heron island aerial

September 23, 2016


Heron Island: It is waiting for you.

It's pouring new season swims

We've been inundated with new season swims keen to open for online entry on oceanswims.com. Chief amongst them is the return of the Hervey Bay swim, the Pier2Pub, which had disappeared for a couple of years but is resurrected now for Sundee, October 2, the new Queens Birthday weekend in Queensland.

Thus, it's a long weekend, and an easy drive up the coast for sou'-east Queenslanders, or a quick flight direct to Hervey Bay from Sydney.

Hervey Bay is the eternal beach. We stopped in there in late July. What struck us was that the beach just seems to drift on forever. We say drift, because that's the pace of life 'round them parts: the beach just goes on, and on... Sighhh... There was lots of whale activity in the bay when we were there, but life on shore went on the same.

Three distances in Hervey Bay along the beach – 3km, 1km, and 500m.

Online entries close at noon on Friday, September 30... Click here

forresters pano 

Forries Island

Back down south, the first event of the new season is the Forries Island swim, when the boardies of Forresters Beach continue fundraising in support of research into bone marrow cancer. So far, since Dave "Coke" Wards passed away 28 years ago, they've raised around $300,000.

Forresters is a spectacular beach on the NSW Central Coast (that's it, above). It's open, exposed, with a reef offshore, and the main swim goes around that reef. It's a beautiful swim.

Online entries close at 3pm, Friday, October 14... Click here

burleigh1302Back to Burleigh

Back in Queensland again, but the Goldie this time, Burleigh Heads (right) runs on Sunday, October 30. An icon beach, this one: some of the best-shaped waves in Strãa run into this beach. Easy to get to from both Brisbane and Sydney; two distances on offer: 2km and 1km. It's a very early start, but you can check in the afternoon prior to save time on swim day.

Online entries close at noon on Saturday, October 29... Click here

Mana Fiji

It's not too late to book for Mana Island (below) in Fiji on October 20-22, either: again so easy to get to from Strãa's east coast (provided to book the right flights). Mana's 10km swim is growing strongly, particularly since it was opened up to all comers through a 3 x 3km relay to complement the solo swimmers. You also can use Mana's 10km as a solo qualifier for Rottnest Channel in February.

That's on Thursday, October 20. Then, on Saturday, October 22, there are swims of 5km, 3km, and 1km.

These swims are in some of the best water in which you will ever swim.

Find out more and book... Click here

mana north beach

And that's not all!

In all, we have 13 new season swims already open to online entry through oceanswims.com, and seven or eight more will be added in the coming days. There's a complete list of swims open for online entry through oceanswims.com at the bottom of this newsletter...

Among other notable news in new season swims –

  • There's a new event in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs at South Maroubra, on the first Sunday in February, February 5;
  • The move of Narrabeen from October to the first Sundee in November means that November is now full of swims in and around Sydney;
  • Yamba, on the Far North Coast of NSW, has moved into the New Year, on Monday, January 2;
  • The Mona Vale swim on January 22 will offer a longer distance this season at 2.2km for the main event, by extending around the rock platform and ending in Bongin Bongin Bay; and
  • There's another new swim at Cronulla in early November, part of a "weekend" festival of sporting events. (We hope this does not detract from the Cook Community Classic, run as a fundraiser for all Bate Bay surf clubs, on November 20.)

heron island 14 swimmers
Like painted punters, in a painted ocean.

Heron Island makes room for more punters

The folk at Heron Island are offering incentives to punters who've already booked for the Great Barrier Reef Swim (November 3-7): upgrade your room at special rates. This could free up more rooms for punters who would like still to book. Alternatively, come to Heron early and/or leave late: add days at the start or the finish.

You'd must do this swim at some stage, not just for the experience of swimming on the Great Barrier Reef, but for the critical mass of ocean swimming culcha to which it gives you access. Just think of it: five days of mixing with no-one but ocean swimmers! Can there be anything more desirable in the world?

Most of the Reef rooms on Heron Island are taken, but some are still available, along with some Beachside Suites, Wistari Suites and Point Suites.

Think about staying outside the base days for the swim too: head out to Heron Island early, or come back later. We'll be there early, swimming around the island each day to get a feel for the water. Why don't you join us?

Swim on the reef, not inside it

Swimming on the Great Barrier Reef is a cathartic experience. You also may never swim in water as clear and as pristine as the water over the reef. It's very different from swimming off islands and beaches inside the reef. If you're thinking of heading north to swim over the cooler months, best to make sure that you're heading to water on the reef, not inside it, as some swims offer. There is a big difference.

Find out more and book... Click here

costa brava 3 pins 160919
Last drinks on our oceanswimsafar Costa Brava for 2016: some of the mob gather at the 3 Pins.

We don't take you just anywhere

2017 oceanswimsafaris - Get in now

We're in Yrp as we bash this out on our vintage Olivetti portable (the one with the bouncy keys... it takes up a lot of room and weight in our cardboard Samsonite), but already we have finalised some dates for our oceanswimsafaris in 2017 –

  • Vanuatu - Port Vila (May 24-29 Dates TBC)
  • Vanuatu - Santo (May 31-June 5 Dates TBC)
  • Sulawesi (Indonesia, June 11-19)
  • Tonga - Swim with Whales 1 (July 25-Aug 2) - 4 spots available
  • Tonga - Swim with Whales 2 (Aug 1-9) - 3 spots available
  • Tonga - Swim with Whales 3 (Aug 8-16) - Sold out!
  • San Sebastián (Spain, Aug 23-29)
  • Costa Brava (Spain, Aug 31-Sep 8)
  • Greece (Sep 12-21 TBC)
  • Yasawas Fiji (Oct 16-23)
  • Mana Fiji (Oct 24-29)
  • Heron Island (Nov 4-8 TBC)

We've had a lot of interest in our oceanswimsafaris in 2017, so we have set up a system by which you can secure your spot on your favoured oceanswimsafari with a refundable deposit. Then, when we finalise the tour costs, you will have a week to decide whether to proceed or pull out. We've taken quite a few deposits already for Tonga, Sulawesi, the Costa Brava and Mana Island.

