From the River Seine to the Bosphorus, from the Bosphorus to the Slovenian lakes, Alan Boydell, a 36-year old triathlete from Paris, has swum in many different waters.
His latest exploit was to swim over from Luskentyre to Taransay and back. Alan is the son of David and Jessie Boydell, Seònaid Mhurch’ Tarag, of High Borve. He had always dreamed of visiting Taransay, ancestral home of his Morrison forebears, but the idea of swimming over was recent.
So on Easter Monday he set out, towing a red buoy behind him to identify him in case of danger, and with a small support party following his course from the beach.
For Alan, it was one of his most challenging swims so far because of the low water temperature, but despite a temptation to give up half-way he made it over to Taransay in 45 minutes. He does not recommend the swim to inexperienced or unaccompanied swimmers. After five or ten minutes on the Taransay shore to warm up a little and to see the home of his ancestors he was on his way back, and the buoy could soon be seen on the waves as he swam the rest of the 2.4 miles return journey, which coincidentally is the Ironman triathlon swimming distance.
Calling at the Luskentyre Tweed shop on his way back, Alan was given a good island welcome and a warming dram by Dòmhnall Iain Mackay. The day was a memorable end to an Easter weekend on Lewis and Harris before returning to work in his Paris office.