MAYBE YOU ARE AN ALL-YEAR-ROUND SEA SWIMMING DEVOTEE OR PERHAPS YOU ARE JUST ABOUT BRACING YOURSELF FOR YOUR FIRST BRAVE DIP OF THE YEAR … WHATEVER YOUR SWIM HABITS, WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU …
Several sea worshippers – both regular and seasonal – live at The Gloss and keenly share the message of deep sea vitality! As a result, we embrace and endorse sea swimming for its plentiful health benefits and social elements – but now, we want to know what draws others to the waves. Let us know.
Tell us in however many words you like, why you love to swim in the sea, as well as where you love to swim – have you got a favourite spot to dip in and out of? Do you gather with friends for a daily or weekly ritual? Did you pick up the habit during lockdown and have found yourself drawn to the waves ever since? Send in your entries to [email protected] with a picture of you or your favourite swim spot – selected entries will be published on thegloss.ie and associated social media channels over the coming weeks. We look forward to hearing your sea swimming stories …
Dylan Bradshaw, Hair stylist and salon owner @dylanbradshawdb
I’m swimming about three years now with a group of friends who’ve been doing it for the last 15 years. I get an incredible recharge from swimming – more so from the cold winter dark swims, funnily enough. Some winter mornings in the middle of January at 6am in the darkness, the only light from the moon or stars, are pretty incredible – for that moment in time you’re at peace and your mind is clear. And when you come out of the sea the temperature could be one degree and you don’t even feel it because your skin has that fiery tingling sensation. That’s when you’re most alive! I swim everywhere I can, but regularly at the Forty Foot, Vico and the amazing beach at Brittas, as we are blessed to have a base there.
Niall Meehan, Wicklow-based designer and photographer
I grew up by the sea, it is inherent in who I am. There are some who describe their relationship with the sea in spiritual terms and I get that. However for me it evokes visceral feelings. It connects me to the natural world in a very immediate and instinctive way.
My usual swim is in The Cove, in Greystones, Co Wicklow; it is my daily bread and the base for a wonderful community of fellow swimmers who add to the metaphorical sustenance and general soul maintenance. The 40 Foot in Sandycove, Co Dublin is very (very) close to my heart. The Vico and White Rock in Killiney, Co Dublin and Coliemore Harbour in Dalkey are all spectacular. My favourite spot is a moveable feast — it could any of the above — but over winter I had some fantastic dawn swims on a virtually deserted Magheramore beach – it ices the cake.
A fundamental aspect of my sea swimming experience is the connection that I have with the people I swim with. We are connected through friendship and the will to support and accept each other in a community. Our group is no different to any of the many similar groups dotted around the country. When I am floating about in my little patch of water I know they are doing the same in their water, and we are connected. Similarly the sea connects me — digitally — to swimmers beyond my horizon.
My daily swim has now also become a new outlet for self expression. Through my image making I am striving to connect on an emotional and experiential level with the viewer. I want the viewer to experience the scene as if they were there — not looking at a sea scape, but being in a sea scape. Next month I will be taking part in the Make a Splash a Day in May fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society @irishcancersociety. www.seastudio.ie @niall_seastudio / @humansofswimrise
Ruth Herbert, @eatlivesmile
Sea swimming has been a magical reset for me. I began last September with two friends, one a novice like me and the oother a regular who started during the Covid-19 lockdown, She had suggested I join for ages and I adamantly refused saying there was no way I was taking my clothes off in the winter!
I had just turned 40, my little boy started ‘big school’ and my little girl started Montessori so I said ‘Alright, let’s give it a go’. And that was it, from day one I was in, I got the gloves and booties, along with my old Lion King beach towel and that was me set.
Gradually our group grew, friends and friends-of-friends joined, there’s ten of us now, we call ourselves ‘The Cold Crew’, (it started as a joke but it stuck), and whoever is available meets twice or more a week, juggling kids, jobs and general life.
We know that with whoever is there we can wade into the sea and just allow that vast blue to give us whatever we need. For me it’s a mental reset, pure freedom to be me, without any to do lists or obligations. Some days it’s absolute joy and fun and we are jumping like feral children over the waves, other days it’s peaceful lending grace and space. And it’s also time shared with good people, lifelong friendship based on something good for the soul.
The mental reset has allowed me to explore what I want to be as a person, a full person for me, and has inspired me to do fun creative things for me, with no goal or outcome, just for me, so I started writing, just for me, but it’s fun and no pressure and makes me feel good.
Below is a little poem the sea helped me write:
Sun glinting, beauty seen
Felt, feeling, more serene
Gusts of wind bustle and blow
They don’t budge me
I don’t need to go
Not new, but new to me
Crash of wave, though small has will
Tiny crest, perfect still
Endless, vast, depth beyond
Ocean, wonder, gray-blue pond
People alone, groups or in twos
Share something rich more than nice views
Hope, strength, alive, free
True, truly here, truly be
Sign up to our MAILING LIST now for a roundup of the latest fashion, beauty, interiors and entertaining news from THE GLOSS MAGAZINE’s daily dispatches.