If you'd like to take advantage of this opportunity, send us a (no obligation) Enquiry form... Click here

We're your next adventure

costa brava cave
Ever since Lanie Campbell floated serenly in the entrance to the sea cave on the Costa Brava, following punters have tried to emulate her, only to be stifled by swell that made the cave entrance dodgy. This year, we got in again, although this is not us.

Sage advice

Our old friend, Joe Oakes, has a business card that reads, "Joe Oakes, Adventurer". He said to us once, "(oceanswims.com), do you know how you become 'an adventurer'?" No, Joe, we said. And he said, "You get a business card with 'Adventurer' written on it."

Joe Oakes really is an adventurer: he went around the world using non-motorised transport, including swimming Bering Strait from Siberia to Alaska (and he wrote a book about it). Later in life, Joe spent much of his time travelling the world in cruise ships delivering lectures to more mature passengers, whom he referred to as "coffin-cheaters", about his adventures.

But Joe's advice comes to mind when we hear of some of the swim series running around the place these days. The "Global Swim Series", based in Canada, charges events to be listed on their calendar then applies a point-score system to them. But "global"? How does the "World Swim Series" get to be "World"? They call themselves that and perhaps register the trading name. In reality, the "World Swim Series" has a handful of events in Queensland, one in Victoria, and now a commercial tie-up with one in NSW.

The "Great Australian Swim Series" was one event in North Queensland, two small events near Brisbane, one larger event in NSW, then a later association with the Byron swim.

Caveat

As ocean swimming grows, so it becomes more attractive to more commercially-driven operators. We like to think that ocean swimmers are insightful enough to spot the commercial from the authentic, but some may slip through.

There is a recently arrived website, for example, that has begun to hold itself out as being the centre of the ocean swimming community. It offers a calendar and swim entry online. Most of their calendar material appears to be taken from oceanswims.com, and when you click the Registration buttons, the links bring you through to oceanswims.com. It seems to us that they like to pretend that they're us.

The common thread through all of this is the quest to build mailing lists. Commerce depends these days on the size of your mailing list. Ocean swimmers would be aware that whenever they interact with a commercial group, they will be added to a mailing list. We have had several approaches in recent years to "acquire" oceanswims.com, but when it boils down, it's all about acquiring our mailing list.

Be aware that our mailing list, built up over 17 years involvement in ocean swimming, is available to noone. We may work with commercial interests from time to time to let you know about stuff that we consider to be relevant to your participation in this caper, but we control what's in it. No-one gets our list.

san sebastian 160830 slippery dip
One of the saddest sights in San Sebastián is at the end of the "season", when the authorities tow away the pontoons with slippery dips that are moored in the bay over summer. Some punters relish their last goes on them, like Stephen Burns.

Swims open to online entry

The season hasn't even opened, but already we have entries online open to a string of new season swims...

 

heron island beach 14

August 27, 2016

 

Swim on the Great Barrier Reef (not inside it)

We're on our oceanswimsafaris right now, immersed in preparations for those oceanswimsafaris still to come. We're gearing up for our final oceanswimsafari of the year, the Great Barrier Reef Swim on Heron Island on November 3-7.

We've had a tremendous response to the event this year, and if you're interested in joining us, there still are rooms available.

Most of the Reef rooms on Heron Island are taken, but some are still available, along with some Beachside Suites, Wistari Suites and Point Suites.

Think about staying outside the base days for the swim too: head out to Heron Island early, or come back later. The Heron Island people are offering deals on stays for the swim but including days outside the basic swim weekend.

Swimming on the Great Barrier Reef is a cathartic experience. You also may never swim in water as clear and as pristine as the water over the reef. It's very different from swimming off islands and beaches inside the reef. If you're thinking of heading north to swim over the cooler months, best to make sure that you're heading to water on the reef, not inside it. There is a big difference.

Find out more and book... Click here

mills pauline annan wayne england
Pauline Mills and Wayne Annan. Note, Pauline is not wettied.

Heartfelt journey

Kiwi-based Pauline Mills, who ranked 3rd in the fine ocean swimmers tallies in the season just past, is attempting the biggest swim of her life this weekend: 17km (10.5 miles) end-to-end along Lake Windermere in England's Lakes District. The swim takes place today, August 27... Click here

In the lead up, Pauline has swum through California, Wales, Scotland, and England to prepare for the event. The preparation has taken in a number of 10km swims, including the 10km Llyn Padarn event in Wales, eight laps over a 1.25km circuit in water of 14-16C. Quite apart from distance, this was intended as training in mental toughness. Indeed.

Plenty of punters undergo personal journeys like Pauline's, but hers has an edge on it: it follows a massive heart attack that her partner, Wayne Annan, suffered in April 2015 that has been followed by a very difficult recovery for him. Plenty of us know Wayne: he came 3rd in the fos tallies the season before. Strange to think of someone so active suffering as he has, but there you go. Who can explain life to us? That Wayne has survived at all probably is due to his fitness and activity beforehand. As part of his recovery, Wayne has paddled in support of Pauline on some of her swims, and he'll be alongside her this weekend as she does Lake Windermere.

