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

Jacques Cousteau

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: Coming Full Circle

P3140043-3 The Waves Call Me Home on Day 365

365Tears upon the shoreLaughter into the windJoy in the wavesA year swimming at dawnA gift of a lifetime!  In mid-March 2021 swimming at dawn for one year came full circle. I swam or immersed myself every day, at least once, for 12 months, four seasons, 52 weeks, 13 moon phases, 365 days. I am not a numbers person but I am proud of this empowe...

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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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My Body the Ocean: Swimming My Song

P9230134-2 My Body the Ocean - I sing my song to the sea.

Even with the windows closed, I can hear the deep, powerful resonance of the ocean, a 20-minute walk away from my house. I live on a hill that looks down upon the sea. It's too far to hear individual waves crashing but close enough for the collective roar to float up and surround my consciousness as a constant presence. Even though I am often not a...

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Finding Calm in the Norwegian Winter Sea by Linn Krogh Hansen

IMG_20210208_190904_095-2 Linn swimming butterfly along a glacier 80 degrees North near Spitsbergen, Norway

I feel boundless respect and admiration for winter cold water and ice swimmers who brave the harshest elements to immerse and swim in extreme conditions. Many cold water swimmers experience powerful mental and physical well-being by exposing themselves to ice and cold and the temporary discomfort is amply compensated, and even relished, as part of ...

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The Language of Water by Helen Edwards

Underwater-world5-2 In her waters my body's words come to life and I know her language deep within me. - Helen Edwards

Helen's @artallotment was one of the first wild swimming Instagram accounts I began to follow when I started my @dawn_swimmer account in July 2020. Her artistic photos and often simple yet profound words struck a deep chord within me. Then I learned that Helen's wild swimming wisdom comes from her unique sensitivity and way of p...

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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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My Wild Heart by Sara Barnes

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With her wild heart, joy in nature's bounty and watery worlds as well as her desire to dig deep into the dark roots of the soul, Sara is a kindred spirit. Her photos, commentaries and video clips of her experiences in the northern UK captivate me and move me to continue my own exploration of the wild heart, the wild beauty. Than...

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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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Swimming the Knife Edge by The Elaborate Swimmer

IMG_8691-4 The Elaborate Swimmer - I face life with strength and beauty, creativity and fearlessness.

Cold. Knives. Edges. Water. Creativity. Pushing limits, pushing boundaries. Why do we do what we do? In this strikingly creative and powerful piece by the South African native and now Scottish Highlands resident, The Elaborate Swimmer takes us on her journey from cold to creativity and the power of the extreme to bring us into sharp reality wi...

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365 Days - Day 16: Facing the Wind

IMG_20200330_08104_20210110-194246_1 A violent dawn sky on the windy day. A cloud man swirls his arms blowing the wind towards the ocean.

It was just 'wind' when I wrote this on Day 16, just the beginning of my sea pilgrimage. From my open water swimming experiences I knew of course that different wind conditions can make swimming a great challenge. Also local weather knowledge tells us that wet storms blow from the SW and the cold wi...

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The Joy of the Sea is Embedded in My Blood

Muizenberg_Cape_Town1-2 Joy of the sea at Muizenberg, Cape Town, South Africa where I live

Joy in life and the waves is what South African artist Lyn Northam transmits in her Wild Swimmer piece celebrating her life on this glorious planet enveloped in the salty richness of the sea. While many things change over the course of one's life, Lyn demonstrates how a love of the sea is an eternal affair and off...

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Finding My Voice in the Waves

Dawn Swimmer and Mariña, the Mermaid of Salvora Dawn Swimmer and Mariña, the Mermaid of Salvora Island

It's hard for me to imagine a more moving personal challenge than swimming at the edge of the open Atlantic from the island of Sálvora to the fishing port of Aguiño. One day in summer 2020 I overcame both real and irrational fears to do this swim, a swim I hadn't even set for myself as a challenge. Many layers of meaning un...

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The Kraken Awakes by Kath Ferguson

eb16 Legendary yet real beast, the kraken lies below the calm appearing surface.

Yesterday, 10 October 2020, was World Mental Health Day. Depression and anxiety are terrible bedfellows. They haunt you, perturb you, rarely leave you in peace, and hang over your head like a veil of despair tinging with darkness the brightest of days. On the surface, one can appear okay but the storm within may rage darkly, sadly, i...

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Embracing Fluidity by Ángela Lavilla Cañedo

IMG-20200830-WA0025-2 Being wild, untamed, is being fully me.

Ángela Lavilla Cañedo's moving Wild Swimmer Story explores how wild cold water and embracing her wildish nature have saved her in body and mind during some challenging years. Embracing our wildish nature means to awaken our inner worlds, live life and our creativity fully, reject confining social norms that stigmatize ...

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The Sea Sets Me Free by Heidi Westbrook

20170920_133207-02_resized_20200918_043049190-2 I had found my true self in the sea

Today's powerful Wild Swimmer Story is a woman's discovery of herself, her worth and her decision to live. Many women (too many) allow fears, habits and hang-ups to keep them from embracing what their souls yearn for and need, ignoring what instinct and inner wisdom shouts at them to do. B...

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Waking to the Lure of the Sea by Sara Solnick

IMG_5077-2 Waking up to the Light

As I've entered the world of swimming, as in any discipline, I've discovered the worlds within worlds. One of the major distinctions is pool vs. wild or outdoor swimming. Sara Solnick, a lifelong pool swimmer from the UK, shares her moving story of transformation from fear to flow in the sea and how she has also become ...

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180 Days at Dawn

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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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Swimming through Pain: A New Normal by Megan Binns

IMG-20200802-WA0022 I have always enjoyed swimming with no pressures, no whistles and no medals.

I am excited to inaugurate Wilder Swimmer Stories with this moving contribution from Megan Binns, a youth charity worker originally from North Wales but currently located near Edinburgh, Scotland. Megan also runs the Instagram account called The Sea Story (@theseastory) where water lovers share their inspiring stories ...

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Swimming in the Fog: Descent into the Fog, Return into the Light

IMG_20200826_113314_219 Sun starts to break through fog on return journey.

 It's hard to imagine nature mirroring more profoundly a common mental, inner process than this morning's walk and swim in the sea. Who doesn't experience 'mental fog' from time to time, ie, a lack of clarity, vision or feel overwhelmed by doubt? This sequence of four photos focused on the same view show my descent into the fog....

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