Elslack Reservoir

I walked up to Elslack last week. Hidden among a large coniferous plantation is a reservoir. Multiple signs plead with visitors not to bathe in its waters. There are no swirling currents or monstrous creatures lurking below the surface; it is the water’s low temperature which threatens life. Even The Outdoor Swimming Society, national advocates for external bathing, list the attendant dangers:

  • Cold shock
  • Cold incapacitation
  • Cramp
  • Asthma
  • Cold water urticaria
  • Hypothermia

The sudden change in the body’s temperature can result in spiked blood pressure and heart rates; the initial shock may disorientate the hapless swimmer. Thankfully, I was in no way tempted to go dipping and frolicking; although the skies were blue and the sun shone bright, it was barely two degrees above freezing. Yet in the summer, when conditions are balmier and altogether pleasant, the dark, cold waters pose a greater threat, for they become a greater temptation.

Be careful when all is well, conditions are lovely, life is good; it is then that the worst dangers often present the hardest temptation.

For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. Proverbs 1:32