We took a trip to Derwent Water in February on a day when the rain was lashing. The wind was roaring off the Derwent fells, across the water and whipping up the water. From dry land it was fun to watch little whirlwinds skimming across the lake. It was a sight to behold, after the warm, gentle summer afternoons I was used to, swimming from Great Wood in the Borrowdale Valley. Today, Derwent Water was like a place transformed, an angry sea with frothing, dark waves. It was a clear message that just because your swimming spot is usually a fairly flat and inviting lake it can quickly become a hostile environment. Not a place for swimming, but still beautiful and magnificent. Winter swimming in the Lakes is proving an interesting experience for me. Miller Ground has grown wonderfully quiet and convenient for a quick dip and I have had places further afield all to myself. But when the weather turns and the winds roll off the hills with a fury, it's time to stay out of the water.