Mermaids Loch Ness Monster 2-Day Swim

Henley Mermaids, Joan Fennelly, Susan Barry and Fiona Print along with swimming friend Tammy Hirst and Susan’s son Alex swam the length of Loch Ness (23 miles) in relay over two days this week.
The five swimmers set off at 10.00am on Sunday morning after being delayed by 5 hours due the pilot of the boat having a car accident.  Alex was the first swimmer into the water for an hour in perfect sunny conditions with the water temperature a cool 14 degrees.  Each swimmer then swam for an hour in rotation.  At 6.00pm conditions started to worsen with the water getting choppy and the swimmers having to swim into a strong head wind.  Mermaid Joan said, “It got really tough.  The decision to stop that night was taken out of our hands when the boat broke down at 11.30pm.  We were towed into Urquhart harbour and the pilot told us later there was a problem with the fuel filter.”
The team started day 2 on Monday morning at 11am with Joan the first swimmer into the water.  Each swimmer had an hour’s swim before Susan swam ashore to the finish at around 3pm.  The team then all jumped in to join her and they were met by their partners on the beach.  Joan added, “Unlike when we’ve done the Channel or other swims our partners this time were there the whole way.  This time they followed in their cars,  flashing their headlights and torches to keep us going.  It was special to have them on the finish with us this time.  Even though the water temperature was quite warm, it felt much colder.  The forecast can really change in a flip on the Loch but we were swimming in spectacular beautiful scenery again unlike our Channel swims.  The swim wasn’t being ratified as we were just doing it fun so it didn’t matter that the boat broke down.”
Henley Mermaid Fiona whose idea it was to swim Loch Ness said, “I have always wanted to swim Loch Ness so it has been a fantastic experience. The team have really supported each other and we have had a great time up in this beautiful place. The swim was tough at times but so worth it.”
Tammy said, “The false start at 03:00 hrs. and having to go back to bed for a few hours, already having geared ourselves up and eaten breakfast was a bit tricky but once we got going properly at 10:00 it was great and the sun even shone for us! Later on, I hadn’t swum in the dark before and it was really tough with the cold and choppy water but the camaraderie pulled everyone along. The pilots were also very good at giving short, concise, pep-talks when they spotted any signs of despondency, peppered with copious expletives which worked remarkably well! All in all, it’s been a fabulous experience with a great bunch of swimmy pals, to be highly recommended!”
The swim was in aid of The Henley Community Hub which will see the total renovation of Trinity Hall refurbished into a sustainable, fully accessible hub for the whole community to use.  If you would like to make a donation, you can here

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