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Swimming in natural waters

Paul is a swimming enthusiast and has been swimming in a swimmingpool every week for years. But when all swimmigpools were closed as a result of Covid-19, an alternative had to be found. Paul decided to start swimming in natural waters.
Swimming in natural waters is nothing special in itself. But not many people do it all year round.
At the beginning of December, I filmed Paul on a gray Thursday during one of his swimming trips. It was early, cold and rainy. I sat next to him in the car, on our way to the diving jetty of the Spiegelplas. The heating in the car was turned off, to not make his swim even colder than it would already be. My now cold hands held the camera on my lap. And as I looked out the car window, I kept thinking: whatever rocks your boat such a swim so early in the morning.

The water temperature was about 8 degrees. In the early morning it was so gray that from the diving jetty you could hardly detect any contrast between the water and the sky.
Some people go for a quick dip: in and out. I’ve seen them do it; dressed only in swimming trunks or bathing suits.
But if you are going to make a swimming trip and are in the water for a longer period of time, you cannot avoid putting on a wetsuit in such circumstances, possibly supplemented with swimming socks and swimming gloves.
Paul also brings a swimming buoy to hold on to should he get cramps or want to rest during his swim. A swimming or floating buoy is not only handy but also a necessary aid for swimming in natural water. The striking color ensures that you are clearly visible in the water. As a filmmaker it was also a welcome marker on this dark day ;-).


When I saw Paul making his swimming strokes halfway up the lake, I thought it was a beautiful, still moment. I also forgot how cold it was. It was beautiful, very serene too. Geese formations migrating, soft birdsong, that huge pool of water and nothing else. When Paul got out of the water after his swim, we were both enjoying ourselves in our own way. That’s why we didn’t say much.
Back in the car, the heating blew out and the glowing heated seats were more than welcome. A very special experience.
And if I know something for sure, it is that I am going to take this swimming trip. It has inspired me.
But whether that will also happen at such low temperatures, I’ll let my thoughts go on ;-).