Along the way, Wayne will make his return to open water swimming following his recovery with shorter swims attached to Pauline's epics.

So Pauline is doing these swims not just as her own personal journey, but to raise support for the National Heart Foundation of New Zealand through a "Give-a-Little" page.

"A number of highly fit people have heart attacks each year and many pass away," Pauline says.

All donations go direct to the Heart Foundation; Pauline does not profit. You can support her cause with "a wee donation", or perhaps a bit more.

You can be keep tabs on Pauline's and Wayne's journey through Pauline's facebook page... Click here

And you can donate here... Click here

tonga peloton 160816
Part of our on-rushing peloton in Tonga last week.

oceanswimsafaris 2017 - Reserve your places now 

A word of warning: we've been deluged with pleas from punters to save spaces for them in our oceanswimsafaris next season. Already, we have three oceanswimsafaris to Tonga almost full, and we've taken bookings for trips to Sulawesi in Indonesia and the Costa Brava in Spain. We're taking refundable deposits from those who wish to reserve their places now. When we have the oceanswimsafari costs finalised, you can decide one way or another and either confirm or withdraw, in which case your deposit will be refunded in full

Email us now if you're interested in reserving a place. Be warned, we have just a handful of places remaining available for Tonga. We have more places available to other locations.

Send us an enquiry form... Click here

tonga whale beach resort
You can get up close and personal with humpback whales in Tonga.

Swims open to online entry

The season hasn't even opened, but already we have entries online open to a string of new season swims...

We have some interesting news coming too on new swims, including one in Sydney's eastern suburbs on the same day as the Cole Classic at Manly. That will be interesting.

 

fiji yasawas blue lagoon 1510

June 23, 2016


Sunset at Blue Lagoon, our digs in the Yasawas.

Come to the Brewery

Our Organoleptic Evaluation at the Malt Shovel Brewery (home of James Squire brews) is Thursday next week at 6:30pm. This is a free night of James Squire beer tastings with matching food, put on for us by our favourite ocean swimming brewer, Chuck Hahn, an end-of-season knees-up to brag about the swims just done, etc.

james squire beers in a rowAmongst the etc, we will draw the trip to the Mana Fiji SwimFest in October from amongst qualifying swimmers from the fine ocean swimmers series NSW over the past season. We already have a winner from the fine ocean swimmers series NZ, and he is Andrew Cave.

As well as drawing the winner, we also have four vouchers from budgysmuggler.com.au ranging in value from $30 to $100 to give away, also by random draws. Another budgysmuggler.com.au voucher, for $250, also will go to a random draw of the qualifying swimmers in the fine ocean swimmers series NSW who are in attendance at the brewery on the night.

To book your spot at the brewery... Click here

oceanswimsafaris 2016... Last rooms going... going...

Reward yourself for beavering away over the chilly winter months and kick start your summer swimming. Come and enjoy the stunning Yasawa Islands (that's them, above - Sunset from our oceanswimsafari home). Just one room left on this trip, October 11 - 16. It would suit a couple or two friends sharing. Book now before it's too late and someone else gets to enjoy your well deserved break.

One room left also on our second Yasawas oceanswimsafari, October 23-28. Grab a couple of friends and join us for some fun in the sun. Just one large room left... This would each suit two couples or some friends sharing a luxury suite.

It is impossible to not have a good time in this stunning part of the world and the swimming is certainly amongst the best in the world. This is a perfect trip for someone also planning to attend the Mana Fiji SwimFest from October 18-23 - it's a simple add-on either before or after — or for those coming to Fiji just to come to the Yasawas.

There are still places left at Mana Island for the Mana Fiji SwimFest October 18-23. We've had a terrific response this year. It it will be a party week, and some swimming. If you need a qualifying solo swim for Rottnest 2017, you can use the Mana 10km on Thursday, October 20.

Talk to us... Click here

World's Largest Swimming Lesson

A message from our cobbers at Brewer Swimming...

worlds largest swimming lessonBrewer Swimming, run by Coach Graeme Brewer, invites all you lot to take part in The World's Largest Swimming Lesson, as they put it: an event taking place simultaneously in over 500 locations in more than 20 countries around the world. The objective is to raise awareness of the need to learn to swim...

What: The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™
Where: The Gartlan Centre, St. Ignatius College, Riverview.
When: Friday June 24th, from 6.15pm to 6.45pm.
Cost: Free!

Registration... Click here

brewer swimmingThe World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ is a promotional event designed to build awareness and generate local and national press attention about the vital importance of teaching children to swim to help prevent drowning. The 2016 World's Largest Swimming Lesson will take place over the course of 24 hours at an estimated 500 locations in more than 20 different countries!

Come along on Friday 24th June 2016 to help us break the world record, catch up with old friends, meet new friends, chat and enjoy the after party - a sausage sizzle (gold coin donation). All funds received will be donated to the Samuel Morris Foundation, to support their vision in preventing future death and disability from drowning.

Check out some of the amazing work they do at http://samuelmorrisfoundation.org.au/

We hope to see you there!

Graeme Brewer & the Brewer Swimming Team

I ocean swim, therefore...

bsm both views 350 widebsl both 350 wideJust the ticket for cutting a fine figure on Heron Island, or anywhere else you swim, for that matter... With the help of our cobbers from budgysmuggler.com.au, we've released our very own oceanswims cossies. We haven't put commercial markers on them too heavily because we respect your right not to be a walking billboard. But observing punters will be in no doubt about whom you are: An Ocean Swimmer, ie "I ocean swim, therefore I am".

