We try to pick areas that have not been swum before and areas that are badly affected by plastic pollution. Each location we pick is intended to demonstrate that the plastic pollution crisis is a global issue and that it affects ALL of us – even the most remote island in the world. Over the next 18 months we have a series of swims planned that aims to highlight this issue and each swim has its own unique challenges. These are pioneering swims that never been done before. We are going into the unknown and exposing ourselves to the elements to make a statement against plastic pollution.
Help us make the ocean a safer and cleaner environment for all marine life and join us at Vetchies Beach on the dates below (subject to change) for a snorkel and reef cleanup!
Wild Coast Swim
The Transkei is arguably one of South Africa’s most pristine and seemingly untouched stretches of coastline. The birthplace of the South African and World icon Nelson Mandela. The Transkei holds a special place in the heart of many South Africans. Its rugged coastline makes accessibility challenging which adds to the allure.
It is the home to one of the greatest migrations on earth when billions of sardines swim up the coast to escape the colder waters of the Cape for the warmer subtropical waters of KwaZulu Natal. It is usually a hive of activity for humpback whales and calves, dolphins, sharks and many sea birds. Sadly, the threat of overfishing, climate change and pollution has seen marine wildlife numbers reduce dramatically over the years. Scientists and climate activists are working hard to keep these oceans protected and restore them to full health. (will send some pics on we-transfer of this for you).
My first experience of the Sardine Run in the Transkei last year left me carrying a heavy burden for our oceans and the need to protect all that is in them. I was devastated to come across so much evidence of plastic pollution, especially seeing gannets diving into the water after bits plastic they had mistaken for sardines, and a bait ball full of plastic This heavy burden pushes me to test my limits to highlight the dire need to protect our oceans.
When conditions are right, I will attempt to swim this treacherous and magnificent stretch of coastline through the iconic “Hole in the Wall” to draw attention to the impact our daily consumer behaviour has on this environment. One stroke at a time.
The Philocoly trail is scheduled to take place on 21st June 2021. The event will take place over 5 days covering the KZN coastline. Additional details to be sent out closer to the date.
Mauritius; Around the Island Swim
TBC November/ December 2020
The Around the Island swim was supposed to take place in April this year. A bunch of school kids from Northfields International school will be swimming around Mauritius in an effort to highlight important environmental issues, including plastic pollution.
The idea is to swim approximately 20 km each day, ending off each stretch at one of the major hotels and getting them to commit to significantly reducing their plastic consumption and carbon footprint.
There are some sections of coastline without a reef which we won’t be able to swim but will cycle or paddle these stretches instead. The swimming team will be divided up into 6 pairs. We will have 2 swimmers in the water at all times with 6 students paddling on kayaks and providing support. The other 4 students will be resting on the support boat and everyone will rotate and change roles throughout the day.
We are expecting the whole journey to take approximately 8 days depending on the current, weather etc. This is obviously an ambitious project and we aim to get the national and international media involved as well.
My original plan was to swim around the island (not as a relay) and join the swimmers, but due to my recent bout with COVID-19 and then pneumonia, I will not be able to undertake such a mammoth swim so will instead be participating in short swims each day and assisting in some educational workshops and giving advice to swimmers on techniques, nutrition etc.
For more details on The ‘Around the Island Swim’ check out their facebook page here.
Dolphin Mile Series
World Oceans Day swim 5 June
Trees and Sea Campaign 3-8 Aug with Plastic Oceans and the blue communities- details to follow International Coastal Clean up day 18 Sept