Bog snorkelling is a sporting event that consists of competitors completing two consecutive lengths of a 60-yard (55 m) water filled trench cut through a peat bog, in the shortest time possible. Competitors must wear snorkels and flippers, and complete the course without using conventional swimming strokes, relying on flipper power alone. Here’s a video:
2021 UPDATE. Video of bog snorkelling is no longer available.
We first saw bog snorkelling years ago on Countryfile when a very brave Charlotte Smith donned a wetsuit and, to the universal amusement of the millions of Countryfile viewers, swam up and down a bog trench with flippers, snorkel and face mask. We thought she was very brave, particularly when her fellow reporters had a jolly good chuckle at her expense. A few years later poor Charlotte was replaced by a younger female reporter…but that’s another story.
The reason I’m talking about bog snorkelling is because we appear to have a possible competitor in our little family. The desire for competition is so strong that it sends her into fits of excited running if she gets the slightest whiff of bog. And to think we’d never have known if we hadn’t visited Thursley Nature Reserve today.
Thursley isn’t far from us. We were actually on our way to Hankley but because the roads have been up for the last two weeks, Mirinda decided it would be better to approach from Elstead. As we reached the Thursley Moat car park, we thought it would be nice to try somewhere different. Carmen had no idea how much she was going to enjoy herself.
The nature reserve is 326 hectares of either sandy or boggy ground. The boggy bits have a very handy wooden track built over the top. The first time Carmen jumped in, we thought it was a hilarious accident. By the fourth time it was clear she was having the time of her life.
She looked like a seal as she struggled to drag herself back onto the boardwalk, her tail eventually wagging as she joyously splattered everyone with any excess sludge she was carrying. We’ve never seen her so energetic. She went manic. I don’t remember Charlotte, having jumped into the mire, suddenly acting like she’d snorted a mound of cocaine. Ok, she sped up a bit but that was because she wanted to get out, not quickly find more.
Anyway, the bog at Thursley stinks and so did Carmen. She was so smelly that everyone who passed us coming in the opposite direction avoided her like the plague. She was given a serious scrubbing by Mirinda when we arrived home.