The Laydees model is designed with racing and swimming longer distances in mind. Mrs Sparkle loves this style, with its narrow straps that slide across the back to suit the way you swim. They run large, she says, so you should go down a size when ordering. They're chlorine-resistant, too, so you can wear them in the pool as well as the ocean.

The Gents model...? There's not much you can do with budgys for boofheads, of course, apart from make them look good, and chlorine-resistant, and the budgysmuggler people have done both of those things.

We love them. And you can buy them now... Click here

Swims open for online entry

Burleigh Heads (Sun, Oct 30)... Click here

vamnuatu santo aore 01

June 8, 2016


Early morning at Aore... Our base for this year's Espiritu Santo Swim Week.

Fresh blood at the top

... but this is not a competition

The fine ocean swimmers' tallies for season 2015/16 are complete, and they tell us one thing: Kiwis need to get out more.

The tallies are topped by a New Zealander for the second season running, although it's not the Kiwi you were expecting: this time, Katrina Price (that's Katrina, below left) ended the season on 169.6km, but from only seven swims at an average of 24.2km. That's what will happen if you target long swims, and Katrina focused on some biggies: 141.9km in five of her swims, all of these in the USA.

price katrinaThe usual suspect in recent years, Mike Cochrane, who led at our last update at the end of March, ended on 159.2km from 51 swims, averaging 3.1km.

Kiwis fill the top four places, with Price and Cochrane followed by Pauline Mills on 148.7km from 39 events, and Stuart Whitney on 140km from 38. Indeed, New Zealanders fill six of the top seven places and 10 of the top 11. The only non-NZers in the top 11 were the peripatetic Jim Donaldson (NSW, 134.5km from 39 events) and Jennifer Smith (WA, 104.7km, 16 events).

There was a surprise appearance at 13 from a Victorian, Dee Greenwood on 96.5km from 27 events. Otherwise, it's all pretty much NZ and WA in the top 200 with the occasional New South Walian and the odd Victorian.

Why these two origins? In Wessna Strãa, it's the preponderance of longer distances offered by the WA Swimming Open Water Series, which seems now to be crowding some established, smaller swims, along with two Rottnest swims in season 2015/16. Next season, the WA Swimming series consists of 15 events. Where is there room for anyone else, one might well ask?

In NZ? Perhaps that's all they do over summer when the ABs aren't on the telly. There are a couple of longer swims in NZ, but there isn't a rash of them as there is in the West. Maybe they're just keener than anywhere else.

Indeed, in the case of Katrina Price, her tally consisted of seven swims in the US, three of them counted as one event (the multi-stage 8 Bridges Swim in the Hudson River, 75km over several days), and a series of four lake swims in Arizona (66.9km over four days, also counted as one event).

As you know, the tallies are no longer a competition; merely an acknowledgement of the effort that punters put in. So we're not congratulating all this lot: we simply salute them.

A special mention, too, to Mike Cochrane, last season's tallies winnern with over 300km... Check out how many swims Mike did over the course of the season (June 1-May 31), averaging as good as a swim a week, even including winter. And this is just formal swims, not your informal, "8 o'clock at the toilet block" swims.

The top 10 were -

1 Katrina Price, NZ (169.6km, 7 events, ave 24.2km)
2 Mike Cochrane, NZ (159.2km, 51, 3.1km)
3 Pauline Mills, NZ (148.7km, 39, 3.8km)
4 Stuart Whitney, NZ (140.0km, 38, 3.7km)
5 Jim Donaldson, NSW (134.5km, 37, 3.4km)
6 Raewyn Barker, NZ (121.7km, 35, 3.5km)
7 Rebecca Hollingsworth, NZ (116.2km, 19, 6.1km)
8 Jennifer Smith, WA (104.7km, 16, 6.5km)
9 Rosie Sharman, NZ (101.4km, 23, 4.4km)
10 Jillian Walker, NZ (101.2km, 19, 5.3km)

Regional toppers were –

  • Australia – Jim Donaldson (6th overall, 134.5km, 37, 3.4km)
  • New Zealand – Katrina Price (1st overall, 169.6km, 7, 24.2km)
  • Pacific and Others – Sam Nimarota (Samoa, 573rd, 29.4km, 5, 5.9km)
  • ACT – Jill Pettifer (361st, 36.2km, 17, 2.1km)
  • NSW – Jim Donaldson
  • Northern Territory – Megan Gallagher (1,739th, 16km, 5, 3.2km)
  • Queensland – Mark Sowerby (385th, 35km, 3, 11.7km)
  • South Australia – Roman Zaika (344th, 37.1km, 12, 3.1km)
  • Tasmania – Zia Mitchelmore (614th, 28.2km, 12, 2.4km
  • Victoria – Dee Greenwood (13th, 96.5km, 27, 3.6km)
  • Western Australia – Jennifer Smith (8th, 104.7km, 16, 6.5km)

See the complete list... Click here

Be aware, some swimmers may have two or more listings. This is due to variations in name, ages and perhaps locations of origin over the course of the season. If you feel your listing is wrong, first check to see whether you have more than one listing, then tell us... Click here

vanuatu santo 16 01
One of our fave aspects of Vanuatu... The coconut plantations along the east coast of Santo. It tells us we're in the Pacific.

