Shipwreckers by Patricia McEntee

I have a medal – I swam to the Shipwreck, 1.5k. I have two precious swan bookends for directing Swan Lake after our medal ceremony.  Above all, I  have survived.

Covid isolation hit me after Christmas. Uncertainty and lack of routine make anxiety a potent cocktail and isolation a toxic ingredient.

The Shipwreckers had been formed by summer sea enthusiasts driven by a common love of the sea and desire to continue swimming in all weathers.  This was enough to bind – at social distance – like minded swimmers of varying age in friendship nourished by layers of warmth and laughter.

All life was explored in post ‘dip’ chats and on more ‘desperate’ days dancing took over to add warmth before heading home.  My new life evolved –  routine of the flask, cake wrapped as from the oven, a wardrobe that made weather of no consequence, the chat, the ‘craic’ and the dancing.

Swimming tips grew into swimming lessons as restrictions lifted and the ‘ducks’ became the ‘swans’ that would both swim to the Shipwreck and dance in tutus on Ballymoney Strand where I found my Tribe.  I am safe, I am not alone.  I am a Shipwrecker.


Author Patricia McEntee was the winner of our August 2021 Short Story Competition. The prize for Patricia and her unique group was a professional photo-shoot at their spot – Ballymoney Beach in County Wexford.

To celebrate, they had a post-swim party, complete with cake, sandwiches, freshly cooked hot dogs, tea, chats and a marvellous performance of Swan Lake.


A Shipwrecker’s Party – Swim, Eat, Dance

14 thoughts on “Shipwreckers by Patricia McEntee

  • Sinead Doran

    Love it…. congratulations Patricia. Can definitely identify with all your sentiments

  • Mary

    This has really brightened up my day. Love the photos too!

  • Patricia McEntee

    Thank you for your good wishes! The pictures say it all – great swimming, good fun and wonderful friendship. I am so grateful to all The Shipwreckers.

  • Ann

    Wonderful photographs and well done 👏 know some of the Swans in your tribe 😂 great to see such a fab swimming community- keep going strong!

  • Rosaleen Garvey

    Congratulations Trish on winning the prize for such a great achievement. Both for doing it and writing about it so movingly. Well done to all the shipwreckers, the ducks that have become swans and the everlasting joy of friendship.

  • Josie

    I am soo (especially Trisha ! ) admiring of you all and perhaps a little envious. Looks great fun, hard work and determination and friendship win through.

  • Phena

    Good words and well pronounced Trish…. What a Great Life you have in Wexford…. We’ll done 😘

  • brid cleary

    Yes we do have a great time daily as the photos portray …we realise we are lucky & have a great group …friends for life !

  • Mary

    Lovely story Patricia, swim on🌊🏊‍♀️

  • Fran

    Absolutely Fabulous Trish….wonderful photo’s. Wish I had the guts but I’m such a jelly baby. 😩

  • Sarann

    Wonderful Trish. Very heart warming. Continue to enjoy the swim and especially the craic.

  • Breda Joyce

    This a the most heartening swimming story. As an avid sea swimmer myself I envy your tribe. What an uplifting story. Well done to all esp my cousin Bríd of whom I’m so proud

  • Roy

    Trish
    Thanks for sharing that with us and congrats on th story – so well constructed.Good to see you looking so well when we visited you a couple of weeks ago
    Love Roy &Brigittr

  • Kylie

    ♡♡♡ beautiful and well deserved xx


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