'I want to know what it says. The sea, Floy, what is it that it keeps on saying?'

Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son

Freediving, Breathwork in the Sea

Ascending the Line Freediving: Finning to the Surface

Two days after returning from Tenerife, I can still feel the gentle amniotic rock of the ocean's lullaby in my mind and body - lulling, soothing, healing. Time expands and slows as the lessons of this curious discipline of 'breathhold diving' (using British freediver Emma Farrell's definition of the sport) under the water continue to unfold within ...

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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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Winter Waters, Visual Poems

Winter Waters Winter Nesting

Over the course of the winter, I found myself settling into feelings and experiences of the past seasons, years, and cycles that manifested in different written and visual expressions. I enjoy transmitting what I feel in the water through video and photo and sometimes I create a story from an idea, an inspiration, a mood which may evolve into words...

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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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My Octopus Friend: And Then She Was Gone (Part 6)

Day-12-Octopus-on-Foot

In the sixth and final chapter of My Octopus Friend series, I tell the story of our final encounters. One day I went to visit her den and she had simply vanished. I always knew she would leave eventually, it's not uncommon to change dens every few weeks or so, but, as with all relationships, it's hard to say goodbye especially when there's no closu...

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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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My Octopus Friend: Trust & Coming Out of the Cave (Part 5)

20220226-203944Mof-on-Foot-21-June-21 Trust: My Octopus Friend (MOF) comes out of her den to explore my foot

In Part 5 of this six part series, Mof (My Octopus Friend) and I have an extraordinary eleventh encounter on the morning of the summer solstice 2021. It speaks to me about the power of trust, friendship and how vital it is for humans to connect with and to see themselves as part of, and not separate from, the natu...

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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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Swimming My Verses: Poetry & Open Water Swimming

P8050067 Elementals: Hand. Aqua. Bubble. Water.

Blue. Green. Tree. Breath. Arm. Hand. Bubbles. Sun. Moon.  Sometimes when I'm open water swimming, with my mind full of thoughts and I want to clear it, I turn to elementals like primary colors. Single words for single moments. I turn my head to breathe, life giving agent, and there is the Sky. Cloud. Pink. Sun. S...

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The Whirlpool

The-whirlpool-cover

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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My Octopus Friend: An Evolving Friendship (Part 4)

15-June-outside-the-vace

Marked by missed encounters, stormy weather and frothing seas, Part 4 of my octopus series covers encounters 6-10 from 13-20 June 2021. Deeper connection simply produced more questions and curiosity within me. The octopus began to occupy my psyche in new ways and I struggled with the concern that ou...

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The Ocean Calls, Freeing Me from the Weights of Life by Kathleen Wotton

kathleen-in-sea

Be the change you wish to see! Kathleen Wotton's (IG: @ocean_calls_swimming) remarkable story epitomizes the power we have to transform ourselves and rewrite our stories. Read her story and you will see, no barrier is too great to overcome. Kathleen is a shining example that change is possible! Never give up! What a blessin...

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Poem: On Being a Leaf

sleeping-beauty

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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My Octopus Friend: The Doorway to Wonder (Part 2)

11-june-doorway-to-wonder 11 June - Squatting in front of the Unassuming Doorway to Wonder

In the previous article, experiencing silence and stillness opened the doorway to my encounter with the octopus. When my mind stilled, my awareness heightened opening my senses to observe the subtleties in the environment. I made a simple yet profound discovery, a sleeping octopus hidden in its cave. This article explores how I began to open the do...

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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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