The World's Largest Swimming Lesson

A message from our cobbers at Brewer Swimming...

worlds largest swimming lessonBrewer Swimming, run by Coach Graeme Brewer, invites all you lot to take part in The World's Largest Swimming Lesson, as they put it: an event taking place simultaneously in over 500 locations in more than 20 countries around the world. The objective is to raise awareness of the need to learn to swim...

What: The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™
Where: The Gartlan Centre, St. Ignatius College, Riverview.
When: Friday June 24th, from 6.15pm to 6.45pm.
Cost: Free!

Registration: http://www.brewerswimming.com.au/the-world's-largest-swimming-lesson

brewer swimmingThe World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ is a promotional event designed to build awareness and generate local and national press attention about the vital importance of teaching children to swim to help prevent drowning. The 2016 World's Largest Swimming Lesson will take place over the course of 24 hours at an estimated 500 locations in more than 20 different countries!

Come along on Friday 24th June 2016 to help us break the world record, catch up with old friends, meet new friends, chat and enjoy the after party - a sausage sizzle (gold coin donation). All funds received will be donated to the Samuel Morris Foundation, to support their vision in preventing future death and disability from drowning.
Check out some of the amazing work they do at http://samuelmorrisfoundation.org.au/

We hope to see you there!

Graeme Brewer & the Brewer Swimming Team

Minestrone @ Mona Vale (and the Solstice Swim)

mona vale

Entries are open to the Mona Vale Solstice Swim on Sundee, June 19. Swim from Bongin Bongin Bay around the rock shelf into Mona Vale (that' s the course, above), then warm yourself with Mrs June Dibbs's minestrone, which she's created by taking time off from writing letters to the Herald. Water temp probably will still be around 20C, maybe a little over, maybe a little under... Click here

heron island great barrier reef swim 1320

10% off Heron Island till June 15

We're into the exotic swimming season over winter, which ends with one of the most exotic swims of all: the Great Barrier Reef Swim on Heron Island (that's part of our peloton above, a couple of seasons back). Those of you mugs who saw David Attenborough's series on ABC telly recently will know a bit about Heron Island, and those hundreds of you who've enjoyed the swim weekend over the past five or six years also will be familiar. You'll know it's a very special place.

It's in Australia, but it is exotic because it's off the coast, on the reef, outside Queensland and off the Stra'an mainland. 70km off.

Swimming on the reef is unlike swimming anywhere else in Stra'a. The water is so clear, the marine life so abundant, the environment so pristine, the experience is cathartic. Not only that, it's life changing.

It's a four-day weekend that's like a festival of open water swimming: two formal events (1km and 2.8km), swim clinics with Coach Graeme Brewer, turtle watching and befriending, and much more. It's turtle laying sseason, too, so if you're good, you may get the chance to witness this, perhaps even, if a turtle surfaces next to you for a breath, to get diredt experience of what a turtle's breath smells like.

Swim dates are November 3-7, 2016. And if you book by June 15, the Heron Island people are offering a 10 per cent discount.

See details below...

heron island 14 20 600 
This could be you, entering the waters on the Great Barrier Reef off Heron Island...

A message from our cobbers on Heron Island...

Book your place in the 2016 Great Barrier Reef Swim on Heron Island before 15 June and receive a 10% discount!

great barrier reef swim logo 16 circlePlans for the 2016 Great Barrier Reef Swim are underway and we can't wait to welcome all swimmers, their families and their friends to Heron Island for four days of fun in the sun and in the water from Thursday 3 November - Monday 7 November 2016.

The 4 night Great Barrier Reef Swim Package includes:

  • 4 nights' accommodation
  • All meals - breakfast, buffet lunch and a 2 course or buffet dinner
  • Return boat transfers from Gladstone for 2 guests
  • Welcome drinks
  • Swim clinics
  • Swim entry
  • a 2016 Great Barrier Reef Swim goodie bag

From $900 per adult, twin share

To secure your spot, book online, email [email protected] or call 1300 732 354.

heron find out more button

Terms and conditions apply.

Night at the brewery

james squire beers in a rowNot with Ben Stiller, but with Chuck Hahn...

We've conferred with our favourite ocean swimming brewer, Chuck Hahn, and we've set our end-of-season Organoleptic Evaluation at Chuck's Malt Shovel Brewery for Thursday, June 30. Chuck blends different James Squire brews with matching finger food, explaining the characteristics and the make-up of each beer.

We'll also draw the winner of the trip to the Mana Fiji SwimFest from our fine ocean swimmer series 2015/16.

There are limited places available, so if you'd like to come, please let us know. Tickets are free (thank you, Chuck and James Squire), but you need to fill in and submit the booking form... Click here

I ocean swim, therefore...

bs cossies both bothJust the ticket for cutting a fine figure on Heron Island, or anywhere else you swim, for that matter... With the help of our cobbers from budgysmuggler.com.au, we've released our very own oceanswims cossies. We haven't put commercial markers on them too heavily because we respect your right not to be a walking billboard. But observing punters will be in no doubt about whom you are: An Ocean Swimmer, ie "I ocean swim, therefore I am".

The Laydees model is designed with racing and swimming longer distances in mind. Mrs Sparkle loves this style, with its narrow straps that slide across the back to suit the way you swim. Very comfy, she says, and they keep her "in", whatever that means. They're chlorine-resistant, too, so you can wear them in the pool as well as the ocean.

The Gents model...? There's not much you can do with budgys for boofheads, of course, apart from make them look good, and chlorine-resistant, and the budgysmuggler people have done both of those things.

We love them. And you can buy them now... Click here

oceanswimsafaris cole 160114

We're your next adventure

We've had a lot of bookings already for our oceanswimsafaris in 2017. But you can still book some for 2016...

