Spogo Finds: Open Water Swimming | Eclectic Cake: Spogo Finds: Open Water Swimming

Friday, 20 June 2014

Spogo Finds: Open Water Swimming

I've been using the brilliant Spogo.co.uk site to find a long list of sports, classes and venues to try when I finally move to my new home town of Welwyn Garden City. Some of them sound so great, I can't resist giving them a go before I even collect the keys! 

The first thing to get a hammering of DIY will be the bathroom, leaving us without a bath for a couple of weeks, so I thought I'd seek watery alternatives. And just a short walk away from my new front door is Stanborough Lake – host to sailing, canoeing and my first open water swim of the year. 

Irrational nerves and reluctance to be woken up by cold water made me stall getting in but one whiff of my rubber suit and the memories of last year's swimming adventures came flooding back. The whole lake can be seen from the water's edge and there were crew on SUP boards, canoes and boats, so safety was fully covered. The lake was a balmy(ish) 17 degrees but immersing myself in it at 6:30am would be quite a shock to the system. Luckily, the nicest guy in the world was manning the entry. He chirpily told me it was just a big bath, to take it slowly and enjoy. 

And enjoy I did!

The cold did steal my breath but a few minutes of breast-stroke and some controlled breathing soon made me comfortable enough to take on a few laps. With each one I became more relaxed and began to discover my stride and enjoy the wonderful water. It was predictably a little green but completely clear of floaty plants, algae and duck poo, leaving nothing else to worry about but how long I could while away in this oversized bath. The few rests I took were, embarrassingly, long enough for the attentive safety crew to check I was OK – it's a good job the lake will be local to me, I may need to work on my swim fitness!

The Stanborough Lake open water swim sessions are held on Saturday mornings by Hercules Events until 13th September. You can find out more about the sessions here.


  1. Open Water Swimming - brave sport to try first (wasn't there a badminton court :D). Great effort and pleased that we were able to help you towards the waters edge! Best of luck with the morning dips!

    1. Ha! Well, I thought seeing as I was meant to be exploring my new area, I best do something adventurous!