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Remember To Stop And Look Around

January 17 2021

Causeway Coast

Charity AWARE NI

Swim Distance 3.64km


Al mennie walking to the start point. Picture by Leigh Hawthorne.

I’ve been so fixated on getting the kilometres up lately that I’ve kinda stopped looking around and absorbing it all. I once paddled a board to Scotland from the north coast of Ireland and I distinctly remember trying to take it all in. I always try to do that in every thing I do now. Last night I paused for a moment or two and lay on my back and watched the stars. When I started this, that was one thing that always amazed me. Before this my best memories of big skies covered with stars were from Blacksod Point in Mayo. I didn’t realise that if I just went a little out into the surf near home the light pollution disappears and the stars come out! To date I think that is the thing I will remember the most from this swim. I’ve never seen the stars so often as during this.

Last nights swim was a bit of a slog. The current was with me then against me and the surf was very consistent making getting any flow in my swimming difficult. During the third swim a pretty big rip formed too but I swam across it no probs. It was probably the biggest rip I’ve seen since I started Swim Through Darkness.

50km is in my sights tonight. All being well I can break that level this eve. I’m always a little cautious setting distance goals as it’s almost impossible to know what may lay in my way but fingers crossed another 2.5km will get competed tonight. The dreaded northerlies look to be coming back later this week so I’m trying to get the distances up beforehand to tide me over a couple of days that I might not be able to swim.

Just a quick shout out to my supporters Mark Millar, Leigh Hawthorne and Sara O’Neill. They have been with me as often as possible to help and keep an eye on me. Behind these 50km and no doubt the next, they give up their time and make sacrifices to ensure I get home safely.

Swim One

Swim Three

Info - I am swimming a total of 100km through the darkness, in the darkest and coldest months of the year off the North Coast of Ireland. My inspire those who may be struggling in dark times to keep going. I also aim to raise awareness and funds for the depression Charity Aware NI. We all face dark times in life at some point and it can be extremely overwhelming.

Safety - Please don't think that because I am doing this that you too should do this or something similar. I am very experienced in the sea with knowledge that is only gained through many years of exposure to the sea in all her moods. I have a safety and location system in place including continual contact with people on land every time I swim.

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