Costa Brava (Spain) – Swim France to Spain and other myriad swimming adventures, culture, food, Salvador Dalí – it's got it all -- from $A3,320 – (September 12-20)... Click here

Mana Fiji SwimFest - Packages are online now for the Mana Fiji swims October 18-23. Two days of swimming (separated by a day) - 10km solor or 3x relay on Thursday, then 5km, 3km, 1km on Saturday. Mana Island's North Beach is one of the best places in the world for an ocean swim. Packages from $A1,285 pp twin share. You can use the 10km solo swim to qualify for Rottnest the following February... Click here

Yasawas Fiji oceanswimsafaris - We're doing two oceanswimsafaris to Fiji's Yasawas Islands, to the fabled Blue Lagoon staying at Blue Lagoon Resort. The first is prior to the Mana swims (Oct 10-16), the other following (Oct 23-29). Packages from $A2,145... Click here

Book for 2017

We've had so much interest in our oceanswimsafaris in future years that we've decided to open bookings early so you can reserve your spot. For a $500 deposit, you can make sure you don't miss out. The deposit is fully refundable if you decide not to go ahead (obviously, until we work out tour prices, we don't expect you to make an irrevocable commitment). We've already taken deposits for 1.5 oceanswimsafaris to Tonga in 2017 to swim with whales. Don't miss out on this one, or on any of the oceanswimsafaris you'd like to do.

Just fill in a pre-booking form nominating the oceanswimsafari you'd like, noting on the form that it's for a future year, and we'll be in touch... Click here

Swims open for online entry

Mona Vale Solstice (Sun, June 19)... Click here
Burleigh Heads (Sun, Oct 30)... Click her

heron attenborough banner

April 9, 2016

We see this image, and we see this bloke, and we think... "We know that bloke... We know where he's sitting... We've been there..." And we do, and we have. So have many of the hundreds of our closest comrades who've taken part with us in the Great Barrier Reef Swim on Heron Island over the past five years.

There are plenty of promotional shots of Sir David Attenborough's new series, beginning at 19:30 tomorrow on ABC telly, and we recognise most of them, because we've been there. And becasue we've been there, the images and the issues resonate with us; they mean more to us, as they do to any of us who's experienced them as we have.

It's fate that Attenborough's new series coincides with the latest hoo-ha about coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef. When you've been there, though, you have a greater appreciation of how stunning and special the reef is, and how fragile it is, and how threatened it is by all kinds of activity, mostly human. Just be heading out from port at Gladstone on the Heron Islander ferry, you get an appreciation of how resource development in Queensland can affect the waters around the reef. We can't just think, "Oh, it's always been there, so it will always be there..."

The special thing about the Great Barrier Reef Swim is that it happens on the reef. Don't be confused: there are swims up there that make a big play of being up there, but they don't happen on the reef. Some of them are well inside the reef, where the water and the beaches and the conditions are very different. Just because you're in warm water in North Queensland doesn't mean you're on the Great Barrier Reef.

That's what the Great Barrier Reef Swim does for us: it takes us right onto the reef, with all its corals, its sea life, its water of absolute clarity -- less clear if the coral is spawning -- its tremendous tides, its currents... Its wildness.

heron banner 16 

A message from our cobbers on Heron Island...

Book your place in the 2016 Great Barrier Reef Swim on Heron Island before 15 June and receive a 10% discount!

Plans for the 2016 Great Barrier Reef Swim are underway and we can't wait to welcome all swimmers, their families and their friends to Heron Island for four days of fun in the sun and in the water from Thursday 3 November - Monday 7 November 2016.

The 4 night Great Barrier Reef Swim Package includes:
 
4 nights' accommodation
All meals - breakfast, buffet lunch and a 2 course or buffet dinner
Return boat transfers from Gladstone for 2 guests
Welcome drinks
Swim clinics
Swim entry
a 2016 Great Barrier Reef Swim goodie bag
From $900 per adult, twin share

To secure your spot, book online, email [email protected] or call 1300 732 534.

heron find out more button

Terms and conditions apply.

Swims this weekend

We had intended to get this newlsetter to you before the end of this week, but exigencies got in the way. This is Super Sat-Sun: there are six swims in NSW alone this weekend, and more swims in Sar-Stra'a (North Haven), Queensland (Hervey Bay), and Rangitoto is on in Auckland. In NSW, there's Copeton Waters, Mollymook and North Steyne today (Sat'dee), and there's Coogee, Shellharbour and Ballina tomorrow. Shellharbour is the final round of the fine ocean swimmers series NSW, and Rangitoto is the final round of the fine ocean swimmers series NZ.

We're using a new email system from today, so assuming this email gets to you as it should, you still can enter Coogee, Shellharbour and Ballina online by 3pm today. Find out more about Rangitoto, too.

riddington swimfassst poolCraig Riddington's SwimFassst

The ironman, Craig Riddington, has invented a device that could make you a much better swimmer. We've tried it, and it makes us better.

SwimFasst is designed to help you grab and pull more effectively through the water, with better body position. You can buy SwimFassst by itself, or with a couple of lessons from Riddo himself to get you iinto the swing of SwimFassst.

More info and to order... Click here

oceanswimsafaris cole 160114

Your next adventure

Come with us on an oceanswimsafari over winter 2016. Pick one below, or if you have a group, we can build one around your needs.

