Welcome to the Swim Wild podcast - the podcast for the wild swimming community. Interviewing members of your tribe about iconic swims, personal challenges, the friends they have made, the impact on their health and well being and finding a deeper connection with the natural world. Testing out the theory that, whenever and wherever we swim outside, we "emerge from the water better versions of ourselves".
I just have to swim to my next chocolate mini roll
This week's podcast guest is Alice Goodridge, founder of Swim Wild UK and the Scottish Winter Swimming Championships, ice miler, channel swimmer, artist, illustrator and now with a wild swim inspired clothing range.
She is an intensely interesting guest, with so many strings to her bow, all fuelled by her passion for wild swimming.
Her company Swim Wild, like everything else, had to close during lockdown, but here is an update on what is now possible as lockdown in Scotland eases.
"SwimWild is back! It may not have been the start to the summer that I had planned but I have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that we can get back up and running for the latter part of the season, albeit in a reduced capacity. We have drawn up appropriate risk assessments which closely follow Scottish Government guidelines to ensure we are being safe, sensible and honest with ourselves and our swimmers.
SwimWild has achieved Visit Scotland's "Good to Go Badge", meaning we are prepared as best as possible to start 1-to-1 coaching and private guided adventures from mid-July and small group coaching/adventures again from the start of August.
Availability is a bit limited over the summer as I reschedule courses from the Spring and can only operate with limited group sizes, but I will do my best to accommodate everyone. Please do get in touch if you are interested in open water coaching at Loch Morlich, or would like to join me for a guided swim adventure in the Cairngorms National Park."
Go to swimwilduk.com for more
Photos by Euan Cherry
Getting under a waterfall is so much easier than a cold shower
Welcome to this week's swim wild podcast.
My guest this week is Col.
A self proclaimed hippy, living a semi nomadic lifestyle, speaking to me from his campervan while he waited for the cross channel ferries to restart, to take him on a wild swimming journey to the Pyrenees.
It is a stream of consciousness type of chat, touching on topics such as the benefits of sauna, sleep science, the wisdom of flip flops as hiking footwear and more.
I’ve found my family – MH063
Welcome to the Swim Wild Podcast.
This week's guest is Mark.
Our conversation is an unapologetic celebration of what we love about wild swimming.
Mark is a new convert, and was hooked from the first swim.
What I love about this episode is the pure joy, the excitement of swimming outdoors, the addiction to cold water, the appreciation of the newly acquired swim family.
You can read Mark's blogs about the Diabetes 22 mile challenge here, here and here.
Things we talk about you might want to look up
Wye Not Swim?, Keepers Pond, Punch Bowl, Bathurst Lido, Diabetes 22 mile challenge, 22 pushup challenge, Cath Pendelton, Becca Harvey, Cotswold wild swimming, Polar Bear Challenge, Bude Open Water Swimmers, Hebridean Sea swimmers, Outdoor Swimming Society, Portishead lido, Clevedon Marine Lake
To be able to do what we do is a gift
My guest on the podcast this week is Robert.
Robert talks about his involvement with Ainsley's Angels - supporting inclusive triathlon.
He also explains why marathon swimming made him a better person.
It is an uplifting, inspirational and lively episode full of interesting ideas about what wild swimming does for the body and soul.
Things we talk about that you might want to know more about
Total Immersion, Adam (ocean) Walker
I’m really grateful for the pool because it brought me the ocean – KOS057
This week's Swim Wild podcast guest is Kathleen.
After we spoke, Kathleen shared some more details about the places she swims, so I am sharing her words with you here.
Prevelly - this stretch of coastline is different from Cowaramup Bay which is sheltered by the shape of the land and had granite rocks in/ under the water. Prevelly though, whilst only approx 10km South, has a limestone geology instead and it’s this limestone reef that provides protection from the incoming swell. Great for swimming. When there’s a big swell, it interacts with the reef to form waves (exciting!). On low tide, low swell, a bit of the reef is exposed and is fascinating to explore, both above and below the water. The limestone provides a solid structure for small coral, seaweed, barnacles, crabs, habitat for crays (actually, they’re western rock lobsters but everyone here calls them crays) and shelter for all manner of fish. Where I swim, there are small reefs close to shore but it’s the larger reefs, further out that are exiting to swim out to when the conditions are right. Closer to shore, it’s not uncommon to swim with stingrays as they feed off the sandy bottom.
Cowaramup bay (Gracetown) where I swim regularly at dawn on my own. Usually, there are waves breaking at the Northern and Southern points but on this day, it was dead calm. The closest boat in the photo is the shark boat. I forgot to tell you about that. Each day, it takes bait out to drum lines (google it) further out along the coast to catch sharks then tow the sharks further away. If a great white over a certain size is spotted, a loud siren goes off and a recorded voice tells you to get out of the water. There are varying opinions about the effectiveness of this practice. Over Summer, there is also the familiar sound of helicopters as the choppers patrol beaches to spot sharks. So there you go... swim wildlife!
Oh and the kangaroos....funny, but roos actually have a big connection to my swimming as well. The drive from my place to my two swimming spots is from our rural property then past vineyards, cattle and sheep farms, national park, bush etc (i.e. I don’t pass any towns). Roos are really active at dawn and dusk so on my morning drives, I’m in high alert. They can bound across the road when you least expect it.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a roo bar on my car but I probably should invest in one. There are two big mobs on our property so I usually pass some on our dirt track out to the gate (approx 1km) as I head out for a swim. I’ve hit one there before then earlier this year, I hit a big boomer (male) out on the road on my drive to meet the swimming group. Roo was fine, car damaged but still made it to the beach and someone from swimming group taped the grill so I could get to work.
Links for more information
Cowaramup Bay (Gracetown), Prevelly (Gnarabup in this link is at the Southern end, it’s where the woman who did her 20km swim started), Swimming Australia Grants (for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse groups), Port Beach Polar Bears (in Freo), Rottnest swim , Swimming Women (Charlotte O’Beirne’s swimming class I did), The Pod podcast
If it was too easy there would be no reward – MR056
Welcome back to Swim Wild podcast.
My guest this week is Matt from Soak Up Skye.
This episode comes with a slight warning, that, if like many of us, your travel is severely restricted due to coronavirus, this episode will definitely make you want to visit the Isle of Skye - so be warned!
Matt runs wild swimming tour on the island, and in his episode he mentions too many places and swim locations to actually mention here.
What I would recommend is that when lockdown is lifted and it is safe to travel, book a tour with Matt and let him design a bespoke wild swim tour for you.
You will hear how immersed in the place he is, and how deeply connected to the landscape.
Just a few of the places we mention
Smoo Cave, North Coast 500, Bothy, Loch Tay, Great Glen Way, Anna Deacon's book, Coast magazine (April 2020 edition)