RobMac sponsored James Armour in his bid to to run, cycle and swim non-stop the length of the Outer Hebrides to raise funds for the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.
He successfully completed his Herculean task in an amazing 52 hours and 52 minutes to complete the 191 mile journey from Barra Head to Port of Ness.
It was not without incident either as James experienced crippling sea sickness as a result of the large swells in the water in between the islands.
But according to James it was absolutely worth it as he has smashed his target of £10k and has raised just shy of £17,000 to date. It’s not too late to donate either. You can still give and all funds go to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.
And we still have his documentary to look forward to which will launch later this year. We’ll keep you posted.
Wild Swimming Tips
In the meantime, James has kindly given his top tips to enjoy wild swimming safely.
Wild swimming has taken the new lockdown world by storm. People are rushing in their droves to freshwater lochs, local rivers and oceans to experience the refreshing plunge of cold water which does such wonders for your physical and mental wellbeing. And no wonder. But with several fatalities in recent weeks around our beautiful UK waters, it is important to remember some basics when heading out near the water.
The cold is a real beast, and can leave you feeling confused and incapacitated (imagine hands that cant grip anything). It is important to never push your limits with the cold, as it is actually 10 minutes after you get out the water that you feel at your coldest. This is because of the drop, whereby your skin upon warming sends signals to your brain to begin circulating blood again from your extremities to your core to warm the blood. As it does this, it actually cools your core down even further which is a real risk if you are already pushing your limits. Therefore it’s important to always warm yourself from inside out – ie hot drinks and layers as opposed to a warm splash of water or shower.
Your core is quite powerful at keeping itself warm but your extremities (hands and feet) are not so good. It is always wise to wear gloves, shoes, a swim cap and even a neoprene hat to keep yourself functional for when you exit the water. You dont want to get the drop whilst standing at the waters edge on a cold february morning when you have only been able to claw at a towel and cant get your clothes on because of useless hands – making things worse! I have had to ask for help after coming out of 4 degree water I spent too long in.
Start slowly. It is always wise to enter the water slowly and acclimatise over the first few minutes rather than just leaping in. Cold water shock can paralyse you and shut down your movement which could be life threatening – so always best to take it slow.
Too much doom and gloom and not enough fun stuff. Remember to have fun. I prefer sea swimming to lochs and rivers because of the visibility (west is best), marine life and buoyancy! The salt keeps you buoyant so your legs don’t dangle which is always nice when you are passing over jellyfish and other sea creatures!
If you want a really awesome swimming experience head to the Hebrides (anywhere far enough from the mainland inner or outer). Thanks to a lack of river outflow (and silt) these beaches and waterways are extremely clear and the sand is made up of broken down sea shells as opposed to river sand and is a beautiful white!
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