Born and raised in the UK, Kathleen Wotton is a mum of three and grandmother of two. Her main passion is feeling free swimming in the sea. She’s a full time caregiver for her son who has ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and other conditions that make his life challenging. She posts regularly on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, and YouTube. She strives to support people and encourage positive steps to making their own inner journeys to freedom by sharing her own difficult lifestory that led her to the sea.
katie lives in cornwall (southwest UK) next to the mighty river tamar surrounded by sea.
she walks, writes, and wonders a lot; leading courses on everything from foraging to fermenting to five elements theory – anything that explores the stitching back in of humans and their separation from nature.
an animist for most of her life, she is an anthropologist at heart, a cook, an adoptive parent, and a wild thing learning to embrace her eldership and navigate a world where it is all too easy to believe you are swimming upstream.
in case you were wondering, the crow is her courage.
you can find her on Instagram as @katieandcrow
Hamza Idrissi is from Casablanca, Morocco. He loves to learn, travel and reads widely across many fields including science, history, geography, philosophy, psychology and the human body. When he doesn’t have his head in a book, he loves to swim, run, play tennis and listen to music from the 80s and 90s.
Oxana Sundkvist grew up in Siberia, Russia in the city of Tomsk. Active in sports since she was a little girl, Oxana first trained in gymnastics, but at the age of 12 she started finswimming. At 15 she became World Champion and then the following year she won the Junior World Championship. Thanks to sports, Oxana moved to Sweden when she was 22 years old. She continued to swim in Sweden and won several international competitions for her Swedish swim club.
Today she lives in Västerås, Sweden with her husband and two children. She's an active finswimmer and participates in Masters competitions. In October 2020 she discovered cold water swimming and that became her new passion. Every week she bathes in Lake Mälaren regardless of the weather and describes her experiences on Instagram ( @swimming.oxy ) to share the benefits of cold water swimming and inspire more people to try it.
Linnea Olsson is a water-loving, soon-to-be-30-year-old teacher living in Sweden. Growing up on Sweden's west coast, the ocean has always been a friend. She teaches middle schoolers and during summer break, she runs her own swimschool that will celebrate it's 10 year anniversary in summer 2021. She began winter swimming a couple of years ago (even though living in Sweden entails cold swimming all year around!). Follow her on Instagram @snyggabentag (which means nice legstrokes in Swedish) for insights into the life of a swim-crazy, book-reading, reels-making (swim) teacher.
Helen Edwards grew up off the North Lancashire coastline swimming in the Irish sea, the rivers and lakes of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales from an early age. She now lives in Oxford very close to the river Thames, a daily source of inspiration, wildness and wisdom for her. She has swum outdoors her whole life, since winter solstice 2016 swimming every day in the river, now over 1500 days. She is an artist and has studied cultural dance and movement in Japan and Indonesia and is fascinated by the nature of our cultural, social and personal 'skin'. She works as an Integrative Arts Psychotherapist, her creative work with others draws inspiration from all aspects of embodied natural life which she encounters and which encounter her. Find her on Instagram as Artist (@artallotment) or through her Art Allotment website.
Katharine Montstream is a landscape painter living in Burlington, Vermont, USA. There she seeks out the mountains, rivers and Lake Champlain for her subjects. Winter dipping throughout the cold months is a daily occurrence for Kath and the Red Hot Chilly Dippers. Wind, snow, ice and slush don't seem to discourage any of these rugged souls. You can find her art gallery in downtown Burlington, Montstream Studio, or check her website at www.kmmstudio.com To follow her adventures in cold water find her on Instagram @redhotchillydippers
Sara Barnes is a wild swimmer and author who lives in the Lake District near Crummock Water. She swims all year round, often alone, and believes that these solo dips by their very nature are meditative, life affirming and a completely natural way of connecting with her innermost feelings and thoughts. Much of her writing focuses on the power of wild swimming and being in nature. Joining Sara for a swim in her favourite lake, Crummock Water, is more than a swim, it is a spiritual and joyful experience and an opportunity to understand your own wild heart. "As an older woman I am particularly keen to encourage older women (and men) to refind their wildness. Age is not a barrier to being sensual and at one with oneself and nature". You can find Sara on Instagram @bumblebarnes or through her YouTube channel Sara Barnes .
I was born and raised in Johnannesburg, South Africa. My mum has English German roots and my father is Greek from a small island in the Aegean. Culturally I’m South African - we have been known to be overly zealous and blunt...!! My youth was dominated by food (any Greek family’s priority above all) and animals of varying ferocity - we once found ourselves the keepers of a crocodile called Charlie - but that’s another story. As a child the highlight of my year was our annual beach excursion to the south coast, some 6 hours drive. I studied at Rhodes University In the Eastern Cape where I majored in Philosophy and English literature. These were my surfing days. When I wasn’t surfing I was tanning on the beach with a book as a hat. I had hoped that the content of the book would osmose into my brain.... I now find myself in the Scottish Highlands in a remote glen right next to a dramatic mountain range and wide spanning Loch. My piece ‘Swimming the Knife Edge’ is very much about cold water swimming in Scotland - my next piece will certainly be about how cool water in a hot climate iss a welcome release from a searing savannah.
The Elaborate Swimmer on Instagram - @the_elaborate_swimmer
With seven decades to explore this planet and delight in all wonders of nature, Lyn feels joy! Initially she discovered this through the eyes of children when she nurtured 6-year-olds for 20 years as a pre-primary teacher/principal and mother of two children. For last 13 years, Lyn has taught oil painting for adult beginners and she is an artist in her own right. She lives by the idea that life goes in seasons. She exults: To God be the glory, great things He has done! Find Lyn on Instagram - @lynnorthamart
Kath is a year round sea swimmer from Brighton and Hove, UK who has swum in the sea for as long as she can remember. She has also experienced depression and anxiety for as long as she can remember. Kath uses swimming in the sea as a way to manage her mental health and wellbeing.
More recently, along with a fellow sea swimmer, she started the Salty Seabirds to spread the swim love to others who haven't discovered it yet and provide a safe community space for those who have but wanted to connect with other swimmers.
When she is not swimming in the sea, she writes a weekly blog about her mental health journey and how the sea provides her with perspective. She is also the Co-Founder and (SEA)EO of Seabirds Ltd - a not-for-profit Community Interest Company that raises unrestricted funds for charities and community groups that focus on improving wellbeing and protecting the planet. Seabirds Ltd operates as an online swim shop, a hub that facilitates community talks and events and provides sea swimming coaching and confidence sessions and lessons.
Ángela Lavilla Cañedo is a Xana, a mermaid, a seal, a she-wolf, a peacock, a lizard, heather… She is also a Forest School practitioner, Spanish tutor and she is currently training to become a Ecopsychological facilitator and Ecotherapist. You can follow her wild self on IG (@angela_lavilla_canedo)
Heidi is a middle aged, single mum with a passion for life. Originally from Yorkshire, she settled in a small town on Cornwall's rugged north coast many years ago. Like many others in Cornwall, she's self employed and uses skills learnt throughout her life to earn a living in a varied, creative way. You can find her on Instagram @maidinnewquay
Sara moved from London to Suffolk, on the east coast of England, in 2011. Oscillating along with the tides, she participates in both teaching and learning, receiving and giving variously in her relationship with the human and more-than-human world. You can find her through her IG acct @sarasolnick https://www.instagram.com/sarasolnick/ or her blog sarasolnick.com.