The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever

Jacques Cousteau

Water, Nature & Well-Being (Wild Swimming)

Cold-Water-Therapy-photo Joy in the Water! Wild swimming offers opportunities for connection, growth and reorientation as well as physical & mental well-being

Swimming at Dawn began as a testimony to the transformative power of cold water immersion without me realizing it. All of the articles, both my own and those written by other wild swimmers, are testimonials to the vast range of positive impacts engaging with water in open, natural spaces can have. In this article I delve more into the science ...

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The Water is My Prayer: Collective Wild Swimmers' Poem

contemplating-the-sea-water-prayer-sept-2021 I Breathe with the Earth and the Water is My Prayer, Photo: JPF

"The water is my prayer". Lagoon gifted me this phrase when I immersed in its still December 2021 chill. My daily engagement with water is how I commune on a deeper level, in body and soul, with something beyond and within myself. That morning I realized I 'pray' with, and through, the water. Out of this seed of thought, blossomed th...

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The Water Journey: 7 Days Finding Your Flow

IMG_20210215_111512_313 Come....Join me on The Water Journey!

Imagine! Immersing in the ocean at dawn with the rising sun, exploring the ever-changing nature of a river, creating rings of movement on the face of a placid lagoon with just a gentle touch, putting your head under a waterfall, walking out to an island only accessible at low tide, or feeling refreshing, salty ocean water caress your...

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The Driftwood Series (Menorca)

Driftwood of My Body, Mind and  Soul Driftwood of My Body, Mind and Soul

I began the Driftwood Series in Menorca when hiking around the perimeter of this beautiful Spanish Mediterranean island with my partner from 30 Sept to 9 Oct 2021 on the Camí de Cavalls hiking trail. I swam every day, often multiple times, in the enchanting aqua waters.  Huge quantities of impressive driftwood on Menorca's north side ...

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The Whirlpool

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Swimming at Dawn began to recount my journey to the sea. Journeys, though, evolve and take on new life as the path unfolds. I love immersing myself in all forms of water and while I was swimming in the sea, I was also going to the pool or taking hikes with my family along riverways and inspiring spots that simply called out to me and begged to...

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Poem: On Being a Leaf

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Autumn washes over me and I feel the rhythms within shifting and slowing just as I witness the earth and nature around me settling in for winter. Taking a hike with the boys in the woods I felt much energy in the death and decay surrounding us knowing it simply gives way to new life. My own caterpillar heart is filled with summer sustenance prepari...

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Moonset Swimming at Dawn: Treacherous Enchantment

moon-over-sea Harvest Moon 21 Sept 2021 from the Sea

Tuesday (21 Sept 2021) will live in my body and mind in a powerfully visceral way for a long time. Before waking I had a brief vague dream, right on the edge of consciousness. Bold capital letters, first in red then in black, flashed across my forehead: FEAR, FEAR. I awoke, disturbed. A premonition? Assessing, I told myself, There's nothing to...

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Poem: Shard [on grief] by Lily Robinson

Shard-on-grief-2 Shard [on grief]: I coil and shudder in pain.

Lily Robinson, a wild swimmer and poet from the UK, commented that my relationship with the ocean inspired her. Our connection sparked a unique collaboration between us, her words, my visuals and narration. May Lily's evocative words and my images help you find the courage to face and move through y...

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the water and me by katie and crow

kate-crow-rewilding-in-river

Entranced by katie's nature and soul moving poems that she publishes through her Instagram account (@katieandcrow), I am very pleased that she composed two water-inspired poems for the Wild Swimmer Stories series. Both -the eden that we share- and The Water and Me remind and challenge us to connect with ourse...

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My Octopus Friend: The Embrace (Part 3)

final-farewell Final Farewell After the Embrace

In Part 3 of my octopus encounters series, I move from the porch of the Doorway to Wonder and enter into Mof's (My Octopus Friend's) den. Here is what happened when I took that risky, leap of faith. In overflowing the cup, the master shows the man how he must let go of that which he already thinks he knows – he must empty his cup – in order to real...

