Let’s go swimming!


I must not keep looking at the weather forecast.

I must not keep looking at the weather forecast.

I MUST NOT keep looking at the weather forecast.

Write out ten times.

Yes, the forecast is dire. Yes, there are gale force winds on the way. Yes, they are due to be at their peak at about the time we should be swimming the last stretch of our marathon to Bonar Bridge. No, I cannot do anything about it.

Oh the best laid plans! And it was all going so swimmingly…

BBCWeatherBut still, we’re off up to Lairg in the morning – make that very shortly.  Tomorrow afternoon we plan to swim the last stretch of Loch Shin, between the two hydro dams by Lairg, a distance of around 2.5 km. On Sunday we will brave the River Shin, dipping in and out to avoid the rapids. And on Monday? Well, we would like to think that we will be swimming the 7 km from the bottom of the river through the Kyle of Sutherland to Bonar Bridge but it is looking unlikely. It is out of our control so there’s no point fretting. If we can’t finish this weekend we’ll just have to have another trip for the final stretch. And you never know, maybe the gales will wait until Tuesday to arrive.

The Lairg Angling Club have been wonderfully helpful. They’ve stored our kayaks, annotated maps of the river, arranged a safety boat for Monday, and sweet talked all the ghillies. And we’ve had lots of publicity locally after the first part of our swim – East Lothian Courier (thanks, Sam Khan-McIntyre), East Lothian News, Northern Times (Liz Quin), Edinburgh Evening News, Forth FM. We also had a very constructive meeting with our local MP Fiona O’Donnell and MSP Iain Gray. And it would be so nice to finish with a flourish this weekend.

But we did agree at the outset that it didn’t matter how long the swim took; we could do it in bits and if more bits are needed, that’s fine. So stop looking at the weather forecast!


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