FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid June?

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FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid June?

Post by AlexC » Mon May 13, 2013 9:53 pm

I've entered the Great North Swim (yes I know) in Windermere in mid June.
As far as I know it doesn't run unless the water is above 11 celsius.
Lock 9 at Salford Quays was 6.5 c until a couple of weeks ago and I'm deeply sceptical about whether Windermere will reach the required temperature by 15 June. I can't imagine the rivers running into it are much above 8c.

I was planning to buy a swimming wetsuit specially for the event (yes I know) but don't want to waste the money if the event is not going ahead. I also planned to do a bit of training beforehand outside, but am not sure I can stand the cold (yes I know).

What's the consensus on how far a complete noob can last at 9c?

cheers


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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Mon May 13, 2013 10:44 pm

AlexC wrote: What's the consensus on how far a complete noob can last at 9c?

cheers
Not very far, 9C is winter swimming territory. You'd risk potentially dangerous cold shock as well as hypothermia - bear in mind that bare-skin winter swimmers are physiologically adapted. If swimming in water at 11C you'll need a 5mm "steamer" wetsuit. 15C is the lowest temp. which is reckoned to be safe for non-cold acclimatised swimmers wearing just Speedos.

Water temp. in mid-June? The Gods alone know. Looking at the next two days' weather forecast winter is still very much in charge, and looking long-term there is no sign of anything faintly summery on the horizon. The coming "summer" looks like what we've endured for the past 4-5 years: chilly, cloudy with a constant flow of polar maritime air arriving on predominating NW winds.

Sorry for being a wet blanket but I don't want anybody risking their lives.

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by garya » Tue May 14, 2013 8:52 am

Pete

I notice you said that bare skinned swimmers can become adapted to cold conditions, do you think the same is true of regular kayakers.

I see friends and beginners who seem to be affected a lot more by weather and water conditions despite ware the same or more layers of kit, even when they have not actually swam in the water at all.

If they do swim the cold shock of the water temperature also affects their ability to respond and rescue themselves a lot faster.

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by RizzRat » Tue May 14, 2013 9:48 am

Hi There

I've also entered the event along with the Manchester and London swims and a few other nut case aquathlons.

Positive point - my training lake opens for the year this weekend and another local lake started its sessions last week.

Event will probably go ahead but will be chilly on hands and feet. Have you thought about renting a suit as its compulsory to swim in one for the event?

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by TechnoEngineer » Tue May 14, 2013 11:31 am

AlexC wrote:I was planning to buy a swimming wetsuit specially for the event (yes I know) but don't want to waste the money if the event is not going ahead. I also planned to do a bit of training beforehand outside, but am not sure I can stand the cold (yes I know).

What's the consensus on how far a complete noob can last at 9c?
Ahem....
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hypothermia-Fro ... 0898868920

Just buy the suit. If anything it will give you a wider training window, certainly no scope for "a waste of money".
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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by ruralweb » Tue May 14, 2013 2:01 pm

Ive been paddling the lakes all winter and yesterday Ullswater was as cold, my hands froze within seconds of being in the water. Even swimming in a dry suit is chilly and you certainly needed to keep your head out - having said that Ullswater is the coldest lake but Windermere will not be far behind. There is still snow on the hills so that melt water will not help and with the coldest Easter for 50 years let hope there is a bit of sun soon!
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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Tue May 14, 2013 2:20 pm

garya wrote:Pete

I notice you said that bare skinned swimmers can become adapted to cold conditions, do you think the same is true of regular kayakers.
Yes, anyone can become cold-hardened - I have and I have a weak heart. It's down to repeated exposure to increasingly cold water. The time to start is when the water has reached 15C as soon as the British "summer" decides to make an appearance..
garya wrote:I see friends and beginners who seem to be affected a lot more by weather and water conditions despite ware the same or more layers of kit, even when they have not actually swam in the water at all.
I've never tried swimming in clothes after cold-hardening, however I can happily swim in just Speedos in freezing (0C) water without any ill-effects. On the other hand a cold shower will leave me shivering and incoherent (some say that I'm like that all of the time) - I have to be fully immersed to "switch on" my cold-response . Wetsuits have to be full of water to work - as anyone who's worn one will confirm. I suspect that "dry" waterproof clothing only works when dry.
garya wrote:If they do swim the cold shock of the water temperature also affects their ability to respond and rescue themselves a lot faster.