Right now, you can book -

Vanuatu – May 23-June 3 - Port Vila and Santo from $A640 per person for four nights in Port Vila and $A970 for six nights in Espiritu Santo. We also have a three-night prequel, as they say in the movie business, at one of the most beautiful boutique resorts you will ever find, Paradise Cove, outside Port Vila, from $A760. Prices include swim entry as necessary... Click here

Sulawesi – Our first inaugural oceanswimsafari in this far-flung corner of Indonesia that you'd never otherwise visit. Pristine water along reefs that drop-off to nothing, and lots of sea life.  -- From $A2,725 (July 9-18)... SOLD OUT

Tonga – Come swimming with whales with us, August 10-18 from $A3,305... Click here... And check out our report from our oceanswimsafari to Tonga earlier in 2015... SOLD OUT

San Sebastián (Spain) – Some of Europe's best food, colourful history, and adventurous swimming from $A2,110 (August 24-30)... SOLD OUT

Costa Brava (Spain) – Swim France to Spain and other myriad swimming adventures, culture, food – it's got it all -- from $A3,320 – We've filled our first Costa Brava oceanswimsafari already, so now we have organised a second one (September 12-20)... COSTA BRAVA 1 - SOLD OUT - COSTA BRAVA 2 - BOOK NOW

Mana Fiji SwimFest - Packages are online now for the Mana Fiji swims October 18-23. Two days of swimming (separated by a day) - 10km solor or 3x relay on Thursday, then 5km, 3km, 1km on Saturday. Mana Island's North Beach is one of the best places in the world for an ocean swim. Packages from $A1,285 pp twin share. You can use the 10km solo swim to qualify for Rottnest the following February... Click here

Yasawas Fiji oceanswimsafaris - We're doing two oceanswimsafaris to Fiji's Yasawas Islands, to the fabled Blue Lagoon staying at Blue Lagoon Resort. The first is prior to the Mana swims (Oct 10-16), the other following (Oct 23-29). Packages from $A2,145... Click here

Swims open for online entry

Blacksmiths (Sat, Apr 30)... Click here
South Curl Curl-Freshwater (Sun, May 1)... Click here
Caves Beach (Sun, May 15)... Click here
South Head (Sun, May 15)... Click here

how to ocean swim

April 22, 2016

How to ocean swim

All the years we've been swimming in the ocean, we've struggled. How do you this better? How can we improve our swimming to enjoy it more? What is it all about? What does it mean? Whither are we drifting?

Now, there's a definitive source of answers to all these questions.

How to Ocean Swim is the definitive guide to being an ocean swimmer, covering everything from preparing and first lessons through etiquette, the physiological side-effects of latex swim caps, and the necessary vocabulary so that you can make yourself understood in a contretemps with a breastroker around a turning booee.

It's advice covers all conceivable circumstances, eg...

"This young lady (see pic at right) was just about to dolphin dive under a shore break when she was distracted because she saw another competitor in her age group wearing identical Funkita togs.

Now she is going to get smashed by the shore dump and might end up in the hospital with a fractured vertebrae."

You've been warned.

You can get your own copy of How to Ocean Swim from Lizzie Crowhurst, who wrote and published the guide to raise funds for Can Too. If you'd like a copy... Click here

I ocean swim, therefore...

bs cossies both bothWe've been wanting to do this for years and now we have, with the help of our cobbers from budgysmuggler.com.au, we've released our very own oceanswims cossies. We haven't put commercial markers on them too heavily because we respect your right not to be a walking billboard. But observing punters will be in no doubt about whom you are: An Ocean Swimmer, ie "I ocean swim, therefore I am".

The Laydees model is designed with racing and swimming longer distances in mind. Mrs Sparkle loves this style, with its narrow straps that slide across the back to suit the way you swim. Very comfy, she says, and they keep her "in", whatever that means. They're chlorine-resistant, too, so you can wear them in the pool as well as the ocean.

The Gents model...? There's not much you can do with budgys for boofheads, of course, apart from make them look good, and chlorine-resistant, and the budgysmuggler people have done both of those things.

We love them. And you can buy them now... Click here

 

heron banner 16

A message from our cobbers on Heron Island...

Book your place in the 2016 Great Barrier Reef Swim on Heron Island before 15 June and receive a 10% discount!

Plans for the 2016 Great Barrier Reef Swim are underway and we can't wait to welcome all swimmers, their families and their friends to Heron Island for four days of fun in the sun and in the water from Thursday 3 November - Monday 7 November 2016.

The 4 night Great Barrier Reef Swim Package includes:
 
4 nights' accommodation
All meals - breakfast, buffet lunch and a 2 course or buffet dinner
Return boat transfers from Gladstone for 2 guests
Welcome drinks
Swim clinics
Swim entry
a 2016 Great Barrier Reef Swim goodie bag
From $900 per adult, twin share

To secure your spot, book online, email [email protected] or call 1300 732 534.

heron find out more button

Terms and conditions apply.

Swims coming up

blacksmiths aerial 2

An hiatus along Stra'a's eastern seaboard this weekend, but punters are lining up for the Auckland 10km Swim on Sunday, and you can swim at Sorrento, on Perth's northern beaches, also on Sunday.

The Auckland 10km swim is a good time to announce the other winner of the travel prize from the fine ocean swimmers series NZ, which we'll do: we'll pass the name of the lucky winner to the awgies, who can announce it on swim day. Then we'll tell all you lot. Overall winner of the series, in case you haven't heard, is Brent Foster, the legendary iron man, not much flabbier now in his 40s than he was at his playing weight.

The following weekend, but, it's all abuzz: two swims around the NSW metropolitan area, which includes Newcastle, the State of Origin of Ocean Swimming at Byron Bay, and a swim at Busselton, south of Perth this time.

