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Burton B BeachSo, I have taken up (sporadic) sea swimming. Here are my tips for basic survival and how to reap that magic from the experience.

1. Choose a sandy base to enter and exit the sea. If this option is not available then make sure you have some shoes to get you close to where you want to be. Swimming shoes are never the best way to go (trickier movement) unless you get some of those ‘Man from Atlantis’ webbed toe shoes. Then you are a professional.

2. Attire – avoid bikinis especially the incy wincy teeny tiny polka dot kind, to avoid post swim earth re-entry faux pas. Go for a sturdy all in one. Speedo are good and stylish too. As for wetsuits – for the lightweights (me) if you can, invest in one of those special skin like ones rather than the ones from the ice cream shop which provide too much buoyancy seemingly to your legs, making the swim rather unproductive and possibly attracting some kind of life saving operation from a local hero (you can tell, have been there). I suppose the preferable layer here would be covering yourself in lard like a channel swimmer – but there is a good chance of you becoming appealing to hungry dogs and maybe even those notorious Jurassic grey sharks.

3. The swim itself – run in fast, don’t stop. Ride through the initial thermal shock which can initiate the feeling of a small heart attack. Fast breathing and general regret mixed with panic. Just keep swimming as fast as you can with whatever stroke you can muster up. I still haven’t managed to put my face in (whats under there?) and yes you hardy swimmers who keep shrieking at me, I have a stiff neck.  After about 5 mins you will get in the flow of it, warm up and at one with the world.

4. Post swim – have a big towel and warm clothing harbourside. Something easy to pull on like, dare I say it, a track suit.

Boy you will feel good, there is nothing like it. The ultimate freedom.




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