Arriving in Tarbert today (Friday March 15th) is long-term and long-distance campaigner Lindsey Cole – who has been wild-swimming her way north across the UK after making a name for herself as a mermaid in the River Thames.
She has cycled from Devon to Skye before heading over to the Western Isles and is swimming with outdoor swimming groups along the way. She is pictured above earlier in her trip.
She is doing it all for Crisis, the homeless charity.
Today (Friday) she heads over to Harris at 2pm before heading up to Stornoway on Saturday and swimming with the local group Hebridean Sea Swimmers on Sunday morning.
Hebridean Sea Swimmers are on Facebook for those seeking to join in. Hebridean Sea Swimmers https://www.facebook.com/groups/207173895988650/
Lindsey has accommodation in Stornoway sorted but nothing as yet in Tarbert, welovestornoway.com was told last night.
She explained earlier: “I'm cycling 750 miles from Devon to the inaugural Scottish Winter Swimming Champs at Taymouth Marina, dipping in one of Britain's wild swimming spots every day en route, meeting their mad communities.”
The 1st Scottish Winter Swimming Championships were held at Taymouth Marina on Saturday 9th March.
In 2016, Lindsey cut her hand a clear piece of plastic whilst learning to free dive three miles from shore in Bali in Indonesia. She spun around and discovered she was surrounded by plastic bobbing out at sea. Looking for her next adventure and understanding Britain has its own problem with plastic she decided to swim the entire 120 miles of the non-tidal River Thames, costumed as a mermaid to raise awareness about single-use plastic and to encourage followers to use alternatives.
On the look-out for an artist to do something with the plastic, Lindsey met Barbara (Bla) whilst working in in France. Often found at the dump, or picking up rubbish wherever she goes, Bla recycles her found-materials and turns them into art. Bla has upcycled 600 plastic bottles and moulded them into a mermaid sculpture.
Lindsey says: “After swimming the River Thames as a mermaid I started receiving invites from cold water swimmers all round the country to join them.
“So, when I saw there was a championships up in Scotland of my new favourite hobby, I thought I'd take them all up on their offer, whilst raising money for Crisis.
“I've not lived in one spot for longer than 10 months for the last 15 years. I'm very nomadic, and often I don't know where I'm staying the following week/month.
“But, I'm always lucky enough to have a roof over my head. After I voluntarily dip into cold water, I'm also fortunate to be able to warm up. Others aren't so lucky.
"Please help me help Crisis to end rough sleeping and homelessness."