Swimming in the sea, and in rivers and lakes, is one of life’s great thrills, and there are plenty of places to do it.
From the chilly waters of Orkney and Alaska to the warm Pacific, you can call it ocean swimming, call it wild swimming or call it plan old swimming. But whatever you call it, you gotta learn to be safe as you swim..
But don’t just throw yourself in without some training or without some pals to swim with you.
Five Learn To Swim Wild Tips
- Can you swim well? If not get in touch with your local swim school and ask for lessons. Private lessons will get you going fast, but groups can be good too.
- Google your local area for Learn to wild swim? Or Learn to ocean swim? Or learn cold water swimming, if that’s your fancy. You need to find some experts in local conditions.
- In Australia on the East Coast there are some Ocean Swim schools, at Bondi you’ll find Ocean Fit , also offering online training and advice. You can also check out Can Too, a charitable organisation which trains ocean swimmers and helps them raise money for cancer research as they learn.
- You’ll find wilder swimmers everywhere, check Google, Facebook, Instagram… and then just ask advice. People will be happy to help.
- Read books, some help with technique, some with places to go and some with safety.
Lots of places are very safe to swim… but many are not. Living here in Sydney, the surf and rips are a big issue… also sharks and more common sea creatures like sea lice and blue bottles.
A little local knowledge goes a long way.
Just ask, the answers can be found, swimmers are helpful people and keen to keep the sport safe and accessible to as many people as possible.
Here are some photos of my very favourite swimming group, the Bold and Beautiful Swim Squad Manly. This group swims daily at 7am from the Surf Life saving Club at South Steyne Manly, heading to Shelly Beach and back, seeing many sea creatures on the way. The swim is about 1.6km long, and sea conditions can vary from flat calm to scary as anything.
Can Too was the group which taught me to break through the scary Aussie surf and swim happily ‘out the back’ for which I am VERY grateful.