©Paul McCambridge/MAC Visual Media

Last year hundreds more people took to the outdoors to swim and I know many of you are enjoying the exhilaration of this new adventure continuing through the winter. With the short daylight hours evening and night swimming has increased in popularity and a very special part of this are Moonlit swims, so below I have listed 2021’s full moon calendar – (times are for Ireland and UK).

Coinciding with a lunar eclipse this year, this moon represents renewal, cleansing and transformation, let the past wash away and set new goals.

*All times below are in GMT+1 (Greenwich Mean Time).*

FEBRUARY27TH 08:19Ice Moon
The coldest temperatures in the water, we look forward to spring and the lengthening of days.
MARCH           28TH 18:50 Storm Moon
Spring is beginning to peep its head above ground but despite the crocuses bright flowers the water is still very cold, frost and the chance of snow have not yet departed.
APRIL27TH 03:33Pink Moon
A Supermoon this year, the days are stretching and the water temperature is just beginning to rise.
MAY26TH 11:14Hare Moon
This is the 2ndSupermoon of 2021 and represents the birth of animals and giving of life.
JUNE 24TH 18:40Strawberry Moon
Summer Solstice is upon us, a social time. The Celtic Druidic name is Alban Hefinmeaning ‘Light of the Shore’ – the seashore is a special place where the three realms of Earth, Sea and Sky meet.
July24th 02:37Thunder Moon Or Buck Moon
A time for thunderstorms and gathering herbs to dry for winter.
AUGUST   22ND 12:02Hungry Ghosts Moon
To provide light for lost souls to find their way safely back into the afterlife people would light water lanterns and float them on lakes, rivers, and pools. Also known as the Sturgeon Moon a time of abundance and satisfaction.
SEPTEMBER  20TH 23:54Harvest Moon
The well-known Harvest moon celebrates abundant times, although the air is getting colder the water still retains a little of summer.
OCTOBER20TH 14:57Blood Moon
A time to prepare for winter, the Blood Moon or Hunters Moon scatters blue light so more red light reaches your eyes.
NOVEMBER19TH 08:59 Mourning Moon
The time to prepare for winter, for Pagans after a full year of accumulating it is time to let go of old unnecessary things and give yourself permission to mourn their passing.
DECEMBER19TH 04:37Cold Moon
Also known as Moon before Yule or Oak Moon – a time for strength and preparation.

SAFE SWIMMING AT NIGHT

©Paul McCambridge/MAC Visual Media

Night swimming is a magical experience with only the moon and stars to light our way but with this comes additional risks, so please be safe;

Never swim alone – Swimming in pairs or small groups will still allow you to enjoy the stillness and peace but afford a safer environment.

Check your exit – It’s very easy to lose sight of your exit point so place a marker, fairy lights draped over your bag, a glow-stick or torch placed where you can see it, or where it’s appropriate a small fire is lovely to return to.

Swim parallel to shore – All too tempting to follow that elusive silver trail of moonlight across the water but be wary of venturing too far from shore, cold incapacitation can hit suddenly and can hit any swimmer.

Get out while you still want more – As we head into the beginning of the new year the water and air temperatures are plummeting, cut your swim time accordingly, you will enjoy so many more swims this way.

Organise your kit – When you’re cold and shivering the last thing you want is to be fumbling in the dark for your woolly hat etc, so set out your gear in the order that you like to get dressed to make it as quick and easy as possible.

Enjoy a warming cuppa with friends – Finish the experience beautifully.

Respect others – Some people want to have a quiet and personal swim, be sensitive to your fellows, respect their space and enjoy.

Stay Safe!