Thursday, 6 December 2012

High Tide02:50 (2.40m)
Low Tide09:10 (0.80m)
High Tide15:36 (2.20m)
Low Tide21:08 (1.10m)
Sea temperature: 6.6
Sea conditions: calm and slightly higher
Weather: frozen solid and a scattering of snow still on the ground - 1.3

Joined by: Sara and The Poet
Topics of conversation:
Turning 90 - as Sara's father does today. The Poet rang him from the beach to wish him a happy birthday and we all shouted our good wishes down the phone. He seems to be enjoying life, having recently started a new relationship and living life fully. Last night I'd seen a TED talk by Charles Eugster, a 93 year old who says that a beach body at 90 is no longer a dream and advocates "work, diet and exercise" as the way to remain fit and well into old age. He sees retirement as the slippery slope and keeps himself active as a motivational speaker and competitive rower and weightlifter. Whilst I found his talk inspirational, I struggled with his SHOUTY delivery, but here's a link anyway: TED - Charles Eugster
Another inspirational man who turns 70 next year is in the news today and DK had heard him on the radio talking about the kind of temperatures and conditions we can only imagine. Ranulph Fiennes sets of this afternoon in a ship from London on the last great polar challenge "The Coldest Journey". He is attempting to cross the Antarctic in winter, which has never been done before and he will be out of reach of all rescue services. The expedition also aims to raise £10 million for Seeing is Believing who aim to tackle avoidable blindness. 
Ranulph Fiennes
 The temperatures could get down to -90 and whilst I've some cold weather experience, this really is unimaginable. He talked about the possibility of lung damage, not just cold injuries which are well known. He puts us to shame. My weirdest cold experience was on my first Arctic trek, when the temperatures dropped suddenly and we were completing a dusk drive, the liquid in my eyes began to freeze and whilst there was little light left my only real option was to put goggles on, close my eyes and trust my dogs as they pulled the sled through a miniature forest of stunted trees bent over with snow. It's no wonder I loved them so much that I requested the same dogs on the next trip. It fell to -40 that day, but the wind chill was what made it hard, we had cold injuries in the team, but thankfully only minor ones. Today it was freezing on the beach, the shingle was solid, but there was no wind, so I went for a quick run up and down the sand to warm up before I got dressed and was joined by the dogs, who love the frost and snow.
Poorly student again - I had a call, whist I was changing, from my Thursday student's mum to say she's still not fully recovered after her hospital visit last week and wouldn't be with me this morning - now I wish I'd lit the sauna before leaving!
DK had brought an article on The swimmers with ice in their veins from the Torygraph in which the journalist asks if we are mad and claims
Winter swimming was once the preserve of an eccentric bunch of middle-aged men, but now it has caught the imagination of a whole generation of men and women, young and old, determined to prove that they have not been corrupted by central heating.
The most interesting part of the article for me is the Dr who claims that cold water swimming may help to prevent type 2 diabetes! 
Telegraph article.

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