I like to go for a swim in a local loch on special days, such as the summer solstice. For 21 June 2017 a short drive to Duck Bay just near Cameron House on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond for the 4am start time. I still find it incredible to live in a place where it really does not get fully dark in mid-summer.
A group of us decided to make this a swim event, even though it was the middle of the week. Such dedication from these crazy swimmers, with several getting up at 3am to make the half hour drive to the meeting point. Of course the weather forecast was for some cloud and rain, but we have come to expect that. After all we had our summer at the end of May when the temperature soared to 26c for two or three days with wall to wall sun.
When I arrived at the beach, it was grey and cloudy, and I doubted that we would have much of a day. It reminded me of a few years ago when we could not even tell when the sun rose as the clouds were so thick and it rained steadily. As I measured the water at a tropical 16.3c I noticed a parting of the clouds and a small amount of colour trying to break. As everyone arrived it started to look more promising.
As we all got ready to swim and gathered on the shores, the magic of the summer solstice happened in front of us, with a glorious colour flooding the sky and reflected in the mirror smooth surface of the loch. What a sight, and how incredibly lucky we all were to experience this.
So then we all entered the water, and swam down to Cameron House and back, enjoying the warmth of the water and the calm conditions of the loch. I know that I stopped swimming several times and just looked at the amazing show that nature was providing for us, knowing that most people would still be sound asleep and missing it all.
It was not long before the dawn show faded, and we were left with the grey light of another cloudy summer’s day on the west coast of Scotland. An incredible swim with the rain falling gently on the still loch, with the reflection of a beautiful sunrise. There was a power to nature on this the longest day of the year.