Under the lip. If you'd like to follow our #EarlyMorningSwim pics, follow us on Twitter (@oceanswims) and Instagram (oceanswimsdotcom)
Swims coming up...
- Sat, May 13 - Mooloolaba (Qld)
- Sun, May 21 - South Head e (NSW)
- Sat, May 27 - Port Vila e (Vanuatu), Noosa (Qld)
- Thur, June 1 - Santo (Vanuatu)
- Sun, June 18 - Mona Vale e (NSW)
Swim music – Your Hit Parade
We had a spirited response to a couple of items in our last newsletter (... Click here to refresh your memory), particularly Peter Hancock's list of swimming songs, Toni Leeman's plea for advice on dealing with a frozen shoulder, and the merits of wetties. We publish the frozen shoulder advice below, but here we list the songs that others have suggested. Our fave is Swim, by the German band Reamonn, partly because we first heard it as a result of an oceanswimsafari to the Solomon Islands in 2003, and it evokes that trip. Check it out (above).
Here, we list others' suggestions, qualified by the stipulation that we had to be able to identify the song and the band/singer. Sadly, we didn't feel able to publish lyrics that could not be set into an accurate context.
I Believe in a Thing Call Love – The Darkness (“129 bpm so technically perfect for swimming”) (suggested by Tony Midolo)
Nightswimming – REM (Tim Carson, Matt Starr, Neil Harrison, et al)
Where is My Mind – The Pixies (Anne Henshaw)
Wave of Mutilation – The Pixies (Anne Henshaw)
Jaws – Soundtrack (Peter Hancock - might have been a joke)
In Too Deep – Sum 41 (Tim Carson)
Jump in the Pool – Friendly Fires (Tim Carson)
Swim – Kate Bush (Tony Midolo)
Swim – Fishbone (Tony Midolo)
Swim – Jack’s Mannequin (Tony Midolo)
The Air that I Breathe – k d lang (Tony Midolo)
Breathe (Kylie Minogue (Ken Thorley)
Swim Until You Can’t See Land – Frightened Rabbit (John Sheely)
Disco Boy – Shantel (David Berenbaum)
Wetting his pants
From David Fielding...
Maybe a different view about wetsuits
You did a fantastic issue about skin cancer recently- really great stuff. I thought one would lead to the other - I actually thought the wettie article was a natural progression as a potential Protection from skin cancer
We all hate putting on sunscreen - yes you need some on your face but after an hour out there all the sunscreen has washed off your body right? People swimming every day clock up quite a few sun hours including in the local pool - not the pre-dawn brigade obviously.
So my take is to feel a lot more love for the wettie - it's a great weight Loss tool as well - you only have one size and you don't want your friends laughing at you while you try grimly to get the zip to ride up over those bulges with 2 minutes before the start
From Bernard McClement
I thought I'd respond to your recent comments about wettists. I know that the masses have already cried out, but in this day of social medias and internets, we're all led to believe we have something important to say - no matter how trite or inane.
Forgive me Father for I have sinned... I am a wettist. I'll probably always be a wettist, for all of the reasons you mention in your newsletter. I am a triathlete, and for some reason, some bugger decided that there must be three disciplines in triathlon. And that one of those should involve venturing into the Deep.
I am not a natural swimmer - I did not enjoy the carefree Aussie youth of sunshine and surf clubs. (I grew up in Africa where the water contains a whole host of sharp-toothed bitey things, and no-one could afford fancy olympic-type swimming pools). I only took to the sport in my early 40s, so my progress in the water is more inebriated hippo than lythe dolphin. My 68kg, 178cm frame sports a tangle of well-developed bones and sinews, and a ribcage that you can play a xylophone on. I get cold within 30 minutes of frolicking in a heated pool, let alone the frigid ocean. I have no natural, built-in buoyancy either, and gaze with envy upon the fine and ample figures of my fellow ocean swimmers.
So I wear a wetsuit when I venture out into the ocean. It's quite hard to drown in one. And I stay warm, especially after the pre-swim piddle (that should give you budgie-bearers reason enough to give me some room in the froth!).
