Swim number 1 began at Cricklade, a rather grey day with a cool
breeze, so we were glad of our wetsuits-very rare nowadays and a bit
of a squeeze for some of us!
An easy entry to the water for a change, as there was a slipway, we
were quickly swept round a big meander under the A419 (formerly a
Roman road called The Ermine Way).
The Thames on this Upper stretch was narrow and winding, knee deep
and slow in parts, a bit of a swoosh in others.
There were lots of fallen trees across the river, which added a little
excitement and was a bit of a workout at times too, when we had to
clamber over them! The wetsuits and good water shoes were a
godsend, a bit of protection against the fallen trees and spikey
branches. We were only forced out once by a fallen tree and this
entailed a bit of tricky navigation over barbed wire before we could
get back in!
We soon filled our litter bags with the many plastic bottles etc. that
were caught in the fallen trees and wedged into the muddy banks: we
could have collected a lot more but didn’t have enough bags
A bit of excitement towards the end of the swim, we were forced
from the river by a couple of pairs of feisty looking swans. A very
steep scramble up a precipitous and muddy slope, we emerged onto an
open field to behold a bank of swans (the collective noun for a group
of swans on the ground evidently!). There must have been at least
fifty swans, so it was a quick entry back into the water and a short
swim to our final exit point, Water Eaton House footbridge.
This was all filmed by the BBC South team, so we featured on the 6:00 news!