Whether you're a seasoned sea swimmer, or take this plunge only on an annual basis, here are some basics to keep you right!
This is a Christmas tradition I can get behind. Going for a dip in the Irish sea really prepares you for a good Chrimbo feast afterwards, and feels incredibly wholesome at the same time. Here's some tips and tricks, as well as essentials you might want to take ahead of your swim!
1. Wear the appropriate gear
I don't have to tell you how cold it is out there at the moment, and that's on dry land. The water is going to be freezing this time of year, so make sure you're wearing the appropriate gear when getting in the water; think wetsuits, or neoprene boots and gloves if you have them. A brightly coloured swim cap can also double as something to keep you warm, as well as something highly visible in case you get into trouble in the water.
2. Don't get out unless you're ready to get out
Yes, it may be below zero and staying in the water can be difficult, but do not get out of the water unless you're ready to get changed because it will be borderline impossible to get back in again. You've already lost as soon as the idea to get out enters your mind.
3. Keep Warm
We're sure you're under no illusion that it's going to be anything but absolutely freezing, but even so, it's important to bring lots of bits of stay warm. Hats, scarves, gloves; all essential post-dip. Consider bringing a hot water bottle with you also, so it's ready and waiting for after you get out. Wrap it up in your towel or coat while you're swimming and keep it close to you once you're dressed.
4. Dry Robe
If you have a dry robe, bring a dry robe! There's lots of great Irish brands to choose from, including Cosimac, that will keep you toasty after your dip.
In the event that nowhere opens on Christmas morning for coffee and tea, bring along your own hot drinks to swiftly warm up post-swim. Fill up a flask with your favourite hot beverage, with some soup even depending on what time you're heading for your swim, to keep nice and toasty once you get out of the water.
6. Safety First
And as always, make sure to stay safe out there. Keep an eye on yourself and anyone who you go sea swimming with, and make sure you know the weather and sea conditions ahead of time.
7. Enjoy yourself!
As someone who doesn't partake in this tradition, I can say I'm envious of those who do. It's great to take a moment on a day that's often so full of presents and material things, and just be with your loved ones, and take in the fresh air. Put the phone down for an hour, bring a disposable camera if you want to capture some memories, and most important of all, just enjoy yourself!
Will you be partaking in a pre-Christmas dinner swim this year?
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