Sea swimming in Stonehaven

I’m away up at my Dad’s this week in Stonehaven, catching up and spending some fun family times together and I figured I’d bring my running stuff and my swimming stuff just in case.

We went a wee walk yesterday and got an ice cream… from Giulianotti’s and we’ve had good chats too.

Today I started the day early with a good wee 5k run early doors before 8am… then I figured I could probably go a swim in the sea afterwards.

There’s also an open air swimming pool, but it seems to need biking in advance. And since I had all my wetsuit stuff, I figured why not swim in the sea.

I’ve been down the harbour bit before and did a bit of research and it looked like this bit of the harbour is good to swim in. In front of the paddle boarding outfit, there’s a nice wee bit where you can swim.

But before I went a swim, I headed out for my wee 5k to keep the running up.

Here’s me near the start of the run…the town was still a bit sleepy, with only some council workers out cleaning, and a random guy picking up litter.

Then I ran over to the harbour and got some pics of where I’d be swimming after the run.

The run took just under half an hour and my leg was ok, not painless, but I was fine for the 3.1 miles. Then when I got home I ate a banana, and drank some water, before changing into my swimming costume and wetsuit.

I drove down to the harbour and the weather had oddly turned. There was a big grey cloud in the sky and it had started to rain. I figured it didn’t matter all that much as I’d be swimming.

I got my gear ready, my car key in a dry bag, my towel ready for when I got out… and got my neoprene socks and gloves on.

You might not be able to see them, but there were two people already in the water when I came along…

I walked down the sandy beach and into the water… it was a lot colder than the lochs I’ve been in recently… but then it is the NORTH SEA afterall!

I got in fine though and swam over to the now three women who were bobbing about in the water. I introduced myself to them and said hello, then went about some swimming.

The weather still wasn’t great, but it brightened up as I was in. I decided I wouldn’t put my head in, as it was cold enough as it was, and the salt water wasn’t as nice as swimming in the fresh water of the lochs either.

I swam across the water a couple of times and out towards where the harbour wall was, but more in the middle of the water.

I came across some seaweed which could have scared me more than the thought of Nessie in Loch Ness… but luckily I knew what it was, and kept swimming, or tried to swim above the sand as opposed to the seaweed.

I’d checked the tides and low tides was going to be at about 855am so I was in at an ok time, but maybe it would be better there if the tie was a bit higher.

Whilst swimming I was reminded how comfortable and confident I am in the water… swimming, floating, sculling… back, front, side… swimming is something I loved as a kid and perfected as an adult, then taught hundreds of kids to swim too.

This morning I was in for about 20 minutes and my hands were starting to feel the cold a bit so I figured now would be a good time to get out.

I was in the water for a total of 25 mins, and swam maybe 800m or so, a mixture of front crawl and breast stroke, and with some kicking on my back too.

The weather had brightened up by the time I got out and I FaceTimed FitGirl for a chat before she started work. I dried off, but kept my wetsuit on to drive home (with shoes on)…and obviously took my gloves and socks off to get them dried. It was easy enough to get warm and dried off after it too.

Afterwards I had a good breakfast, then went a nice wee walk with my Dad around the park. We did (Winnie the) poo sticks at the river, and he was happy when his stick got faster down stream in front of my stick.

Good memories and good chat. As for swimming, I know I prefer swimming in lochs (fresh water and warmer) than in the sea (salty and colder)… but it’s good to try these things out and it’s a good wee spot which would likely be even nicer on a sunnier day.

It’s all giving me the bug to get back into the swimming pool again… maybe I will… as an alternative to running once a week. We’ll see.

Although I do have Tuesday next week free, so maybe I’ll try a wee fresh water swim again then if I’m lucky.

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