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Swimming the Channel, a lake or the ocean, all involve the soul as well as the body

Why do we human beings swim? We don't need to, after all. I've just climbed out of the English Channel in Devon, just before dawn, having left my warm bed to plunge my body in a body of water, which rises at springtide as if to drag me in. I do this every morning, more usually from my home waters in Southampton, where the confluence of cold waters from two rivers turns the experience into an even colder shock.

Galway researchers find most effective treatment for jellyfish stings

Seawater, ice packs and urine all have one thing in common – they are all associated with treating jellyfish stings.

Now newly published research has confirmed that such antidotes are not only useless, but may actually make stings worse.

The study by scientists at NUI Galway and the University of Hawaii-Manoa evaluated the standard practice in Ireland for treating stings by the Portuguese man o’ war (Physaliaphysalis) – as in rinsing with seawater and applying ice.

Mermaid!

Lovely short film about Maureen McCoy, author of Wild Swimming Ireland.

10 unspoken rules of wild swimming

If you're a fan of open water swimming you will understand...

Open water swimming is completely different to indoor swimming. Yes, they both take place in water but that’s where many of the similarities stop. Something I found out when wading through lakes, rivers and seas all around the world. But it was somewhere between the sun-soaked beaches of the Caribbean and in the ice-cold Lakes of England that I came to learn of the laws that govern swimming in the great outdoors. You won’t these in any fitness magazine or travel book, but here are the 10 unspoken rules of open water swimming.

What kind of water? How long is a meter?

Used with kind permission by Ned Denison of Sandycove/Cork open water swim Camp

As the days get longer in the Northern Hemisphere and the sun actually gives off a bit of warmth I have the annual pleasure of meeting lots of winter pool swimmers. They all seem to have questions which fit into two basic categories:

10 tips for New Years resolutions

As found on the FaceBook page of Adam Walker:

Adam wrote one of the first sensible guidelines for open water swimming in the early 90's.

Why swimming in the sea is good for you

If you live near the sea, chances are you’re getting more out of it than just enjoyment. It has long been thought sea frolicking has many health benefits.

Historically, doctors would recommend their patients go to the seaside to improve various ills. They would actually issue prescriptions detailing exactly how long, how often and under what conditions their patients were to be in the water.

Using seawater for medical purposes even has a name: thalassotherapy.

33 Thoughts You Have While Swimming Alone

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Exams are done, you’re finally home, and you get to spend quality time with family and friends. What could go wrong?

Everything’s perfect…and then you remember that you still have to swim.

College swimmers are still expected to train over break. Training trip is soon approaching and Championships are just around the corner, so coaches still expect us to remain in shape.

The world’s most dangerous places to take a swim

Some incredible outdoor swimming spots are protected areas while others are open year-round for people to dive off docks, swim, go on boat tours, and enjoy any way they can. Many are totally safe-- but some that appear to be, arent'. 

Open-water swimming can be dangerous, even if you know what you’re doing. No one is immune to sudden thunderstorms that can lead to overturned boats, stranded passengers, sudden encounters with wildlife and dangerous swimming conditions.

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