“Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.”
Swimming long distance at Seapoint is a great self-reflection exercise. I’ve build up my confidence a little. It’s popular too. My challenge is to swim around all five lined up yellow marker buoys, about 1.6 km. Swimming straight and managing my breathing is tricky. I’ve made new friends, accompanied nervous swimmers into the sea and the energy in this place has refreshed my soul. I’ve wondered if there’s an outpouring of God’s spirit in this swimming spot.
I start my swimming from the Martello Tower which looks like an upside down flower pot. Whilst swimming I see Howth Head when I breathe on one side and then the Victorian terraced houses along the road on the other side. The tower is my marker finishing up. Thirty-nine Martello Towers are still standing in Ireland. The circular or oval stone or brick gun-batteries were erected around the Irish coast from 1804 as a response to an expected Napoleonic invasion. The tower at Sandycove is now called the James Joyce Tower and is celebrated for its association with Ulysses.
The circular Prince of Wales and Rochdale plaque below is just below where I stand to undress and dress. I didn’t know Dublin Bay was so dangerous until I found this quote;
“The bay of Dublin has perhaps been more fatal to seamen and ships than any in the world, for a ship once caught in it in a gale of wind from ENE to SSE must ride it out at anchors or go on shore, and from the nature of that shore the whole of the crews almost invariably have perished.”
– Captain Charles Malcolm of George IV’s royal yacht.
Come and join me!