There is no doubt that swimming in a suit is faster than going naked. It's not a level playing field. But I care nothing for podiums and prizes - I agree unreservedly that we wettists shouldn't be competing for the same rewards (in fact I'm happy for there to be no rewards, but then I have many other things in life that make me feel special). I turn up at my local (Newy) Ocean Swims for two reasons: the first is that I like to support the People Who Stop Other People from Drowning - the SLSCs; the 2nd is that it is an opportunity for me to swim in an organised, relatively safe event, usually in some spectacular location. You see, I really don't like swimming in a pool - I have to convince myself to get out of bed and get down there every time I need to do a training session. But I love open water. Despite my relative incompetence and sluggish progress, I love being out in the ocean. I'd do every session out there if I could do it safely.
I think it comes down to whether you want the sport to be inclusive, or exclusive. In my day job, I heal the sick. And there is no doubt that the sick are getting bigger and bigger every year. We're an ailing, increasingly sedentary society, and it's getting steadily worse. We desperately need things that inspire people to get up off the couch and get active. And if wearing a wetsuit or donning goggles, fins and a snorkel tips the balance and encourages one more person to get out in the ocean, that has to be a win. And maybe one day they'll feel confident enough to head out in nothing but budgies, but really, what matter is that they're out there swimming instead of scoffing.
Incidentally, I swam at Caves Beach in the Commotion In The Ocean a couple of years ago. In my wetsuit, of course. At the end, I smiled and thanked the organisers, and went on my way. A couple of weeks later, I decided to give the patio furniture a clean, and discovered a little prize pack from the Cave's Beach SLSC hiding under one of the cushions. Turns out, I had come 2nd in the BoP group. I didn't expect a prize, and it wouldn't have affected my decision to swim either way, but I flaunt that towel with pride! I hear an awed hush from the laydees every time I flourish it down at the pool. I think the girl that came first had flippers and goggles - someone should ban those things.
I hope you return it, Bernard: Back of the Packers should not get prizes: how can one validly compare someone in a wettie with fins, someone with a pull-buoy, someone with a front snorkel, or someone just lolling along in a relaxed fashion seeking only to be out of the crush? It's terrific that Back of the Pack divisions make swims more accessible to swimmers, but let's not kid ourselves that they are competitive categories. And we don't say no-one should wear a wettie. We reckon they should be in a category of their own, because the wettie gives one artificial support: os.c
A night at the James Squire Brewery...
End of season means it's time for our annual knees-up at the Malt Shovel Brewery, home of James Squire beers, hosted by our fave swimming brewer, Chuck Hahn.
Date is Wednesday, June 7, 6-8pm. Entry is free. You can book up to two tickets per booking but we need names of all those included in bookings.
Maximum 50 people, so get in now. We have some bookings already. Don't just assume that because you've said to us vaguely, "Oh, i might come along... If I have nothing else on", that we're going to hold you a ticket or two. Only those who submit bookings receive tickets. Once hyou've submitted your booking, just turn up.
More info and to book... Click here
Early morning swim. If you'd like to follow our #EarlyMorningSwim pics, follow us on Twitter (@oceanswims) and Instagram (oceanswimsdotcom)
Dealing with frozen shoulder
We got some very constructive feedback from swimmers about how to deal with "frozen shoulder". Here is a selection...
Give it a rest
I don't know if it was frozen shoulder but what I had sure was painful.
I am not one to go to doctors and physios and a friend of mine said even if you do go for treatment it will only rectify itself over time... So that's what I gave it and 4 to 5 months later it was fine.
That was 6 months ago and still no reccurrance with paddling or swimming almost every day.
Another friend recommended acupuncture. The acupuncturist was on holiday the day I went to see him and I never got back. Next time... if there is a next time... I think I will head to the acupuncturist.
My advice is, give it rest.
The Shoulder Guy
There's a physiotherapist in Brisbane literally called "The Shoulder Guy" AKA Luke VanEvery. Just Google him.
