Swimming in the sea, in rivers and in lakes, is one of life’s great thrills. Luckily, there are plenty of places to do it.
From the chilly waters of Orkney and Alaska to the warm Pacific. Call it ocean swimming, wild swimming or plain old swimming. What’s important is that you learn to be safe as you swim.
It’s important not to 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/Learn to ocean swim/Learn to cold water swim, depending on what you fancy. You need to find some experts on local conditions.
- Australia’s East Coast has plenty of Ocean Swim schools. In Bondi you’ll find Ocean Fit, which also offers online training and advice. You can also check out Can Too, a charitable organisation that trains ocean swimmers and helps them raise money for cancer research as they learn.
- You’ll find wild swimmers everywhere. Check Google, Facebook and Instagram, and ask for advice. People will be happy to help.
- Read books. Some will 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, as well as sharks and more common sea creatures such as 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 South Steyne Surf Life Saving Club in Manly to Shelly Beach and back. The swim is about 1.6km long, and there are many sea creatures to be spotted on the way. Sea conditions vary from flat and 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.