swimming in January?

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
George
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Location: Scotland

swimming in January?

Postby George » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:59 am

Victoria Hislop was just doing an interview about her new book which would seem to be a series of stories set in Greece. At one stage when talking about the weather she mentioned that every January the weather will be good enough during a period of 10 to 12 days when you can get a tan and people will be swimming in the sea. I was in Rhodes in May this year and whilst I did go swimming in the sea it was a bit on the cool side at times, so what is it like in Eastern Crete in January?


p.s. I think her book is called Carte Postal if you're interested.

bobscott
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Re: swimming in January?

Postby bobscott » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:38 pm

She's probably referring to the halcyon days when the kingfishers provide good, calm weather in order to hatch their young! Except that's supposed to be in December according to some sources. Others have it as January.

Don't know about eastern Crete but it's a bit nippy here in the west!
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
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Re: swimming in January?

Postby Kilkis » Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:24 pm

You can read about the myth of Alcyone here. There is often a quiet period of a week or two in winter when there are no winter storms and it is mild and sunny. Exactly when they occur varies from year to year and there is no guarantee they will occur at all. One big difference between the UK and Crete is the fact that when it is sunny in winter in Crete you can feel the heat rather than just seeing a milky white light in the sky. Thus it is possible to sunbathe if they do occur. I've certainly seen people playing football on the beach dressed only in shorts while others swam in the sea on 6 January, which is a national holiday.

Whether it is suitable for swimming is a matter of opinion. Personally I think putting "swimming" and "January" in the same sentence or using the phrase "winter swimming" ought to be a criminal offence punishable by a short jail term. I'm not completely convinced that the sea is really warm enough for swimming in August. Having said that I know several people who swim all year round, only avoiding stormy days for safety reasons. There again there are plenty of places in the world where people break through thick ice to go swimming in winter so I suppose not all the lunatics are in asylums. At least you probably won't need to do that in Crete.

Warwick

altohb
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Location: Sitia

Re: swimming in January?

Postby altohb » Wed Sep 14, 2016 4:41 pm

There are certainly people here in Sitia who swim all year round.

Daisy
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Re: swimming in January?

Postby Daisy » Wed Sep 14, 2016 4:45 pm

Oh what memories you have had me recall Kilkis. When I was young, I belonged to the Bournemouth Spartan Swimming Association. We used to swim in the sea every Sunday from November until April. We also swam on Boxing Day morning and New Year's Eve at midnight.
The winter of 1962/63 was so cold, that when we went into the water, we couldn't feel the sand under our feet. The sea had frozen, so we slid in over the ice. There were large, long icicles hanging off of the groynes and when I tried to hang on to them for a rest whilst swimming, my hands stuck to them.
On New Years Eve that winter, the local council had piled up the snow along one side of the promenade. When I came out of the sea after my swim, the onlookers, being a little tipsy, picked me up and threw me into the snow bank. I well remember floundering around in that snow bank, trying to work out which way was up. That was the first time I had worn my brand new, gingham bikini that I was so proud of.

These days I only swim in the warmer months, but have friends who often swim in Sitia throughout winter.
Daisy :)

Kilkis
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Re: swimming in January?

Postby Kilkis » Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:44 pm

Daisy wrote:...The winter of 1962/63 was so cold, that when we went into the water, we couldn't feel the sand under our feet...


I remember that winter very well. We moved into a newly built bungalow on top of a hill in the summer of 1962. A couple of days before Christmas a gale blew the garage roof off and one of the main support beams came down through the roof of the house. Fortunately we managed to get a temporary repair in place with a tarpaulin before the Christmas holiday because it then snowed and the snow stayed around until Easter. The water pipes of all the odd numbered houses from 1 to 15 froze and remained frozen for at least two months. They hadn't sunk the stop cocks low enough under the path. We were number 17. All the houses with water supplied those without and let them bathe and do their washing.

Warwick

Maud
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Re: swimming in January?

Postby Maud » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:29 pm

I was at school in a rural location in Winter 1962 and many of the pupils came by bus. - The school coaches couldn't get up the hills, so we all had a few days off!

As for swimming in the sea in Crete. - September is the best month for swimming in my opinion George, but apart from that I only venture forth from June until October. My 'other half' is happy to swim much earlier in the year, but it is too cold for me. - I am not as brave as Daisy!

Where did you hear the Victoria Hislop interview please? I would like to listen to it if possible.

George
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Location: Scotland

Re: swimming in January?

Postby George » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:42 am

It was on radio 4 this morning, I think the program is called womens hour, but not certain of that.

Kilkis
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Re: swimming in January?

Postby Kilkis » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:54 am

Yes, it was Woman's Hour. Hopefully this should work. Don't wait to long to listen to it. I'm not sure how long the link will be available.

Warwick

bobscott
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Re: swimming in January?

Postby bobscott » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:29 am

Kilkis wrote:Yes, it was Woman's Hour. Hopefully this should work. Don't wait to long to listen to it. I'm not sure how long the link will be available.

Warwick


An interesting 10 minutes or so. Thanks Warwick. Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Maud
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Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:46 pm
Location: S.W. England/ S.W. Crete.

Re: swimming in January?

Postby Maud » Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:34 pm

Thanks from me too Warwick and George.

Victoria Hislop 'paints a good picture', and I am sure like many others on L C we can envisage the scene in the lovely town of Nafplion. It is one of our favourite places on the mainland. There is no doubt about her love for Greece.....which is well founded!

Kilkis
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Re: swimming in January?

Postby Kilkis » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:23 am

Nafplio is certainly very pretty to look at BUT the two times I visited there it stunk to high heaven, especially along the sea front. I think the top of the Argolic gulf is a hotspot of pollution since it can't escape. On my first visit I rode from Tripoli around the top of the gulf and the stuff washed up on the shoreline was horrendous. I do like nearby Tolon as a place to stay.

Pilos, on the west coast of the Peleponnese, is the only place in Greece where I found the people quite generally unfriendly and I wouldn't want to go there again.

Warwick

Maud
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Location: S.W. England/ S.W. Crete.

Re: swimming in January?

Postby Maud » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:19 am

I took 50 sixteen year olds to Tolon on a water sports holiday in 1990. We all stayed at what was then the new King Minos Hotel.......just up the hill behind the village. The sea water was clean and the village itself was still small and safe. - Friends of ours had two nights in the village last October and said it is still a pleasant place to stay. They plan to visit again this October on their way back to the UK from their other home in the Cyclades. I gather that both Nafplion and Tolon are delightful so late in the season.

The biggest attraction for our students was the ice cream shop in Tolon,which was in the Main Street. - It sold more flavours than anyone could imagine! I think everyone's spending money got used up there!

Nafplion did not smell the few times I've visited, but you are correct Warwick about the problems with rubbish being washed up on the shoreline. The fort above the town is lovely though, and the town itself has a nice 'feel' about it.


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