My surgeon referred me to him (happy to provide surgeon's name and contact details if needed). He's bloody brilliant. I was very close to surgery and he gave me Luke's details as a last resort or to discuss rehab after surgery.
Six years on no surgery needed and daily swims about 3km.
This guy changed my life. Everything he taught me was the opposite of advice from other allied health professionals.
He tailored exercises specifically to me and provides them in diagram, audio and video format. He made sure everything we did was about getting back in the water swimming and then being able to continue swimming.
I haven't been back for about five years as I have no need. He's too good at his job.
In all, serious physios are worth their weight.
Truth is, there is no proven effective treatment for adhesive capsulitis. They usually run their course between 1 and 2 years after onset. With or without treatment.
Best to just accept you'll probably be out for a year.
Ok - Frozen shoulder, yes this was my experience.
It was 8 years ago; I'm now 58 and back to regular swimming and kayaking.
I remember that summer morning kayaking on Middle Harbour; my mates took off home - it was catch me if you can. Well in the end I didn't catch them but was left with a shoulder strain that didn't heal. I couldn't raise the arm above my shoulder.
Its only after you can't do something that you realise how much you miss it. All swimming including ocean swims was out but I could at least swing a golf club.
The shoulder specialist said it was Frozen Shoulder and he could give me a few shots of Corticosteroid to relieve symptoms, which I declined.
Apart from that, there're not sure how to fix it and it's a matter of sitting it out to let nature do it's job. It took more than a year and was relieved to be able to get back to my normal exercise routines.
You just need patience
Just read your wonderful newsletter and noticed the request for a miracle worker for Toni Leeman. If Toni is Sydney based then l can highly recommend Dr Phillip Lim, a muscular skeletal specialist, who has kept me, dare l say operational, year on year, even after spinal surgery, for 10 plus years. Dr Lim specialises in pain relief and PRP (Platelet enriched plasma), which for my money works a treat. Dr Lim fixed my left shoulder last year and I will be checking in once again this year on my Sydney stop over for my regular overhaul.
There is hope
See Dr Ed Bateman in Gosford. Not even a twinge after he operated on my shoulder. Rehab with his preferred physio. Come back very slowly looking at the future big picture. Where there is life, there is hope!
Works for me
Not sure if this comment will help Toni but here goes.. Sorry I can't really recommend a practitioner as most of what I did was from my own research plus paying a personal trainer to put together some gym programs + provide motivation.
In my opinion, GPs and general physios are a bit cautious, so I prefer to use sports physios and doctors instead, preferably ones that work with professional sports teams. That has worked for both my shoulder, and running injuries like shin splints and knee pain.
Background - F48 keyboard warrior. I was a club swimmer as a kid and as an adult did laps purely for fitness, until at age 39 I got frozen shoulder and experienced all the classic symptoms. Had strong pain while it froze up then after the pain eased the shoulder stayed frozen for a few months. I had one (cortisone?) injection into the shoulder at about 4 months which had no effect. My GP sent me to a chiro, who performed weekly extremely painful massages on my shoulder and upper arm, also with no noticeable effect except lightening my wallet.
I had a second ultrasound-guided steroid injection right into the centre of the shoulder capsule at about 6 months, and within 2 days it started to loosen up quickly. This could have been coincidental, as frozen shoulder usually releases itself eventually.
As you can imagine during that six months I got plump and unfit. So once I could move my left arm just a little a little I joined a gym, hired a personal trainer and set myself the "ridiculous" goal of doing an unassisted chinup, something I had never done since age 10. Gotta love power to weight ratios of little kids, but I digress...
The one good thing the chiro did was give me a bunch of rotator cuff exercises. You are probably doing them already, but the most effective for me by far was a rotator cuff stretch with a broom handle.
DISCLAIMER this is not advice, this is just what I did and it worked for me. And it will depend on where you are at with range of motion too.
The best googled example I could find of this stretch is here http://stretchcoach.com/articles/rotator-cuff-injury/ but you have to be careful and not push it too hard.
I pushed all of these stretches to the point of mild to moderate pain (see DISCLAIMER!).
