My friends and I booked for a week-end in Cornwall few weeks ago and I thought I could have taken advantage of the trip by putting a little bit of adventure in my life, experiencing something I had never done before.
So, excluding all the crazy and dangerous ideas my friends came up with, I decided I would try to swim in the freezing water of the Atlantic Ocean.
Once we got to our hostel at Land’s End I wrote down a list of things I would need the next day to follow through on my personal challenge and come back alive:
1) A swimsuit, obviously.
2) A thermos full of hot tea.
3) Two or three blankets.
4) Towels. If they are big it’s better.
5) A friend taking pictures of you swimming as evidences of your (successful) challenge.
6) One tip: Do not eat ANYTHING before swimming. Digestion and cold water have never had a good relationship.
The following morning we went to the nearest beach, called Nanjizal Bay.
The mist was really thick but when we got there the sun came shyly out and we could see the whole sandy beach “embedded” between two steep cliffs, stretching for about one hundred metres.
Thinking about the best way to dive I decided to run straight into the water instead of doing it gradually. I took a long breath and….one…two…three!
The water wasn’t cold…it was terribly freezing! I was completely breathless and my heart was beating so fast that I suddenly felt like Jack Dawson, looking at the Titanic sinking and trying to stay alive in the freezing water of the Atlantic Ocean!
I came out when my friends told me that my lips were completely purple and I fast dried myself. My warm clothes saved that little of heat my body hadn’t dispersed yet while the blankets my friends used to cover me with and the hot tea allowed my lips to come back to their natural colour.
Considering the blue colour of my hands and the time my body needed to get heat back I presumed the temperature of the water was about 4 °C.
And that was for sure the coolest bath I have ever had!