Tag Archives: Wild Swimming

Strete – Keepin’ it real on a beach bivvy with the Belles in Blue

After witnessing the worlds first circumnavigation of the Rock with No Name, it was time to celebrate… happily someone I’d never met before but who likes swimming was having a party on a beach – perfect!

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Beach party and the smallest dog in the world: Copyright Alice Gartland

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BBQ, small dogs, wind breakers, bonfire, disco lights, tents and bivvy bags… I’ve never slept on a beach before so was very excited to do so…

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Feeling intrepid in my compact and bijou MSR 1 person tent – JUST LIKE Bear Grylls – (just don’t tell anyone that there was a coffee shop 5 mins away) – Copyright Alice Gartland

And in the morning I was honoured to swim with the Belles in Blue at Strete Gate Beach…

The Belles In Blue
The Belles in Blue and their Bivvy Bags: Copyright Alice Gartland
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Captain Webb or Belles in Blue with seaweed moustaches?

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Thank you Tara and the Belles in Blue for a wonderful mini swimming adventure.

At A Lotus Rises we’re celebrating  women in open water, from your first splash, through to wild swims and marathon swimming.

Many more inspirational stories, advice and adventures can be found on our Blog, and Facebook page and please don’t hesitate to get in touch via Twitter or  alotusrises@gmail.com. We want to share your stories, so we can support you and inspire others!

LOTUS Exclusive: A Circumnavigation of the Rock With No Name…

At around 20.00 hrs yesterday evening,  Jess and her dog Otley made their way down to Westcombe beach for a dip, with me, Alice, official observer from the swim blog for women who love open water – A Lotus Rises.

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Jess on the rocks! Photo copyright: Alice Gartland

Some people may think this was just two friends and a dog going for an evening swim and picnic amongst the Monet like cliffs of the Devon coast, but no…

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Looking out to the Rock With No Name (it’s the little one that’s difficult to see that’s just in front to the big one)… Photo Copyright: Alice Gartland

Otley and the picnic were secured beach side, and we ventured out into the cool sea. Jess pirouetting on the sea covered rocks that she knows so well  (this is her local swimming pool).

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Ahead lay the Rock with no name, of which there are no official records of a circumnavigation… we estimated the swim to be about 10m in distance and best approached with a mixture of head up breast stroke and doggie paddle…

This breath taking footage captures this world first in wild swimming…

And this – doggie paddle to the finish…and diving off the island in celebration – Well done Jess – Epic swimming times!

Then we headed back to the beach for a crudette avec dip supper, and a petit vino, whilst wrapped up in warm jackets and woolly hats, before walking barefoot and muddy back home.

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Jess looking back to the beach in her OSS Dart 10k hat (rumour has it that Jess will be returning to the Dart in 2017… )

Continue reading LOTUS Exclusive: A Circumnavigation of the Rock With No Name…

Storming a Castle, Seal Whispering and Seaweed Wigs: A swimming adventure on the Isle of Skye

This summer the Outdoor Swimming Society (OSS) launched the OSS Adventure Series, “A series of social swims offered to OSS members, by other OSS members. They’re free, they’re wild – and they’ll take others to places (geographical, mental or physical) that they’ve never been before.”  And they were right…

Lampay Island, Isle of Skye. OSS Adventure Swim with the NWSSSG. Photo Credit: Gill Williams
Enjoying being taken to another place on the Lampay Island, Isle of Skye. OSS Adventure Swim. Photo: Gill Williams
NWSSSG Elite Commando Squad. Photo Credit: Gill Williams
NWSSSG Elite Commando Squad storming Dunvegan Castle. Photo: Gill Williams

Spaces on the swims were allocated by way of a ballot.

I had been chatting to a fellow Solent Swim Challenge swimmer, saying how I dreamt of swimming up in the isles of Scotland ‘one day’ and he forwarded the details of the Isle of Skye OSS Adventure Swim, organized by the wonderful Gill Williams, founder of the incredibly friendly North West Skye Sunday Splash Group (NWSSSG).

My heart leapt; it was time to stop talking about ‘one day’ and just do it. So I entered the ballot, and to my delight, was given a place!

Very excited to be in Scotland!
Very excited to be in Scotland!

The weekend did not disappoint. Within an hour of my arriving at Gill’s place we were out the door with our trail kit on, with RhumRhum the dog leading the charge along the cliff tops, and looking out over a bay that regularly plays host to basking sharks!

Spot the basking shark!
Spot the basking shark!

And so the weekend continued: swimming in seas and lochs, exploring underwater forests, talking to seals and birds, seaweed wigs, pink and orange sunsets, good food, good wine, wonderful art, warm hearts and laughter; so much laughter!

On the saturday we swam off the Ardmore Peninsula, on the sunday we completed our circumnavigation of Lampay Island and in the evening we went for a bracing dip off the jetty at Waternish. Then, on Monday morning, an elite commando squad of NWSSSG and OSS Adventure ladies stormed Dunvegan Castle…

Lampay Island Circumnavigation

Quite excited about the swim
Quite excited about the swim
Cormorants on Lampay Island
Cormorants!
Swimming!
Swimming!
Post swim cuppa with the intrepid Rosie!
Post swim cuppa with the intrepid Rosie!

Seal Whispering

Over the OSS Adventure weekend we swam with a lot of seals. It was ever so slightly exciting. This is me talking to one at Lampay Island. To confirm, the narration is me, not David Attenborough, which would be an easy mistake to make.

Storming Dunvegan Castle with the NWSSSG

In the shadows of the dawn light, cloaked in seaweed wig camouflage, an elite commando swimming squad approached Dunvegan castle… I have never laughed so much on a swim before. An absolute joy, and four seals even came to join us! Thank you ladies!

NWSSSG elite commando squad selfie: Photo: Gill Williams
NWSSSG elite commando squad selfie: Photo: Gill Williams
NWSSSG surveilance. Photo credit: Gill Williams
NWSSSG surveilance. Photo: Gill Williams
Dawn raid on Dunvegan Castle with the NWSSSG commando squad
Dawn raid on Dunvegan Castle with the NWSSSG commando squad
Camouflage - you ain't seen me right...?!
Camouflage – you ain’t seen me right…?! Photo: Gill Williams

A big thank you to Gill and Ian for being such wonderful and inspiring hosts and to all the NWSSSG swimmers who made us feel so welcome. I can’t wait for our next adventure!

芙蓉出水: (fúróng chūshuǐ) Out of the water a lotus rises

Get in touch:

At A Lotus Rises we’re celebrating  women in open water, from your first splash, through to wild swims and even swimming marathons.

You can get involved via the BlogFacebookTwitter and alotusrises@gmail.com. We want to share your stories, so we can support you and inspire others!