My favourite space is swimming in the sea

My favourite space is swimming in the sea

By Jane North

This is the story of one of our customers, Jane, who got into wild swimming during lockdown. She's taken to doing point-to-point swims and has even co-founded a challenge called 'Awaken Your Blue Mind'.

awaken your blue mind
awaken your blue mind

I tried ponds, lakes and quarries, but I found my favourite place to swim was the sea. I love a bit of adventure and last year I was curious to try a point to point swim along the Norfolk coast. What would it be like to swim from one place to the next and look back on where you have been?

For my point to point swims, it is not about how far I swim or how long it takes, but the experience of setting off on a bit of a journey. But, it usually involves heading towards Cromer Pier. Even with my rubbish sighting, surely I can’t miss that?

For me, a sea swim is a thrilling and unique experience – you have a seal’s eye view of the world. It feels wilder, more remote and vast. The beach stretches out away from the towns with the odd dog walker, the sandstone cliffs seem to tower high above you and in the far distance you can see the Victorian pier at Cromer. Your world is the sea – with the gentle slap of the waves, the odd inquisitive seal wondering what you are, and below you a chalk reef with fish swimming in and out of a maze of boulders and arches.

I swim front crawl for speed and warmth. Time it right and I catch the flow, which helps me on my way. I pick up pace and I imagine I am one of those invincible channel swimmers.

But, breaststroke is for me when I want a bit of sight-seeing above water - it is only then can you fully take in the sights and sensations around you.

The pier seems so far in the distance until the very end. I clamber out and I always feel shaky. I imagine this must have been what it was like when life first took its steps on land. Fanciful, I know.

In my tow float, I have the essentials, well I say that, but it is amazing how much you can cram in. I have my phone; a flannel to dry myself with; some light but warm clothes; usually impractical shoes; face cream and lip balm (a girl needs to look her best!); a drink and a chocolate bar. The chocolate bar is for energy to climb the steps up to the Rocket Café where I have my late vegan breakfast.

High up on the terrace I have the satisfaction of looking back and saying I swam that! Just got to walk back now!

If you need some inspiration over the winter months, join Bluetonic's challenge: Awaken Your Blue Mind.

"It is different from other challenges – it is all about getting out into blue spaces for wellbeing and not how far or fast you do something! There are 60 challenges in, on or near water to choose from. You need to complete 21 challenges before the clocks go forward in March. It costs just a fiver to enter (£10 non-UK) and you get a resource pack with activities; an e journal to record your challenges and reflections and access to a Facebook group where you can share your experiences with likeminded folk. And when you finish, a sew on badge."

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