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Ah it was whopper. Thanks to Niall and Dave for agreeing to come. I know they secretly thought it was a barmy idea at first. But we were blessed with the night…gentle zephyrs and a supermoon spilling a glimmering path over the sea. It was pretty special out there at the swimming spot down below the Vico Road. Niall has written about it excellently, I like his invocation to Rán, the Norse Goddess of the Sea! Quinner and Dave are certainly the New Kings of the Vico. Suitable successors for the late Dermot Carey, RIP, a charming old-timer who taught me and Caraiosa and many other swimmers his method for not getting cold in the Irish Sea. It’s like the song Lanigan’s Ball, you step out and you step in again, and so on. You treat your skin as the animal pelt it is, curing it with short plunges in salty water followed by brisk towel rubbing and air-drying to absorb any lingering moisture. Just dance around waving your arms in between dips! And bring a flask of tea, we forgot that.
The most impressive thing for me that night was the sheer suction of the waves, and we couldn’t attribute it to wind as it was a calm night. It was pure tidal power, sluicing up and down the rocks and over us as we clung with both hands to the metal ladder. There was no letting go that night, tempting as it was to jump out into the whirling waves. The spring tide meant the water level was higher than I’d ever seen it there, covering entirely the shallow rock pool on the lower level of the bathing spot.
After our swim, we went prowling to look for Gorse Hill, the “bog-standard” mansion of the beleaguered O’Donnell family who are fighting the banks to stay there. We couldn’t find it. But we’d had our fun. And we shall go night-swimming again.