Also did a bunch of resistance band exercises, and heavy, brute force strength work with dumbbells and barbells, eg. bench press, to rebuild strength and importantly confidence.
Now a frozen shoulder apparently will never regain the full range of motion but mine got pretty close, plus I managed to get a chinup to boot 2-3 months after starting at the gym. Then got back into the pool as soon as I felt I could freestyle without too much restriction. That was about 4 years before taking leave of my senses and signing up for an ocean swim.
7 years on, I still religiously do the broomstick and doorway stretches, and 'shoulder dislocates' (BIG DISCLAIMER HERE "Not a recommendation but it works for me") before doing any upper body exercise. I still do bench press and chinups, and spend way too much time commuting to ocean swimming events.
Earlier entry close for South Head
If you're planning on doing South Head on Sundee week, then be aware that the closing time for entries is noon on Friday, May 19.
Also, available t-shirt sizes are S through XXL. Sizes XS and XXXL have been dropped.
More info and to enter... Click here
Heron Island booking now
Heron Island... Note the water... We're giving away a room upgrade each month to the winner of our photo comp. All you have to do is send us your pics (they must be yours to submit, ie someone else won't feel aggrieved at a breach of copyright) of swimming. Initially, we said the pics had to be of coral reef swimming, but we've decided to broaden the criteria so that as many punters as possible can submit images. It doesn't have to be the reef at Heron Island, or even a coral reef, or even necessarily ocean swimming, although ocean swimming images naturally will attract our attention. Just swimming. There's a prize each month of a room upgrade at this year's Great Barrier Reef Swim. Please ensure the pics are a reasonable size to allow us to fiddle with them for internet publication. Each month's competition will close on the last day of each month. When you submit your pics, tell us who took them (preferably you), where and when. To submit your pics... Click here
This year's dates for Heron Island are Saturday to Wednesday, November 4-8. It means your stay includes Melbourne Cup Day. That will be the day of the 2.8km swim around Heron Island, followed by a slap up awards dinner and party.
Heron Island Resort operators block the resort for the period of the swim. It's dedicated entirely to us. That means you get to hang out only with ocean swimmers and their towel carriers. For four days. Can you imagine the joy of being able to talk nothing but ocean swimming for four days? No, we can't, either. But it's a lot of fun, swimming daily in perhaps the world's best water. It's not for nothing that David Attenborough chose Heron Island as the location for most of his pieces to camera in his Great Barrier Reef series on the telly last year.
You'll be joined by lots of turtles, nesting, reef sharks, big rays, the odd very large grouper, and lots of other sea life. It is the most magical swimming place. The program includes two swim events, 1km (around the wreck in the Heron Island harbour) and 2.8km (around Heron Island), a course tour and swim back, and swim clinics with Olympian and topline swim coach, Graeme Brewer, one a dry land session and the other in the water.
Ask about the special rates for nights before and after the swim period. Why not head to Heron Island a few days early? Or stay a few days longer? Or both...?
In the meantime, get in quick and book your spot now. The main rooms last year went very quickly indeed.
When you click the link below, you'll go to a link to book directly with the resort. When you get to that page, check the pricing info, then use the email or phone numbers provided to book. Don't use the Book Now button.
For more information and to book... Click here
Mana Fiji SwimFest
Ocean Swimming Stadium, Mana Island
Extend yourself at Mana Island
There is a move towards longer distances. After many swims at the 1km and 2km distances, swimmers are looking for something more testing, perhaps building up to a real ocean challenge, say South Head (10km) or Rottnest (19km).
The stepping stone appears to be 5km then 10km. A successful 10km swim within time limits, from November, also means qualification for Rottnest in February.
But where to find the swims?
This is why the Mana Fiji SwimFest is attracting swimmers seeking more distance. Mana offers two days of swimming, two days apart (so, time for a rest between swim days). On Thursday, have a go at the 10km swim in some of the most beautiful, comfortable ocean swimming waters in the world. You can do this swim either as a solo or as part of a 3-swimmer relay, each swimming c. 3+kms.
Then two days later, on the Sat'dee, you can have a go at 5km or 3km, and/or 1km.
