This is a story of girl meets buoy – Sarah Kerrigan

Sarah Kerrigan lives for her time in the sea with friends and family, drinking in nature, and enjoying a low impact exercise where her (dis)ability isn’t a factor.

On the last Saturday of October one of my swimming buddies and I decided we were going to attempt heading out to the first buoy at Sandycove in Dublin.

I really wanted to swim out to the buoy this year, but I wasn’t sure if I’d manage it as we’re coming into winter and I generally hit the pool then instead. I was also nervous about the swim in general. It felt so far out of my depth in so many ways.

But I kept thinking that I just wanted to experience what it was like out there, 100m from shore.

We felt pretty confident about being able to make the distance. We did a pool session together the previous Thursday and managed to clock up 250m, so we knew it was in the tank, but we also knew we’d have to see how we got on out in the elements.

We had a great day for it. It was one of the finest we could’ve asked for. The water temperature was around 13.5°C, so calm and crystal clear. It was honestly such a joyful swim.

We had two spotters on land keeping an eye on us the whole time. We also had our tow floats, gloves and wetsuits on. We had a feeling it would take us a good chunk of time to swim out to the buoy and back – and we were right.

It was a pretty big mission and we weren’t in a hurry, but we didn’t mind. We were taking it handy, playing it safe and staying within our limits.

We were both incredibly content with ourselves and had a little celebratory dance and hoot when we got out to that big yellow buoy.

I had been so nervous about this swim that I’d actually thought the only way I’d be able to do it is if someone towed me with kayak. So managing to make my own way out there, with one of my best friends beside me, was a pretty sweet moment.

Next step Buoy 2! 

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