Another Sunday, another swim in a loch. I’m two weeks out from the swim event at Loch Lomond and thought it would be a good time to get a swim there. I arranged to meet my friend Vanessa, and Linda for a swim just south of Luss.
Vanessa is a pro in open water swimming, so I met her at a place she usually swims. It’s about 35-40 mins from mine; so a good location… unless you get caught in an accident on the A82 on the way back like I did… hopefully everyone involved is ok.
I met Linda and Vanessa at just before 11am. And we walked a short distance to the shore before getting ready and going in. Vanessa is doing the open water swim next weekend, so it would be good for both of us to get some swimming in. It was one of Linda’s first dips, so it was good to all together.
Last weekend I did a consistent 2,300m swim… this weekend it was less consistent, but it was good to engage with Vanessa and Linda in between swimming.
Here, the floor was quite stony so it was a little tricky getting in in bare feet at the start, but once I was in enough I plopped myself and and started floating to get me out a bit more. Then we were away.
We swam out a bit, then went back and fore in front of the shore. I must get better and sighting and going in a straight line.
Sometimes I seemed to be heading out into the loch when I didn’t mean to be. Possibly the currents, and a reminder to stay close and parallel to the shore.
The water was quite choppy at points, (probably a reaction to the water traffic on the loch). It wasn’t too cold once in, and I felt comfortable swimming in it. If I’m honest, it was good to experience the choppy water.
I had my safety whistle with me, along with my waterproof camera, and I had my phone and keys in my tow float.
We were in for about an hour and 10, and by that point I’d managed to swim 2,500m comfortably. I could have probably pushed it a bit more, but it was really good to have the company.
I didn’t have socks or gloves on and as I was swimming a lot of the time; they felt fine and not too cold. I’ll need to do that for the event so it’s good I was in for so long without them being cold.
Linda did some swimming in her wetsuit, then got out and released herself into her swim suit to do some true cold water swimming. Brave of her, but I bet it was nice and refreshing too.
Vanessa was a machine, swimming on and on, powering ahead. She ended up doing about 2,300m in total. A great distance and time in the water ahead of her open water swim event next weekend.
Overall a good swim – 2,550m in fresh loch water. Pity about the delay getting home with the car accident on the A82, but eventually we got turned around and headed back another way. The road was closed for at least 90 minutes, so I imagine it was quite serious. Hope everyone was ok.
It was good to be in for 72 mins as above – the sort of time I think it’ll take me to swim 3,000m in Loch Lomond in two weeks time. Maybe between 62-70 mins or so.
Here’s my summary of the visit / swim:
Loch Lomond, south of Luss at the big gates on the right as you go north
Parking: quite a few spaces, especially if you go early. See the big gates and park up. Then it’s a short walk to the shore but be careful of the big potholes / puddles.
Access to shore: to the left of the big gates, then along a path for about a 5-10 minute walk to the shore.
Type of water: Freshwater Loch.
Surroundings: on the lovely Loch Lomond, on the west side, in a sheltered spot
Size: 22-24 miles long.
Shore: stony beach.
Water: usual fresh water loch, deep and dark at points, shallow and muddy bottom at others. It was a bit choppy today, possibly from boats further out in the loch.
Refreshments: take them with you or stop off at Balloch or Luss
Toilets: none – it’s in a bush.
Water traffic: a few kayaks and other swimmers / family groups. You could tell there were big boats further out but no where near us.
Overall: a good bit of fresh water, not too far from home, and easy to access. The A82 can sometimes be a bit of a busy road though, so make time for traffic and delays. Good location and a nice sheltered spot to swim in. I’ll go back. But I’d go earlier next time, and try and be out by 9 or 10, rather than being out by about 1pm like we were.