All set for tomorrow’s Descent…

This is my hundredth post on the blog and I’m very happy to note that I’ve so far got well over 20,000 views since starting in September of last year! It’s going to have to be a short post, though, just to confirm that my attempt to swim 61 km on the River Blackwater from Fermoy to Youghal will go ahead tomorrow. I’ll be starting shortly after 7:00 am and I expect the swim to take in the region of 11 to 12 hours.

Photograph – Owen O'Keefe

I’ll be starting from here and heading for the bridge, then it’s off to the sea! The forecast is for warm and cloudy but mostly dry conditions…

You can follow the swim on Twitter via @donalbuckley and @PaulNoonan96 and you can also track progress with the Sandycove Island SC SPOT Tracker at I’ll also be using the MapMyRun platform for live tracking. If you’re a member you can get some cool real-time information on the progress of the swim. Search for me on the website and click on “Live Tracking” to check it out. If you’re using your mobile device and we’re friends on MapMyRun just tap on “Live” when you open the app and tap on my name to see the same information.

It’s going to be a long day but I’m looking forward to the challenge!

Following my Blackwater Descent

My planned descent of the Great River of Munster this Friday will take me through some familiar countryside in North Cork, West Waterford and a little bit of East Cork. This means that, for a change, spectators normally confined to their computer and smartphone screens have plenty of opportunities to see the swim with their own eyes. I’ve created a Google Map (below) of the swim also so that I don’t have to clog up this post with information. You can explore the map at any “zoom” and click on the highlighted route and the little swimmer icons for more information…

The swim will pass under eight bridges: Fermoy Bridge, the M8 motorway bridge in Fermoy, Carrigabrick Viaduct, Ballyduff Bridge, Cavendish Bridge in Lismore, Avonmore (formerly Victoria) and Red Bridges in Cappoquin and the New Bridge in Youghal. With the exception of the M8 motorway bridge, Carrigabrick Viaduct and the Red Bridge in Cappoquin, these bridges are good vantage points from which to spot the swim.

Photograph – Donal Buckley

New Bridge, Youghal as seen from the boat during my 2012 swim from Cappoquin to Walter Raleigh Pier, Youghal. (Photograph – Donal Buckley)

A few people have asked me if I could put together some ties of where I might be at what times. I can’t be very accurate, obviously, but I have put together a rough itinerary based on last year’s swim times for the staged swim:

  • 07:00 – Fermoy
  • 08:30 – Clondulane
  • 10:00 – Ballyduff
  • 12:00 – Lismore
  • 13:00 – Cappoquin
  • 14:30 – Villierstown Quay
  • 17:30 – Youghal
  • 18:00 – Front Strand

Again, these are very rough guesses so if you are planning to watch the swim at any point the best thing to do would be to keep an eye on @donalbuckley and @PaulNoonan96 on Twitter to see what kind of progress the swim is making. I will, hopefully, have the use of a SPOT Tracker for the swim (there’s one in the post). I’ll have one more blog post, which will happen to be my hundredth post, tomorrow or on Thursday confirming that everything is going ahead as planned…