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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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