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It was a beautiful mid-Autumn day and Andrea wanted to go swimming. Skinny-dipping was out of the question because the air temperature was just 3.5degC, so this called for a wetsuit. And not just any wetsuit – she wanted to wear her Italian-made, semi-dry, beaver tailed, spear fishing suit!

So, with Sealskinz Gore-Tex socks and le Chameau mid-calf rubber boots on her feet, and with a Helly Hansen waterproof jacket over her top half, she set off in her wetsuit to walk from the farm to the waterfalls, a couple of miles away.

The air temperature may have been low but, by the time she got to the falls, she was overheating in the wetsuit, and couldn’t wait to cool off in the water. The force of the white water cascading over her head and shoulders was almost frightening – she was glad of the tight fitting wetsuit hood as the water pressed her into the rock; the noise was deafening.

After playing hide-and-seek behind the walls of white water she floated in the pools, enjoying the fact that her suit kept her almost completely dry but still gave her the chance to cool off as the temperature of the freezing water permeated through. Climbing up and down the rock ledges of the waterfall was strenuous and when she became tired she put her jacket back on over her wetsuit and commenced the up-hill walk home.

Of course, thanks to the wetsuit and waterproof socks, she was as hot when she got home as she had been when she reached the falls! There was only one thing for it: a swim in the dam, both with and without the wetsuit top.

It was amazing how dry her rash vest was when she removed the beaver-tailed wetsuit jacket, but the high waisted neoprene trousers soon filled with water as she waded and swam about in the dam without it. Suitably cooled, she drained her rubber boots and wetsuit trousers before heading to the house for a well-deserved cup of tea!

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