Ocean Inspirational Swim Stories

Ocean Inspirational Swim Stories

My partner, Keith, decided for me that I needed to get into ocean swimming when he gave me a wetsuit for my birthday in August last year. Thanks mate!

I was comfortable swimming in the pool – but confess it was a whole different ‘ball game’ transfering the skill to the ocean. I struggled big time – experiencing difficulty breathing and I wondered whether I would ever get it together. I finally tamed the anxiety and negative messages in my head and swam comfortably around the island in Paihia a week before the Harbour Crossing.

I entered, went out too fast and experienced an attack of anxiety before I’d even reached the first bouy! I had to give myself a severe ‘talking to’ in order to carry on. I told myself that I would try and make it to the 900m bouy and if I got pulled out of the water because I was too slow then cest la vie – but if not I would keep going. And that was really the turning point for me. I didn’t get taken out of the event, I kept going and I made it to the finish line in 01:37:02. What a feeling of achievement! I was totally buzzing.

Since then, I swam the Russell to Paihia in 01:25:50 (yeehaa) and yesterday swam the ‘sand to surf’ (in Pilot Bay, which was nice and flat) in 01:00:36. It is fantastic to experience the thrill of completing the events and especially to see my own improvements. Next up – King of the Bays. Bring it on!!!

Ocean Swim Series is a great motivator

Well I am so pleased to have completed the Capital Classic this weekend.

I prolapsed a disc in my back 2 years ago now and was scheduled for surgery but didn’t have it. Now through swimming and stretches it has improved incredibly. Although still experiencing minor pain I signed up for the Ocean swim series this year as a goal and motivator for training and the ongoing benefits of improved health. There are still a lot of times when I have to just make myself train, but the Ocean series is a great motivator :) .

An Ocean Swim Story

I registered because I and my partner were here from UK visiting her brother in Auckland and he was keen that we did the swim. It was my first time in a wet suit for 40 years. Technology has moved on. I had trouble with the buoyancy of the suit. I had not had a good morning, having forgotten my ferry pass and had to run back to the hotel to fetch it. I also had the wrong swim hat and had to find an approved one. Having started the swim, I struggled to keep up with my wave, and once I rounded the buoy at the edge of the marina, it was a bit more choppy. Every time I turned on my side or back I was dizzy. Whether it was anxiety or my propensity for sea sickness, I was so ill I started to be sea sick.

A steward kept tabs on me and continued to ask if I needed help until it was clear I could not continue and had to be fished out. There are no results for the fullest sick bucket posted but I reckon on a litre or two once I was on the rescue boat. From then on my main worry was my partner worrying where I was. However I subsequently learned that those who were fished out were identified and immediately notified. I was not the first to be rescued but others came aboard as the swim progressed. I was able to observe safety operations from the rescue boat and it was fantastic, and they kept a good eye on all the remaining swimmers right to the end.

We were last to enter the finishing point and the rescuers rightly received a good cheer. They were supportive and good humoured. I cannot thank them enough. My partner and her brother finished within seconds of each other. I am so proud of them.

First time ocean racer; infact, this was the first competitive sporting thing I had done in 25 years!

Got back into the pool 3 months ago after an extended period of no exercise whatsoever. 1st thing I did was register for the Harbour Crossing. Fear of an early death on the Waitemata was my original motivator (I’m ONLY 47), but as i progressed, the time (sub 1hour) kept me keen. My first experiences of ocean swimming (and first try in a wetsuit) the week of the race had me panicky (I know – YES, IT IS DIFFERENT!) but I was like a kid on Christmas Eve by Saturday.

Loved the race – wonderful atmosphere at the start, great psychological challenge and looking forward to the next swim in a few weeks now. My 90 year old Dad (still swimming daily!) had always wanted to do this event. Having him at the finish line was special for both of us – no crying of course, but it was understood (being Kiwi blokes, ‘n’ all)!

The Beginnings of an Ocean Swimmer

I have to say I enjoyed every single second of the event. From the build up to the event, the ferry ride over with nerves going crazy, the event safety briefing to finally entering the water for the start.

Once I got going I found my groove, had a few songs ready to sing away to myself and just took every stroke as it came, so proud of what I was achieving!! It was so surreal when I stopped to adjust my goggles to look around and be amazed that I was in the middle of the Auckland Harbour as I am normally sailing it not swimming it!! The support of the lifeguards was phenomenal. They did just an amazing job on the day.

I found myself in tears as I was swimming in the Viaduct at the fact I had almost finished and had done it!! Then the steps and the archway!! I am teary now just re-living it. You provided a phenomenal event that brings so much to so many, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity. I am now taking part in the Beach Series at Takapuna beach every Tuesday night because after the Harbour Crossing, my confidence and excitement is through the roof. So you have helped me start the opening to the rest of my days as an ocean swimmer.

Proud Family

I did the main swim with my daughter, however we talked our 11 year old unadventurous son into doing the 300m swim. He did it, no wetsuit, don’t have one, he was the last in and we have a wonderful photo of him coming out of the water with 10 surf life guards clapping their hands. He has now said he would like to do another one. As a family we were just so very proud of him. It was also extremely moving to have strangers cheering him on. He was the last! Also thank you so much for the goodie bag you sent him afterwards, he loved sorting out the goodies. It is to date the biggest moment in his life… We thank you…this was massive!

My Turn

After coming and watching my brother and son for the last 2 years swim in every event I decided to learn to swim, and this year I actually completed the challenge of swimming from Russell to Paihia. OMG what a buzz to participate in the event I have watched for 2 years. Anything is possible. The best part was seeing the look on my sons face – priceless!!

Hi my name is Bradley Cullen I am 10 years old.

I entered the surf to sand ocean swim at the Mount. I was the 1st one out of the water and up to the finish line. I had such a great day I usually only train in swimming pools so this was very different, but lots of fun. My mums thinks I should get a hair cut because when I came out of the water to ran up the sand I took off my cap and the man on the speaker though I was the 1st girl home. I had to tell him I was a boy.