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.
Free Online Premiere of "Oceans without Limits" Documentary Film
Hosted by Plastic Free July and Oceans without Limits
We love these apt words by Rabindranath Tagore: ‘You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.’ So no more standing and staring at our plastic seas – join Oceans without Limits as they set off on a Journey of Discovery!
This is an amazing opportunity for Oceans Without Limits to share their film and mission with you on 7 July at 19:00 GMT+2 (South Africa Time). You will have the chance to join their mission and gain the awareness of places tropical and wild but also plastic-stressed.
The film is a catalyst for change! Collaboration is key, and we are confident that the sharing of ideas and incentives can together make for an ocean’s well of collective efforts and solutions.
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.
Due to health issues, I will not be able to swim the Philocoly trail this year, but the event is still scheduled to take place in July 2020.
Philocoly means for the love of beauty and was started last year by Nikki Williamson.
Nikki loves walking, nature and protecting our environment. Nikki had planned a staged walk from Durban up the coast on the beach to Mtunzini. When I heard about the walk I offered to join in as a swimmer. The aim was to increase awareness of our beautiful coastline as well as the impact that our daily consumer habits are having on the ocean and our beaches.
It was such a huge success that Nikki is doing it again this year (COVID restrictions dependent) I will walk sections of it that I can and give a talk to walkers on the impact of our daily choices on the environment and am super excited to still be involved despite not being able to swim this year.
We are negotiating with UKZN to do some research along the route as well.
For more information or how to get involved check out their facebook page here.
Entries and registration for the Philocaly Trail will open on 1 June 2020. You enter via the event page on The Philocaly Trail Facebook page. Should you not have access to Facebook, entries may be submitted via email.
Details for email entries will be provided on the event page from 1 June.
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.