We have online entries open to the Nine Mile Classic at Blacksmiths (above), near Swansea on Lake Macquarie, on Sat'dee, April 30, and to South Curl Curl-Freshwater on Sunday, May 1.

The Nine Mile Classic is Swansea-Belmont SLSC's new swim following the (we hope temporary) demise of the Across the Lake Swim, due to the continuing suspected activity of large sea creatures in the lake. We hope Across the Lake gets going again in the near future: it's the second longest-running swim in Stra'a after Magnetic Island, off Townsville. In the meantime, you can do 1km and/or 2km off Blacksmiths Beach, on the northern side of Swansea Channel, the entrance to Lake Macquarie. It's a Sat'dee swim, allowing you to get two swims on that weekend if you then follow up with South Curly-Freshwater on Sunday.

Don't be put off by the name: Nine Mile is the name of the beach that runs from Swansea Channel north to Redhead. Blacksmiths is at that southern end. It's not a 9-mile swim. Locals refer to Swansea-Belmont SLSC as "Niney".

Find out more about the Nine Mile Classic and enter online... Click here

south curl curl beach 03

Sundee, swim one of the great courses in Sydney, South Curl Curl to Freshwater (above). This is one of those swims that you must do at some time, and one of those course that you cast your eye over wistfully over summer as you ambulate along the clifftop between Freshwater and Curl Curl. It's a much more inviting swim at this time of year, now that the nor'-easters have subsided and the sea off that stretch of coast is not as angry as it is over summer.

Be warned: it's a 9am start, and they mean it. Don't be late.

Find out more about the South Curl Curl-Freshwater Swim and enter online... Click here

Cap amnesty

We're offering an amnesty to all unwanted swim caps at the South Curl Curl-Freshwater swim. Bring along all your collected caps and we'll pass them on to a good cause.

mona vale

New event at Warriewood for swimmers and beach runners

There's a new event the following weekend, on Sat'dee May 7: the Chieftain's Challenge, a swim-run_swim, etc, much like the 3 Points Challenge at North Curl Curl in December. This new event is run by Warriewood Surf Life Saving Club, and replaces the Turimetta swim which experienced such hellish conditions over its brief life. The Chieftain's Challenge starts at Bongin Bongin Bay, at Mona Vale, and makes its way southwards along the beach to Warriewood with alternating swims and beach runs. It's a 2pm start, and it stays well clear of Mothers Day, which is the next day.

Find out more about the Chieftain's Challenge and enter online... Click here

After that, on May 15 it's the South Head Roughwater, for endurance ocean swimmers,and the postponed date of the Caves Beach swim, which is for sprinter-type swimmers. We'll be at Caves Beach, because it's where we grew up.

riddington swimfassst poolCraig Riddington's SwimFassst

The ironman, Craig Riddington, has invented a device that could make you a much better swimmer. We've tried it, and it makes us better.

SwimFasst is designed to help you grab and pull more effectively through the water, with better body position. You can buy SwimFassst by itself, or with a couple of lessons from Riddo himself to get you iinto the swing of SwimFassst.

More info and to order... Click here

oceanswimsafaris cole 160114

Your next adventure

Come with us on an oceanswimsafari over winter 2016. Pick one below, or if you have a group, we can build one around your needs.

Right now, you can book -

Vanuatu – May 23-June 3 - Port Vila and Santo from $A640 per person for four nights in Port Vila and $A970 for six nights in Espiritu Santo. We also have a three-night prequel, as they say in the movie business, at one of the most beautiful boutique resorts you will ever find, Paradise Cove, outside Port Vila, from $A760. Prices include swim entry as necessary... Click here

Sulawesi – Our first inaugural oceanswimsafari in this far-flung corner of Indonesia that you'd never otherwise visit. Pristine water along reefs that drop-off to nothing, and lots of sea life.  -- From $A2,725 (July 9-18)... SOLD OUT

Tonga – Come swimming with whales with us, August 10-18 from $A3,305... Click here... And check out our report from our oceanswimsafari to Tonga earlier in 2015... SOLD OUT

San Sebastián (Spain) – Some of Europe's best food, colourful history, and adventurous swimming from $A2,110 (August 24-30)... SOLD OUT

Costa Brava (Spain) – Swim France to Spain and other myriad swimming adventures, culture, food, Salvador Dalí – it's got it all -- from $A3,320 – (September 12-20)... Click here

Mana Fiji SwimFest - Packages are online now for the Mana Fiji swims October 18-23. Two days of swimming (separated by a day) - 10km solor or 3x relay on Thursday, then 5km, 3km, 1km on Saturday. Mana Island's North Beach is one of the best places in the world for an ocean swim. Packages from $A1,285 pp twin share. You can use the 10km solo swim to qualify for Rottnest the following February... Click here

Yasawas Fiji oceanswimsafaris - We're doing two oceanswimsafaris to Fiji's Yasawas Islands, to the fabled Blue Lagoon staying at Blue Lagoon Resort. The first is prior to the Mana swims (Oct 10-16), the other following (Oct 23-29). Packages from $A2,145... Click here

Swims open for online entry

Blacksmiths (Sat, Apr 30)... Click here
South Curl Curl-Freshwater (Sun, May 1)... Click here
Mona Vale- Warriewood (Sat, May 7)... Click here
Caves Beach
(Sun, May 15)... Click here
South Head (Sun, May 15)... Click here
Mona Vale Solstice (Sun, June 19)... Click here

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