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Getting Caught in the Rip by Hamza Idrissi

casablanca-beach-danny-lau Casablanca, Morocco. Photo: Danny Lau

Fear and panic can turn a pleasant wild swim into a nightmare when suddenly things go wrong in the sea. Many people who spend time around the ocean swimming or boating will probably have a story to tell about a brush with death either about themselves or someone else. Fortunately, most people live to tell their stories such as&n...

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The Ocean Gives Me Strength

IMG_20201223_093230-3 Don't Mess With Me Unless You Want to Face the Sea. Stand strong and believe in yourself.

My simple ocean song states, "The Ocean it speaks, it speaks to me, it speaks through me." Many things it says, but over and over, loud and clear, it says: Be strong! Believe! Mesmerizing vitality, power, limitless energy, beauty, constant change and ruthlessness all well up from the ocean's unfathomable depths inspiring, moving and motivating me. ...

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Queen of the Winter Sea by Linnea Olsson

GOT Linnea of the Winter Sea by @emilgvsson

Linnea's love of Sweden's winter sea captured my attention in her story on the Instagram account The Sea Story Collective (@theseastorycollective). I asked her to elaborate on how someone might love freezing, cold water, horizontal winds and adverse conditions for their wild swimming more than the bliss of a beautiful summe...

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Poem: The Wave of Doubt

wave-of-doubt

The first draft of this poem emerged in Feb 2021 born out of fears associated with the creative process, self-exposure (both body and soul) through some of the images and words that I post on Instagram and my own internal meanderings of my year-long sea journey. I've worked on and expanded this poem...

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A Winter Swim With Walt and Wyatt by Katharine Montstream

AfterlightImage-2 Wild swimming becomes poetry at Cotton Hollow in Glastonbury, CT

Poetry and wild swimming. The power of water, especially cold water, to open creative pathways takes many forms. Poems are not just words on a page but often a reflection of how one moves through life.  Kath Montstream (@redhotchillydippers) combines her actions and words in this beautiful poem taking us with...

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We're All Interconnected: Womb Pool Reveries

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I made this short video after a sunrise immersion in a calm pool in late March 2021. The immersive experience was not just in the water but in the entire tidepool environment where stillness and observation helped open my eyes to the many wonders always around us but which often go unperceived due to our inability to 'see'. I'm aware I've only...

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365 Days - 100 Days Swimming at Dawn

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When I started this blog I had no idea I would swim every day at dawn for a year. As it evolved, 100 days became a goal. But then, 100 came and went and I was at 200 days. Now, as I write, I'm past 365 and still going. Water immersion has simply become a part of what I do only a daily basis. This particular blog piece was written with the idea that...

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365 Days: Day 2 - Developing the Daily Ritual

IMG_20200330_083104 What became the daily 'uniform' for swimming at dawn

I write from the present about the past. At first I didn't take notes. I had no idea when I started that swimming at dawn would become a daily ritual. This daily journey to the sea simply evolved spontaneously. Then, as I began to realize its significance and value to me, I began to record each day, through photos and words, of how this p...

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180 Days at Dawn

180-days-2

Empowerment. This photo captures for me what 180 days immersing myself in the cold Atlantic at dawn has done for me. I see a strong woman in that photo taken in dawn's glorious light next to my favorite changing rock that has become my shadow play backdrop.  In this photo I sense and feel strength, confidence, openness, power an...

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365 Days - Day 60 - Two Month Recap

IMG_20200511_073027 60 Days at Dawn - My spirit soars to the sea like this eagle cloud in flight as it swoops down to the sea

When I wrote this on Day 60 I had no idea that I would still be swimming at dawn every day and now be close to Day 300 as I publish this. I am proud of my journey as I look back and see how far I have come and what I have done since then, a day I thought might be the last. Keep surprising yourself! Keep trusting the journey! The phot...

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