Whenever you go away with a group of people that you've never met before you take a bit of a risk. That risk is even greater if it's a swimming holiday at the very end of the season.
But that's what I did last week as I set off on the Crete Escape trip.
The gamble on the group paid off handsomely. Unfortunately I lost my stake on the gamble on the weather. However, I was very much in profit on the week in general.
The weather meant that we couldn’t do all the swims as they were originally planned (especially at the end of the week) - mainly because the coastguard wouldn’t let the pilot take the boat out with passengers on. However, the plan Bs were beautifully executed; the swims themselves were still great (if a little 'bumpy' at times); the advice was outstanding and I even managed to finish the week as a faster swimmer.
And perhaps most importantly, the group was great. Over relaxed evenings and Greek beer I've made new swim buddies and possibly sourced new international locations for swimming related meet-ups.
All of this was down to the excellent work of our Swimtrek guides, Trish and Caoimhe. They provided good humour, motivation, smiles, knowledge and expertise in the face of what for them must have been challenging conditions.
Their professionalism meant that, as a group of swimmers, we always had a full itinerary (even if the swims changed) and could just relax and enjoy ourselves.
It was an excellent week and definitely something I'll have another flutter on in the future.
Photo courtesy of Miriam Zendle