Scoping Out New Swim Locations
We are often asked how to know whether a location is safe for solo sea swimming.
The best advice is to scope the area out first on dry land, and to do so a few times to be sure.
It often helps to go back to the location at different times of the day when the tide is rising/on the change or going out.
It also helps to look at the location from a height - in the example below you can see the ripples on the water surface indicating a current between the mainland and Church Rock.
By being higher up you can see this more easily and assess which direction the current is flowing at that time.
In the next image you can again see the difference in the water surface a bit further out to sea, which could indicate a change in the current in that area or it could be wind related.
The strength of the wind and affect it has on swimmers is often under estimated by open water swimmers who need to be aware of it: strong offshore winds can blow you out to sea, especially with a swim tow, which can act as 'sails'. At the very least a strong wind can cause you to become exhausted and care should be taken to ensure you are aware of the prevailing winds and wind direction at a specific swim location before going in the water.
For more open water tips and coaching contact us here.