London Wild Swimming
What could be a good plan for a Parisian Wild swimmer when the temperature is getting high, several months after the ice swimming season?
Just trying to organise a wild weekend with my other wild swimmers friends…
I got a phone call from my friend Jacques Tuset, a famous french long distance open-water swimmer, who used to swim from any prison-island to the main land, in order to make sensibilisation about a very rare disease called « Choroideremie ». He already escaped from many prison islands and now want to escape the Tower of London (an old prison in the center of London)! Of course it is only a false and symbolic escape, the purpose is to make a swim from any prison to the land.
But, how to organise such an incredible escape in the center of London where it is absolutey forbidden to swim? Nothing more simple, let’s call our super friends Laure Latham and Cedric Guyot, who are living there.
Laure and Cedric
They are for sure the best water guides of London. Laure is making a incredible preparation for this escape: a map of the escape, looking at the tides of the Thames River, how to escape the city cameras, and finding a super friend (Emily) to carry our bags at 5am a thursday morning…
the team at 5am
Everything seems ok, I take a train from Paris, and 3 hours after I am in Laure and Cedric house, let’s have a quick night, wake up at 3:50, a quick coffee and direction the tower of London.
We found a superb stair to get in the water and swam in the current, making the Tower of London escape! We could also make a memorial photo under the London Tower Bridge!
Jacques under the London Tower Bridge
The water is warm, the escape is very fast because of the fast current and about 10 minutes after we made our little kilometer in the Thames River!!
As the best London water guides, Laure and Cedric prepare me a super weekend, just after this escape, I could swim in the Serpentine for the weekly competition, it was so cute to swim 800meters in the middle of the swans and the ducks, as usually there is an incredible ambiance in this swimming club, I suggest any people going in London to have a swim there in the middle of Hyde Park.
Time for a little nap, because it is only 9am, and we already swam almost 2 kilometers, and ride 25 kilometers with our bicycles!
It is 7pm, let’s go for an evening swim in the Shadwell Bassin, such a beautiful sunset in the middle of London, a typical urban dock’s place, not such a long swim but really chilling time there, with incredible colors, swimming and diving in a orange water is a city-swim experience to make! Now it is time for a couple of beers in the mythical Prospect of Whitby pub!
Swim and Beers
And 25 kilometers after on our bikes, we could have a good sleep…
We are sunday morning and my train is at 3pm, so we have enough time for a last urban-wild-swimming session! The Royal docks are certainly one of the most iconic place for this practice.
The place is absolutely amazing, many cranes, all around the docks, the water is around 15C, and a lot of triathlete swimmers there, turning around on a 750 meters with their superb wetsuits, who look at us with big eyes, with only our swimsuit, googles and beautiful caps. We swam two times the course (around 1500m) the water was a little salty and the landscape around, amazing!
A rare photo of me by Laure!
Now it is time to pack my bag and get back in the train to go back home in Paris, I am so lucky to live close to Gare du nord, because I need a big night before mondai morning, I feel like a little tired….
Text and photos: Alex Voyer