Sea turtle spotted in Falasarna

Sea turtle Caretta caretta in Falasarna

This morning we went to Falasarna beach for a swim.

It was a beautiful day, with crisp air and clear water. The sun was out. A breeze was blowing.

I put my wetsuit on and swam North along the coast. After about 15 minutes, I turned back and swam towards the surface flat rock lapped by the waves, where I had a sea rendez-vous with Fiona.

I swam around the rock and then stood on it. I saw Fiona coming from shore, so I swam to meet her. We met and we proceeded to swim again towards the rock, our focal point. After a few strokes, I heard her call: Look!

She spotted a sea turtle on the bottom, some 6-8m deep. The turtle, a Caretta caretta, was not moving. It looked like she was sleeping, head tucked in between some rocks. I took the camera from Fiona and dove to take some shots, but I couldn’t really get deep with all the buoyancy from the full wetsuit. It looked like the turtle had a big tail curled under her body, which would make her a he. A good size animal, probably and adult. We left him there to rest and swam back towards shore.

We enjoyed the bright clear water on the way back, and even basked in the full sun once we got out.

Total distance: 1.45 km
Average speed: 2.97 km/h
Total time: 00:35:46
Download file: Swim-Falasarna-Wetsuit-Turtle-Short18022020.gpx

The Falasarna Swim

After a winter of swimming in the rough sea, it was time for some calm waters.

A great day for a great swim. We went to the beautiful Falasarna beach, on Crete’s West coast, where I swam a good distance, 3.8km.

First around the offshore Limpet island, then to the WWII shipwreck in the Northern corner of the bay, then back to shore. The sea was super still, though the water temperature was still a bit cool for my taste. The water is crystal clear, and especially beautiful around Limpet island.

This is a great Open Water wild swim if you’re in West Crete.

Thanks to my support and video crew, you can see a short video of the swim:

Note about the GPS track: the gps was on the kayak, so while the route, total time and distance reflect my swim, the intervals will be different because the kayak was sometimes behind, sometimes in front of me.

Total distance: 3.72 km
Average speed: 2.68 km/h
Total time: 01:36:55
Download file: Swim-Falasarna-Island-Wetsuit-Short26052019.gpx

Swim in Viglia with new Orca full wetsuit

Today I tested the other new wetsuit that I just bought. This is a full, Orca brand wetsuit. It was quite easy to put on and it feels very comfortable, maybe a little too big for me but I did enjoy the comfort after the struggle to fit into the tight sleeveless one the other day. There’s quite a bit of extra material in the legs, arms and body, but it did cover me nicely. Arms are very stretchy, and I didn’t have any feeling of excess compression or constriction. I could do my stroke freely. Float balance in the water was also great, probably helped by the calm sea. I found a good balance right from the start.

Now the only real test left is the winter, when the water gets cold. Will this wetsuit keep me warm? The neoprene does look pretty thin. That test will have to wait about 6 months anyway! The sea temperature doesn’t really drop until December.

Fiona came with me, and we set off from the end of Viglia beach. Beautiful still sea, clear water. We took some breaks and chatted along the way, but when swimming I was trying to push quite hard. We were aiming to go check out the little beach by the Balos road toll, for a potential beach cleaning. I did get there, the beach was clean, and swam a bit beyond Meri’s well as well.

I wore hand paddles for most of the swim, except the beginning and the end. I didn’t really get tired, probably the frequent breaks helped, still a good general feeling.

Total distance: 2.59 km
Average speed: 3.09 km/h
Total time: 01:00:45
Download file: Swim-Viglia-Wetsuit-Short130618.gpx

Swim from Viglia to Meri’s well

Probably the last swim with full wetsuit and neoprene sock on. Just a precaution really not to get cold so I can stay in the water for the planned time of over an hour.

A one way swim from Viglia to Meri’s well and beyond. Got tired at the end and struggled for the last 500m.

Total distance: 3.79 km
Average speed: 2.68 km/h
Total time: 01:28:54
Download file: Swim-Viglia-Wetsuit-Short240518.gpx

Swim in Nopigia with choppy sea and wind

A swim in Nopigia in choppy sea and windy conditions, with full wetsuit but no sock.

Total distance: 2.69 km
Average speed: 2.76 km/h
Total time: 01:03:55
Download file: Swim-Nopigia-Wetsuit-NoSock-Choppy-Short220518.gpx

Swim in Viglia with wetsuit

A long swim in Viglia with full wetsuit and sock.

Total distance: 3.26 km
Average speed: 2.93 km/h
Total time: 01:13:24
Download file: Swim-Viglia-Wetsuit-Short180518.gpx

Swim to Meri’s well

A nice, long swim from Viglia to Meri’s well.

With wetsuit and sock.

Total distance: 2.76 km
Average speed: 2.84 km/h
Total time: 00:58:48
Download file: Swim-Viglia-Wetsuit-Short130518.gpx

Long swim in Kissamos with wetsuit

A good long swim in Kissamos with a full wetsuit and sock.

Total distance: 2.41 km
Average speed: 2.91 km/h
Total time: 00:55:39
Download file: Swim-Kissamos-Wetsuit-Short100518.gpx

Swim with hand paddles from Meri’s well

A good long swim from Meri’s well, wearing hand paddles and a full wetsuit.

On the way back I lost the buoy. I realized after about 100-200m and had to swim back to get it. So the real total distance should have about an extra 300m added.

Total distance: 2.18 km
Average speed: 2.80 km/h
Total time: 00:54:25
Download file: Swim-TouMeri-Short050518.gpx

Swim to Falasarna shipwreck

A good long swim to Falasarna shipwreck and back.

Wearing a full wetsuit.

Total distance: 2.45 km
Average speed: 2.70 km/h
Total time: 01:00:36
Download file: Swim-Falasarna-Shipwreck-Short010518.gpx