What it’s like …

It’s the North Sea so there’s no escaping the fact it is cold. Very cold in winter.

Photo by  Haley Phelps  on  Unsplash

Getting in can hurt, especially if you’re not wearing neoprene. That’s manageable with patience, practice, willpower, the right gear and being properly acclimatised to the cold. Your first time will probably be hard. Don’t give up after one go. It does get easier. Make your first swims/dips short and increase the length of time you’re in bit by bit until you’re more acclimatised.

Summer is easier as both the air and sea temperature are warmer. Be aware of cold water shock and after-drop how these affect your body and reactions.

Alone on this world.

The water is different every time. Sometimes as still as glass, sometimes rippling like a murmur on the surface, sometimes bashy and boshy and sometimes just too dangerous to go in.

When I'm in the water it is almost a form of meditation; I have no thoughts other than about the sea, staying afloat, the view, the texture of the water, the sensations on my skin, how my body is reacting to the temperature, my breath or the quality of the light on the water and around me. For me it is life affirming and a wholly positive experience.

Whatever the sea is like and no matter my mood before going in I always come out feeling energised and happier.

I am not a competitive swimmer. I couldn’t care less about personal bests, distances or the latest technical gear. I just want to be in the water. Sometimes I will swim properly, other times I will just float, soaking up the view and the experience. Sometimes I will swim in deep water, other-times I'll stay in the shallows.

The bottom line is that it is your swim, so you should do whatever you want to do and not feel pressured to do more than that. Nobody has ever pressured me.

Get in and enjoy your swim!

If you find this information useful please    make a donation to the Tynemouth Seal Rescue Unit    (part of British Divers Marine Life Rescue). If you’re feeling particularly generous have a    look at their Amazon Wish List   .

If you find this information useful please make a donation to the Tynemouth Seal Rescue Unit (part of British Divers Marine Life Rescue). If you’re feeling particularly generous have a look at their Amazon Wish List.