#DofE Diamond Challenge Weeks 7-11 aka “time flies when you’re having fun”…

Diamond Challenge progress

Skill – much crocheting, not enough felting…Physical – much swimming, mostly pool, some sea(ls)… Volunteering – an adminmountain, not enough time with participants! 

February has submitted to March – spring flowers, earlier sunrises and finally teatime swims WITH DAYLIGHT!! The small matter of the lowest sea temperatures so far is almost bearable (still no wetsuit!) – Torbay wave buoy showing 8.5c-10c the last few weeks.

The outdoor swimming community really has been a life pivot for me over the last 10 months – I have found my tribe, on the shore and in the waves. It has become obvious that it is about so much more than swimming, with various events on the horizon (will be adding short film making and event planning to my skill in a month or so), and sharing of books, knowledge and skills all in amongst the necessarily shorter swims. A mass blanket making is this week’s focus for many local swimmers – 6 inch squares of knit, sewn and crocheted loveliness are wending their way to be assembled into a single wrapping of support and love for a key member of the Devon swimming community. Lynne usually blogs about swimming, but her posts from her past few weeks are on a new site www.outofmybrains.org – do read from the start.

Here are my offerings…

So there’s my skill, all in hand. Volunteering is very concentrated in the next week – we have 6 Gold teams out on a Practice Expedition for 3 days and nights, so there’s 72 hours away from my own little boys, plus all the kit checking, paperwork sorting and other prep in the next few days. Looking forward to a good stint on Dartmoor, and keeping everything crossed that the jet stream stays where it is, giving us stable weather!

Physically I’ve been off running for 4 weeks with a dodgy back, but not swimming. There have been numerous icy dips, some in beautiful sunshine, some with seals.


Wakey uppy waves


Sunny swim


Seal suspected!


Suspicion confirmed!


It’s a big one!


That’s me inspecting the pebbles – ice cream head guarantee!

However it is my pool sessions that have really come on. 4 weeks of intensive drills, lessons and videos and I can really feel a difference. Kari has a way of teaching that I have been able to connect with. This is not for speed or competition, but mindful, peaceful stroke that could go on for hours. Eventually. Given that a month ago I couldn’t do a length without flailing about, being out of breath and swallowing lots of water I’m very pleased!

We’ve even tried synchronised ‘pod’ swimming – I’ll be excited to get to the summer and do this in the warmer sea – maybe not as refined as these guys though…

Still looking for a Residential – any ideas welcome!