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The sea has captivated humans for centuries with people wanting to cross oceans, discover lands and understand tides. Swimmers either fear or fall in love with the sea. Some choose to swim far and long, across channels or along lengths of coastline, others dip and dabble at the beach.
I have always loved the sea, my first wild water experience as a child. It has at times scared me, rolled me over and spat me back at the beach but mostly it has soothed and supported me throughout my life.
This month’s issue is a celebration of the sea and like it or loathe it, there are lessons to be learned in these pages.
Click on our lead feature, Tales from the Shoreline and discover tiny objects with extraordinary stories before diving into tidal pools with author, swimmer and podcaster Freya Bromley. Still finding your sea legs? Why not try sea hiking a sort of cross-training that sounds utterly exhausting and yet brilliant.
In this month’s training Jonathan Cowie helps us swim through waves and chop, while Simon Griffiths shares how to train in the pool for the ocean. There are some sea-inspired travel pages and if you need a new swimsuit check out our tried and tested gear pages. If you live inland, you can escape to the seaside with our picks of sea-books, audio and film.
Ella Foote, Editor
- The Tidal YearA new book, The Tidal Year, follows swimmer Freya Bromley attempting to swim in every tidal pool in mainland Britain. Ella Foote meets Freya to learn why and how (spoiler alert) it doesn’t matter that she didn’t finish the task.
- The Great Sportsman: William Henry GrenfellThe 1st Baron Desborough, William Henry Grenfell left a lasting legacy in open water and Olympic circles. Elaine K Howley discovers the story behind the Oxford rower, pioneering Rocky Mountain rambler and daring Niagara Falls dipper who went on to become a swimming legend.
- Testing the limits with novelist J.H. MannWriter J.H. Mann on the epic ocean challenge that inspired his new thriller.
- Swimming spot: Oddicombe and the Juliet Cave, Torbay, DevonDevon authors Matt Newbury and Sophie Pierce have published a new guidebook to magical swims in Torbay. Here they share one of their favourites.
- Swimming spot: Livermead Head and the Hindu Temples, Torbay, DevonDevon authors Matt Newbury and Sophie Pierce have published a new guidebook to magical swims in Torbay. Here they share one of their favourites.
- Swimming spot: Anstey’s Cove to Redgate Beach and the hidden pool, Torbay, DevonDevon authors Matt Newbury and Sophie Pierce have published a new guidebook to magical swims in Torbay. Here they share one of their favourites.
- Swimming in Lake Malawi National ParkLake Malawi – the world’s ninth largest lake covering an area larger than Wales – is where Dennis Lupenga learnt to swim. The freshwater lake remains his favourite place to swim “for its beauty and the freedom it offers”. He shares his swim story with Simon Griffiths.
- Sea hiking: A step towards sea swimmingSea hiking could be a stepping stone into sea swimming for those who are not yet confident. Both energetic and relaxing, competitive, yet social – it appeals to both swimmers and non-swimmers as Sandy Ciccognani explains
- Sarah Thomas on her love of ocean swimmingMarathon swimmer Sarah Thomas shares how her Catalina Channel swim in 2010 sparked a passion for the sea, and swimming out as far as she wants.
- Move of the month: Bent-over rowThis move helps strengthen and stabilise the shoulders, and protect from repetitive overhead movements in front crawl.
- Lido Guide: Jesus GreenJesus Green, the 100 yard pool in Cambridge, turns 100 years old this summer. Author of The Lido Guide, Emma Pusill introduces us to this historic pool.
- Kernow calling: A swimming holiday in CornwallCornwall (Kernow) has the longest coastline in Britain and is famed for warmer, sunnier weather than the rest of the UK because of its south west location. It attracts more than five million visitors a year and for good reason – for swimmers it offers multiple places to stay and play.
- How to train for bodysurfingThis pool training session will put you in good stead for catching a wave in the sea.
- How to swim in the seaJonathan’s guide to how to adapt your stroke for swimming in waves and chop in the sea.
- How do I avoid back pain in breaststroke?Swimming coach Cassie Patten answers a reader question about how to improve their breaststroke so it relieves pressure on their lower back.
- Changing perceptions of plus-sized swimmersRowan Clarke meets the photographer whose images of fat swimmers are changing perceptions
- Best plus-size swimsuitsEditor Ella Foote reviews the latest swimsuits for plus-size swimmers.
- Best new swimsuitsFrom Yulex suits to zero-waste training swimwear, Omie Dale reviews the best new swimsuits for women.
- Beaches need to be more accessibleAdaptive swimmer Sophie Etheridge explains why everyone needs a dose of Vitamin Sea, but this isn’t always easy for wheelchair users.
- Beachcombing: Tales from the shorelineRowan Clarke meets the beachcombers finding tiny objects that tell extraordinary stories.