Gary A
Amen to that - cold shock can lead to loss of swimming ability.

Sorry for my grammar - I still haven't regained my speech and grammar, and I still tend to be terse.

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by Boots » Tue May 14, 2013 3:42 pm

Windermere was 13 degrees last monday, bit cooler now cause of fresh rain.....

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by AlexC » Tue May 14, 2013 9:53 pm

Boots wrote:Windermere was 13 degrees last monday, .....
How does that work... without meaning to cast doubt the veracity of your statement, I don't believe you :-) I just don't see how the water in Windermere can be 13c at the moment. I didn't think there have been more that 5 days above 13c in the last 6 months... or have there?

Have you thought about renting a suit as its compulsory to swim in one for the event?
Ah sorry. I missed out a key bit of information. Plan B isn't to do the swim sans suit, it's the assumption that the event will be cancelled if it's below 11c. Plan C is my surfing wetsuit, which I thought would be ok but apparently will be so stiff around the shoulders that I won't be able to swim properly, and so bouyant that my legs will be almost out of the water..

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Wed May 15, 2013 10:34 am

AlexC wrote:
Boots wrote:Windermere was 13 degrees last monday, .....
How does that work... without meaning to cast doubt the veracity of your statement, I don't believe you :-) I just don't see how the water in Windermere can be 13c at the moment. I didn't think there have been more that 5 days above 13c in the last 6 months... or have there?
Windermere is a lake so the top couple of feet can easily warm by several degrees over a few days. However the water temperature doesn't gradually become colder as you descend - instead there's a sudden transition to the cold water below, the thermocline. In rivers turbulence tends to prevent such stratification.

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by garya » Wed May 15, 2013 2:22 pm

Wildswimmer Pete wrote:
AlexC wrote:
Boots wrote:Windermere was 13 degrees last monday, .....
How does that work... without meaning to cast doubt the veracity of your statement, I don't believe you :-) I just don't see how the water in Windermere can be 13c at the moment. I didn't think there have been more that 5 days above 13c in the last 6 months... or have there?
Windermere is a lake so the top couple of feet can easily warm by several degrees over a few days. However the water temperature doesn't gradually become colder as you descend - instead there's a sudden transition to the cold water below, the thermocline. In rivers turbulence tends to prevent such stratification.

Wildswimmer Pete

This produces a strange optical illusion which you can see the layer and feel the temperature change when scuba diving sometimes.

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Wed May 15, 2013 9:27 pm

I'm not being disingenuous, but I posted this some time ago:

http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... 5&p=556427

I wrote this before my stroke but unfortunately it's now very tiring for me to write prose - that's assuming I can write anything that makes any sense.

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by banzer » Thu May 16, 2013 7:00 am

Wildswimmer Pete wrote: Sorry for my grammar - I still haven't regained my speech and grammar, and I still tend to be terse.
Wildswimmer Pete
Pete you are more erudite, polite and genuine than many ukrgb'ers and your posts are always interesting! It's a pleasure to have you on the forum :-)

I'm in the Lakes this weekend and was debating bringing the wetsuits for some Church Beck canyoning.... hmmm in light of the above posts I think I won't bother. God forbid, I might even put the boat on the roof, if I can remember what it is.
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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by Boots » Thu May 16, 2013 8:14 pm

a friend of mine does swim coaching in the lake and takes the temperature every day...........
Coniston is colder.... dont ask me why it just is....... :o)

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by moreofaswimmer » Thu May 16, 2013 9:47 pm

I've just come home from my first wild swim of the season in a lake in Bedfordshire. The water temp was 12 degrees celcius and the way i felt (sick, headache, crying like a baby inside) certainly confirms petes statement. It takes considerable routine and practice of immersing yourself in cold water before you can handle the colder UK temps. I was a bit naive to head straight in after no winter training but you have to start somewhere I suppose.

