8th March 2016

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As this week I am staying with my family who live by the North Sea, it would seem to make sense to have a go swimming in the sea. A family debate ensued which I am not so sure was influenced totally by concerns for my safety or a perverted sense of humour. It was decided by my Baywatch style lifeguard team that they would only support a sea swim if first I took an ice cold bath followed by standing outside in the rain for 10 minutes (wind chill minus 3) to prove I wouldn’t get hypothermia. Family humiliation completed with no need of an ambulance it was time to take to the sea…

I am sure many years ago someone on Blue Peter said if you fell into the North Sea you would die in 8 minutes.

Taking my lifeguard team with me – Mum and Dad, combined age 157 years, my safety was assured if anything went wrong.

Getting in to the sea was rather a shock to the system to say the least. Within a minute or two though the initial shock subsided to be replaced by a numbing of hands and arms. I then tried swimming with my head actually in the water. Remember when you drank a slush puppy way too fast and you got brain freeze, well it felt just like that but from the outside of your head in, rather than the other way round.

I managed to swim about 75 metres and then thought it wise to get out and find out if I had caught hypothermia. Presumably it’s easier and quicker to tell if you catch hypothermia rather than just a cold. Amazingly I wasn’t shivering and shaking anywhere near as much as I expected although had turned a very bright red colour as though I had been slapped on every, yes, every inch of my body. Total time in the water about 4 minutes.

So on Thursday the plan is to stay in the sea for at least 8 minutes to see if Children’s TV presenters of the 70’s can really be trusted…


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