My 100th blog post. When I started this blog it was to record my various ocean swims races or open water swims as they call them in the UK. I just looked at my very first blog, and it talked about places to swim around the world that I might get to. Well I have swum at all of them and more.
I started doing open water swim events in my former home town of Newcastle Australia in 2008. My first race was 1500m from Merewether to Bar Beach in what I then thought was cold water of 15c. I can clearly recall getting out through the surf and getting to the first buoy felling cold and tired. But I kept going and managed to finish my first race. Since then I have started and completed 89 races in Australia, Vanuatu, New York City, Croatia, England and Scotland. I even managed to win my age group a few times, and several top ten places overall.
But it is not just about the swim events, but also about the amazing people I have met, the places I have swum in and out of races, and where my love of swimming has taken me. It is an overused phrase these days, but my journey has been incredible, and it is still going.
I have learnt from each of my swims around the world, and they have helped me not only in the water, but also when I am dry. Even I could not have believed that I would be able to turn my hobby of swimming into working as a swim guide in Croatia for two summers.
Some of the highlights are:-
Vanuatu swimming in 30c water over coral reefs and in blue holes formed by limestone with some of the clearest water I have ever been in;
New York City swimming across the East River under the Brooklyn Bridge twice, circumnavigating Liberty and Governors Island, and a cold dip on New Years Day;
Australia swimming near the Opera House on Australia Day, at Bondi beach, and three times across Lake Macquarie;
Croatia living and working on a car free island in the Sibenik archipelago for two summers, and returning on a holiday to a fantastic welcome home;
Swimming in lochs in Scotland in all its majestic beauty in summer with water of 14-16c, and in winter with water 4c and less;
The incredible people I have met and swum with, trained with, and raced against. I have heard it said that swimming is a lonely sport, but the friends I have made from around the world who share my love of the water disprove that idea. For those of you who have swum with me in cold and warm water, driven with me to swims, listened to my advice on how to improve (and some of you even did take that on), followed me in my role as mother duck crossing a channel in Croatia, and everyone else who has inspired me, helped me, guided me and worked with me: I thank you.
When I started this post I was living and working in Newcastle Australia, and swimming a bit. Now I have completed 89 races, live in Glasgow in Scotland, and completed my first 10km race after doing a 16km social swim down Loch Rannoch in Scotland. I swim more, and while I may not be faster over 200m than I was 8 years ago, I know that I can keep going for 1km, 2km, 5km and 10km in cold water.
Now where will be my next adventure? Stay tuned, hang on, buckle up and catch the wave on my next 100 posts.
I usually like to put up some nice photos of each of my posts, but I have that many to choose from I have found it difficult to attach. So I have just picked out some that caught my eye as I looked over them all. I hope you like them.
Fog over Town Beach in Newquay Cornwall England