Cheryl’s home from her Strel Swimming Adventure in Montenegro…
Thank you Strel Swimming Adventures for the lovely trip in Montenegro last week.
This was the prize I won in the raffle at the 2017 Cold Water Swimming Championships.
On Monday, before breakfast, we had our first swim from the beach outside the hotel in Tivat. This was so our swimming guides, Borut and Laura, could have a look at our swimming speeds. Our small group was very easily split into two groups. The fast group (two Dutch ladies and a man from South Africa) were all in training for various competitive events later in the summer. The slower group was made up of another keen Dutch swimmer, though not interested in events, a German ‘head up’ breaststroker and myself.
After breakfast we were off on Gudo’s boat into the beautiful bays of Risan and Kotor.
Not having ever swum any kind of distance in open water I was surprised to find how much easier it was than I expected. Easier than in the pool. The first swim of just over 2k was over in what seemed like 20 minutes (it was more like an hour).
The other unknown was how tired I would be swimming 2-3k twice a day. The answer was not tired at all thanks to the very relaxing time spent on the boat between swims. We visited the lovely villages around the bays, and Laura’s lunches on the boat were just right.
We also got to see some underwater footage filmed and critiqued by Borut (mostly from a ‘how to go faster’ angle most helpful for the competitive swimmers) and were given useful tips.
The whole trip was lovely and personally I was very pleased with my swimming performance. I knew my strokes were comfortable but thought I’d find keeping going more mentally challenging. Generally I spend my time in the water just enjoying its support, feeling my movements become freer and simply playing around rather than actually getting somewhere. I’m pleased to say the ‘getting somewhere’ was also enjoyable. I now feel more confident about swimming in open water.
I’m looking forward to spending much more time in the sea at home in Pembrokeshire this summer. I know the beautiful weather and sea temperature on the trip contributed a lot to the pleasure but I do have my Aqua Skin to help.