Does anyone else swim local to Bedfordshire?

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by Boots » Thu May 16, 2013 10:44 pm

11.2 tonight.......

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Fri May 17, 2013 8:25 pm

banzer wrote: Pete you are more erudite, polite and genuine than many ukrgb'ers and your posts are always interesting! It's a pleasure to have you on the forum :-)
Ta very muchly, cheered me up no end! ;-)
banzer wrote:I'm in the Lakes this weekend and was debating bringing the wetsuits for some Church Beck canyoning.... hmmm in light of the above posts I think I won't bother. God forbid, I might even put the boat on the roof, if I can remember what it is.
I went swimming in my local lake (Hatchmere, Delamere Forest) today and was surprised to find the water temp was 13.5C, rather than the 8-9C I was expecting after all that cold rain earlier in the week. There's a sniff of warmer weather next week so a bit of strong sun and no cold rain could just mean 15C in outdoor waters!

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by maryinoxford » Sat May 18, 2013 10:40 am

Wildswimmer Pete wrote:Windermere is a lake so the top couple of feet can easily warm by several degrees over a few days. However the water temperature doesn't gradually become colder as you descend - instead there's a sudden transition to the cold water below, the thermocline. In rivers turbulence tends to prevent such stratification.
Pete, thinking about that, is there a standard depth where water temperature is supposed to be measured? If the warm layer is a couple of feet deep, I suppose a swimmer could stay mostly in that. But if they suddenly found themselves immersed below the thermocline, that could be nasty.

And I echo Banzer's comments. You are very much an asset to the forum, with your useful and well-presented information.

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Sat May 18, 2013 1:21 pm

maryinoxford wrote: Pete, thinking about that, is there a standard depth where water temperature is supposed to be measured? If the warm layer is a couple of feet deep, I suppose a swimmer could stay mostly in that.
FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) specify 400mm which I assume applies to ASA controlled events. My own discipline, winter swimming, comes under its own regulatory body and rules. For hydrological purposes, sea surface temperatures are taken on the surface itself, and/or 1m depth.
maryinoxford wrote: But if they suddenly found themselves immersed below the thermocline, that could be nasty.
In practice swimmers' feet will usually hit the thermocline first so there's plenty of warning. Of course, the thermocline becomes ever lower as the surface water warms.
maryinoxford wrote:And I echo Banzer's comments. You are very much an asset to the forum, with your useful and well-presented information.

Mary
Thanks guys.

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by AlexC » Sun May 19, 2013 8:23 pm

Well, had a pleasant swim at Boundary Water Park today. Very toasty in my wetsuit but completely unable to do breastroke as I was too high in the water. Lost the rash vest and it got a bit better but not much. Did 4 laps and got out feeling very very unsteady on my feet. The woman said that was quite normal.

What is it that causes the dizzyness?

What's the deal swimming at Boundary (and other Cheshire Meres) when Uswim aren't there to collect £5 off you. Is there anywhere I can take the kids in 'summer' for a swim without having to pay?


cheers

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Sun May 19, 2013 8:58 pm

AlexC wrote: Is there anywhere I can take the kids in 'summer' for a swim without having to pay?


cheers
Yep - Hatchmere. There is a designated part of the lake for swimming, see http://hatchmere.com/ There's no charge for swimming in the lake. This year the long winter has depressed water temps but from the end of May to September the lake is usually between 17-21C. The recent treatment to reduce phosphate mentioned should help prevent any blue-green algae later in the summer.

My sister took me for a meal at The Carriers Inn (adjacent to the picnic area on the lake itself) and I had a swim afterwards. The pub is children friendly and has a beer garden overlooking the lake.