Mana's dates this year are October 24-29. While this falls prior to November, Rottnest awgies over the past few years have allowed their 10km swim to be taken as a qualifier because it is so close, and provided the qualifier keeps a training diary to show that they have kept up their swimming over the period to February.
Mana Island offers a special ocean swimming experience. We call the water off Mana's North Beach, Ocean Swimming Stadium, because it is such a good, natural venue for this kind of swimming. And over stunningly beautiful reef, too. Can you imagine the joy of spending five days with no-one but ocean swimmers?
Come with us... More info and to book... Click here
Mirrored Selenes available again, again
We had such an enormous response to our Xmas Special featuring the new mirrored Selene goggles that they sold out very quickly. It seems the people at View had been able to obtain only a few of them, and we sold them for them very quickly. But now, more have just arrived from Japan. We have (reasonably) good stocks of the Mirrored Selenes in all three available colours.
The Selene is Mrs Sparkle’s fave goggle, the most comfortable gog you will ever wear, and the best all-round gog we’ve ever come across (and we’ve worn a few gogs in our time): it’s made with a soft, wide, silicone seal that doesn’t leave rocky-raccoon marks around your eyes, and it offers a wide field of view and a low profile.
We’ve long loved the View Fully Sicks, which also offer a mirrored lens, and now the same look and glare protection is available in the Selenes.
They come in three colour combinations – Pearl Black/Blue, Aquamarine Ice Blue/Yellow (with a glitter frame), and Lavender/Pink.
The Mirrored Selens are $40 + p/h. Get in now!
Order yours... Click here
New os.c cossie sizes available now
Good news for medium-sized punters frustrated that we'd sold out of some sizes of our oceanswims cossies: we've been able to obtain more stock in all sizes from our cobbers at budgysmuggler.com.au.
And all sizes are still on special! 10% off as the season winds down - Laydees' sizes for $A76.50, Men's for $A49.50.
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, 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 blokes, 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 on special while stocks last... Click here
New oceanswimsafaris planned in 2018
We have a couple of surprises in store for our oceanswimsafarists in 2018. A couple of new oceanswimsafaris. More info coming soon, but in the meantime, these are our 2017 oceanswimsafaris...
Seven of them already are SOLD OUT. If you're interested, get in quick and smart. We have spaces left only for Fiji (Yasawas and Mana Fiji SwimFest) in October, and for Heron Island in November...
- Vanuatu - Port Vila (May 24-29)
- Vanuatu - Santo (May 29-June 3)
- Sulawesi (Indonesia, June 11-19) - Sold out!
- Yasawas Fiji - Swim with Manta rays (July 16-23) - Sold out!
- Tonga 1 - Swim with Whales 1 (July 25-Aug 2) - Sold out!
- Tonga 2 - Swim with Whales 2 (Aug 1-9) - Sold out!
- Tonga 3 - Swim with Whales 3 (Aug 8-16) - Sold out!
- San Sebastián (Spain, Aug 23-29) - Sold out!
- Costa Brava (Spain, Aug 31-Sep 8) - Sold out!
- Yasawas Fiji (Oct 16-23)
- Mana Fiji (Oct 24-29)
- Heron Island (Nov 4-8) - Bookings open now
Swims open to online entry...
- May 21 - South Head (10km)
- Sept 10 - Hervey Bay (500m, 1km, 3km)
- Nov 4 - Narrabeen (800m, 1.8km)
- Nov 19 - Cronulla (1km, 2km)
- Nov 25 - Toowoon Bay (400m, 1km, 2km)
New entries here... Nil
In the works... Mona Vale Solstice (June 18)
Sorry for being late
Sorry, sorry for being late, Angus. We had connectivity issues this week, which led us to miss our normal deadline of Wensdee for our weekly newsletter. So here it is now.
As winter approaches, we won't publish every week, but generally monthly with more as we find we have something to report or just to say, or if there's a particular event coming up. Perhaps you need a rest from us anyway.
If you wish to receive our newsletters by email, or you know someone who would like to receive them... Click here