Yay! I can report that I have successfully completed the 1500m swim across Banff Bay! And what an amazing experience it was; taking a lot less time than I had thought too (36 minutes and 39 seconds to be precise!) I’m just happy I made it to the finish line
Arriving in plenty of time, I was needlessly worried that there was nobody else at the registration desk!; with lots more people soon arriving, the harbour became bustling with people appearing in a range of swimming attire, whilst the safety boats and kayaks were getting poised for action! It was great to see so many people of all ages and abilities taking part, and I was please to speak with some lovely ladies from inverness who told me that they travelled all round the country looking for open water swims! With over 70 people in all it was a record breaker for the swim too. After a short briefing and group photo, the horn sounded and we cascaded into the sea (some taking it more seriously than others of course). Despite it being very grey and drizzly, the sea conditions were mostly in our favour, only becoming choppy towards the harbour at the finish. Apart from a minor choking episode at this point, I reached the end in one piece, cheered on by the fantastic crowd and support from the Scottish Dolphin Centre.
I have to say I was in in total admiration for those swimmers braving it without a wetsuit, even more so when I later heard about the mass of jellyfish in the water! Thankfully I had failed to see these, as in fear of my goggles leaking; I had fastened them so tight my vision was slightly blurred! But with only one person being stung and only one person taking up the offer of a boat across the bay, it was a very successful event. In total we raised over £170 for WDC which I am over the moon about. It’s just a drop in the ocean for all the amazing work they do, but as they say, every little helps!! Thank you so much to all of you that have offered support and encouragement along the way, and even those dressing up in a dolphin outfit for the occasion! It’s been a fantastic experience and just one of many amazing memories I’ll take away with me when I finish my residential volunteer placement here at Spey Bay.