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by RizzRat » Mon May 20, 2013 8:49 am

AlexC wrote:What is it that causes the dizzyness?
Blood moving around as effectively you've gone from prone (ish) to standing.You can partially train it out (google triathlon transition training) but it never truely goes away - certainly if you've been working hard.
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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by Wadhamite » Mon May 20, 2013 10:23 am

Yesterday was 12C in the River Cam (according to the Newnham River bank club) and capsizing in thermal rashie and neoprene shorts, plus skull cap, BA and lid was NOT warm enough. I got cold shock, ended up swimming and was then very cold and weak for the rest of the paddle. Not fun, but that'll teach me to remember my cag in future. It'll also teach me to put an emergency Mars bar in my BA.
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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:32 pm

R. Weaver was 18.5C this afternoon (Jun 3rd) so Hatchmere won't be very much behind.

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by Ian.Adey » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:56 pm

Weather station conveniently located at the start of the great north swim, at Low wood marina.

The weather temperature seems to relatively accurate, and at a guess its what the swim use to measure it.

http://englishlakes.co.uk/watersports/weather.aspx

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:15 pm

15C? Very good - I'm surprised how quickly open water has recovered after the longest, coldest winter since 1962. For short swims at 15-16C Speedos and swim-cap are adequate. However for long bare-skin swims I'd suggest 18-20C unless the swimmer is accustomed to chilly water. Water temperatures around 21C and above can put a wetsuit-clad swimmer at risk of overheating. My local river Weaver reaches 24C sometime every summer.

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:53 pm

Ian.Adey wrote:Weather station conveniently located at the start of the great north swim, at Low wood marina.

The weather temperature seems to relatively accurate, and at a guess its what the swim use to measure it.

http://englishlakes.co.uk/watersports/weather.aspx

Ian
Looking at the data from the englishlakes.co.uk website for today the lake temp is 20C, and the warm weather should last at least until Wednesday. Wetsuits might not be allowed if the water gets much warmer than 21C - there have been instances of wetsuited swimmers overheating which is every bit as dangerous as hypothermia at the other end of the scale. I was swimming in Hatchmere this afternoon and the water temp was 21C. No apparent thermocline in my depth (5ft).

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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by Wadhamite » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:06 pm

Pete, can you give any advice on avoiding overheating while wearing a wetsuit? I did four hours of kayaking at Lee Valley this weekend, with Saturday warmer and sunnier than Sunday, wearing a wetsuit and dry cagoule. Despite drinking and eating in between sessions, I felt crappy (light headed with a stomach ache and general exhausted feelings...) Saturday and Sunday nights, and today sitting at my desk as well - but I find the swims very cold (and I capsize and swim exponentially more when I get tired!), too cold without full sun to wear just my cag and neoprene shorts. I suspect I've got a bit of heat exhaustion and need to go in search of a pack on peanuts; I'd like to avoid the feeling in future (assuming we have more sunnyish days ;) ). Any tips?
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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by ruralweb » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:19 pm

I was swimming in Ullswater last night and the water was quite warm compared to a few weeks ago HOWEVER the water is full of blue green algae. It's so bad that the whole shore line has a green band along it and the water looks very dirty. Is appeared over the weekend as there was nothing there last Thursday. It was also on parts of Thirlmere when I was there on Saturday but we could not work out what it was - a call to the local environment agency confirmed what it was and they are visiting the lake this afternoon. I don't know what winderemere is like but depending how H&S gets involved it may stop the swim if its there as well?
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Re: FAO WSP. Will Windermere be 11 degrees celsius by mid J

Post by AlexC » Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:13 pm

ull of blue green algae.
That's no good at all. Might get cancelled. though to be honest I'm not too bothered. I only signed up as a motivator to do 1km every Friday in the half hour when the kids are at swimming lessons. The pool swimming is grim and the mere near Holmes Chapel and Lock 9 at Salford Quays are almost as bad.

I did however 'get' the whole point of open water swimming at the weekend when I swam across lake Bala and back. That was glorious and made me realise that swimming can actually be quite fun when it's quiet and scenic. I think this Great North Swim thing will just be a nightmare of thrashing arms, legs rules, kayaks, parking etc etc.

Anyone in Glasgow fancy doing safety for me if I ever get up that way to fulfil a lifetime ambition to swim across the loch?


Somewhere near the northern tip, I hasten to add. ie 1 or 2 miles. I'm not very fit.

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