The ideal water temperature for swimming in the ocean is between 70 and 78º Farenheit (21-24º Celcius). Hypothermia begins to set in around 50º F (10º C). On the North Coast of Scotland the water temperature in August at the height of summer hovers around 59º F (15º C) and it is still one of Sam's favorite places to swim.
To the locals this is no place for swimming. Until there was a pool built in Bettyhill about 15 years ago (which is fantastic, btw - it has a hot tub, a teensy sauna, and Wifi) fishermen would routinely drown in the frigid, fertile waters. Although surrounded and very much dominated by the sea, no one could stay in the water long enough to learn to swim.
Sam took Roan in for a Scottish christening of sorts. Will, Jam. Lorcan and Maeve all ran in too and spent a good half hour frolicking in the peaty, brown surf. Maeve, blue lipped and quivering like a leaf ran in circles around a naked Lorcan who etched primitive paintings in the sand with a stick. I only got as far as taking off my boots. Briefly.