale we got a call that our batteries would arrive not until Thursday to Kinsale. Thus we decided to put the hook down and enjoy the summer; after all we have not done much anchoring this season.
Sandycove is just two miles south from Kinsale on the other side of the hill. After a short 18-mile leg, Suwena’s Rocna finally had something to do. The bottom of Sandycove bay is sand according to its name and it was an excellent place to spend a couple of days, just relaxing.
When the evening arrived we were wondering about strange splashing around Suwena. Going out and expecting to see a dolphin we were surprised to meet a group of swimmers. Every evening and morning during our stay in Sandycove the open water swimmers swam a 1.6 kilometres long lap around the island.
As a previous swimmer I got really interested in and wanted to know more. There is an open water swimming club called Sandycove Island Swim Club that arranges annually about 150 scheduled swims around the Sandycove Island. The planning is important because the swimming takes place in tidal area where the wind and the current play an important role in sea conditions. We heard that some sea-swimmers even do it around the year. I wouldn’t dare to do it!
A few miles to the west of Sandycove is the Old Head of Kinsale, which stretches out six kilometres and protects this stretch of coast from some of the prevailing south-westerly swell and storms. Despite of this the swimming around the island requires open water swimming experience because of tough conditions. The sea temperature varies two degrees during the lap according to the water depth. It does not sound much but if the temperature changes from 12 to 10 degrees then they are really heroes.
Later in Kinsale marina the other sailors were warning us to be careful on Sandycove bay for not running over sea-swimmers. Also on the web page of the swimming club it was highlighted that black or dark coloured swimming caps are a no no in the sea. Wearing bright colours there is a hope that swimmers can be seen between the waves. Amazing.
It’s not hard to guess that the highlight of the day in Sandycove was to follow swimmers every morning and evening as they were swimming around the island. Some even swam around Suwena. Even if Andrus tried to convince me into water, the winter fur will still stay as the water was only 15 degrees.