60 years + 60 lochs + 60 miles = £6,000
The Great Sleat Swim has started in the South end of Skye.
Sleat Community Trust Director Duncan MacInnes is well on his way to swim in every loch he can find in Sleat. There are over 60 of them. He aims to raise £6,000 in sponsorship for Sleat Community Trust and is already clocking up the monies, the supporters and the lochs.
“Last winter I knew there was a substantial birthday coming up. I thought I needed to celebrate by doing something different, and to benefit the area,” explains Duncan. “I enjoy a bit of wild swimming and on looking at the map I realised there was a large number of lochs in the area. I also realised that although I have lived here all my adult life, I have never visited many of them.
I started the swims at Ostaig Beach in early April and will now swim in several fresh-water lochs a week until they are done.
The £6,000 is for the benefit of Sleat Community Trading Ltd, the Trust subsidiary which owns the petrol station and post office. Duncan was the lead Director on that project. “This is a wonderful community asset but it needs some capital – to improve the buildings and develop the premises as the hub for the Community Trust.”
Duncan is encouraging sponsors to name a particular loch he will swim in their name – and even to join him if they wish. “I am staggered at some of the beautiful little lochs in Sleat that no-one goes to. I have found one bottomless ‘infinity loch’ overlooking the Ord Glen and have shared others with various water-birds. I have been watched by curious sheep, cattle and deer.”
“I swim for at least two minutes, or sometimes right across. Often the loch is only 50cm deep and I cannot stand up without getting stuck in the mud.”
“The hard work is getting to them all, probably walking 60 miles in all, and walking between lochs in wet clothing. This is no namby-pamby venture with wet-suits! “I have also been happy to swim in wet and windy weather – the water is more pleasant that way!”
Duncan keeps a photo record of all the swims on www.spanglefish.com/greatsleatswim
Donations can be made on the website, or by using forms at Sleat Community Trading in Armadale.