St Kilda Swim - night swimming can ‘mess with your head’

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Swimmer Mark ‘Doug’ Maciver has been part of the teams to conquer both the Minch and now the route between St Kilda and the Western Isles.

But he admits swimming in the pitch black of night still takes some getting used to.

“It messes with your head. It’s a psychological battle and you can’t let it win but you can’t help thinking ‘what’s down there’ and ‘what can’t I see?’ said Maciver.

“You do think about it and it can freak you out and totally disrupt your swim but its an experience.

“Sometimes its so dark you can’t see thing but during the night on my swim the phosphorescent algae was there which lit up every time my hand broke the water for a stroke. It made everything glow and it was cool but freaky too.

“We also saw lots of very curious dolphins, Three swam directly beneath me and it turns to have a look under you too as if they are checking out what on earth we are. It was amazing.”

The swimmers were thrilled to tick an epic challenge off their list more than a year after first attempting the record-breaking swim.

“We anticipated to get in around 11pm tonight so we totally smashed that target. It’s been over a year since we tried first and then with the delays again this year we were all so determined to get it done. It was unfinished business for us all - not any more.”

Pictured is Mark Maciver (right) with fellow swimmer Eilidh Whiteford.