Wild Swimming

RiverChristina here. There’s a lot of talk about wild swimming these days. It seems to be a recent concept, even though the practice is as old as time. The term just means swimming outside in a body of natural water – lakes, rivers, waterfalls or the sea. The main thing is that it isn’t man-made. The phenomenon is increasingly being romanticised (at least here in the UK) as it becomes more popular, with lots of people extolling the virtues of going back to natural bathing in this way. Perhaps because we were all shut in for so long during the pandemic, the freedom of swimming outdoors seems extra special. And I agree – it is!

Lake oneI’ve long been a huge fan of freshwater bathing in particular – I much prefer it to the briny sea, although I’ll happily swim anywhere. Unlike the ocean, though, the water in lakes and rivers isn’t salty so you end up feeling really clean and refreshed. There is no need for a shower afterwards and even your hair will be extra soft.

I spent almost all my childhood summers in a cottage by a lake and was probably in the water more than I was out of it. School finished at the beginning of June and we would move out to the cottage soon after, staying until classes began again in the autumn. Sometimes we went out there for weekends before that though, and if I was allowed, I could be found swimming as early as May when the water was very chilly indeed. I think the coldest I braved was 16 degrees Celsius and since I was a skinny little kid, I usually emerged more or less blue (or so my mother claims). It didn’t stop me as I am, and always have been, a complete water baby.

WaterfallCalling it wild swimming seems a tad pretentious to me, but if it gets more people interested, I’m all for it. Obviously it’s healthy and a great way of exploring the outdoors. Often it can provide solitude, peace and quiet if you can find a less frequented spot. And for those who are always on the look-out for a challenge or adventure, wild swimming can definitely give you that. Especially if you choose to do it during the colder half of the year. There are also some spectacular places in which to swim. Personally, I’d love to find a small waterfall with a pool beneath it – that sounds perfect!

I’ve never tried ice/winter bathing, but those who have say it makes every part of you feel truly alive. I felt that way just swimming in a cold lake during the summer, so I can imagine it’s ten times more refreshing in winter. I doubt I’ll ever try it though. That would be a step too far for me.

CoastSome people seem to think the health benefits can include curing things like addiction and mental illness as well. Experiencing nature in this way can have a calming effect, so perhaps that is the thinking behind this. There is no doubt that it is extremely enjoyable and very relaxing. And one of the best things about it is that you don’t need any expensive gear – just a swimsuit and the ability to swim. There are those who use wetsuits – understandable for instance if you’re braving the freezing cold ocean – but I’ve never tried that. Apparently, you can also get special wild swimming changing robes! I suppose if you’ve swum in the North Sea in winter, or something equally challenging, that might be a good idea.

LakesideSwimming in any form is a great way to exercise (and incidentally the only sporty activity I’ve ever enjoyed as you don’t get sweaty!). It is low impact and helps with both a cardio workout and muscle strength. You can push yourself or just do it for fun. Is there anything more wonderful than just floating on your back, being rocked by the water that cradles you? Bliss!

Naturally, one has to choose a safe spot in which to swim. There are lots of places where tides and currents are extremely dangerous. Even strong swimmers can easily get in trouble in such situations so it is always best to do some research first.

An other swimming picDuring a recent trip to Sweden, I couldn’t resist a dip in a local lake. It’s not often you get a heatwave over there, but when you do there is nothing better than a swim in one of the thousands of lakes that dot the landscape. Most of them are not very deep and warm up quickly. The one I found was a very pleasant temperature and I was able to walk straight in. None of that timid dipping of one toe after another, trying to become used to the chill before immersing myself.

Lake twoIn historical romance novels, outdoor bathing is an often used trope, especially for a first meeting between the hero and heroine. And although it wasn’t in the original book, who can forget Colin Firth’s impromptu swim in the TV adaptation of Pride & Prejudice? I had a similar scene myself in my story Highland Storms and it was a lot of fun to write. Having the hero or heroine stumble upon the other while they are taking advantage of some forest pool or river always adds a little spice to a story. I’ve read countless Regencies where this occurs and I always enjoy them. It seems especially daring at a time when everyone was supposed to be covered up from top to toe and even a bare ankle was deemed immodest.

Warm springI’ve also used bathing and/or swimming in many of my other stories, most recently Tempted by the Runes where the hero and heroine have their very own hot spring at their farmstead in Iceland. Now that is the ultimate wild swimming experience!

Are you a fan of wild swimming? If so, what is your favourite spot?

And do you have any favourite swimming/bathing scenes from books you've read? Any recommendations?

145 thoughts on “Wild Swimming”

  1. Christina, “wild swimming” was the only kind available when I was growing up because we were a long way from the ocean and there were very few indoor pools except at the local YMCA. But there were certainly lakes and we kids headed toward them like muskrats too long deprived of water. I remember one time at a swimming hole–a dammed up creek, I think, not a lake. Lots of kids splashing around in the water, parents lounging around on the grass chatting and sipping soda. Then an adult male blasted past me, kicking off his shoes and diving into the water fully dressed. He’d seen that his little daughter was struggling and went in to save her. Which he did. IT was a lesson in vigilance and parental love.

    Reply
  2. Christina, “wild swimming” was the only kind available when I was growing up because we were a long way from the ocean and there were very few indoor pools except at the local YMCA. But there were certainly lakes and we kids headed toward them like muskrats too long deprived of water. I remember one time at a swimming hole–a dammed up creek, I think, not a lake. Lots of kids splashing around in the water, parents lounging around on the grass chatting and sipping soda. Then an adult male blasted past me, kicking off his shoes and diving into the water fully dressed. He’d seen that his little daughter was struggling and went in to save her. Which he did. IT was a lesson in vigilance and parental love.

    Reply
  3. Christina, “wild swimming” was the only kind available when I was growing up because we were a long way from the ocean and there were very few indoor pools except at the local YMCA. But there were certainly lakes and we kids headed toward them like muskrats too long deprived of water. I remember one time at a swimming hole–a dammed up creek, I think, not a lake. Lots of kids splashing around in the water, parents lounging around on the grass chatting and sipping soda. Then an adult male blasted past me, kicking off his shoes and diving into the water fully dressed. He’d seen that his little daughter was struggling and went in to save her. Which he did. IT was a lesson in vigilance and parental love.

    Reply
  4. Christina, “wild swimming” was the only kind available when I was growing up because we were a long way from the ocean and there were very few indoor pools except at the local YMCA. But there were certainly lakes and we kids headed toward them like muskrats too long deprived of water. I remember one time at a swimming hole–a dammed up creek, I think, not a lake. Lots of kids splashing around in the water, parents lounging around on the grass chatting and sipping soda. Then an adult male blasted past me, kicking off his shoes and diving into the water fully dressed. He’d seen that his little daughter was struggling and went in to save her. Which he did. IT was a lesson in vigilance and parental love.

    Reply
  5. Christina, “wild swimming” was the only kind available when I was growing up because we were a long way from the ocean and there were very few indoor pools except at the local YMCA. But there were certainly lakes and we kids headed toward them like muskrats too long deprived of water. I remember one time at a swimming hole–a dammed up creek, I think, not a lake. Lots of kids splashing around in the water, parents lounging around on the grass chatting and sipping soda. Then an adult male blasted past me, kicking off his shoes and diving into the water fully dressed. He’d seen that his little daughter was struggling and went in to save her. Which he did. IT was a lesson in vigilance and parental love.

    Reply
  6. I love the sound of that creek, Mary Jo! It sounds idyllic, apart from that scary episode. It’s definitely best to be on the lookout for anyone in trouble and a good thing that dad saw what was happening.

    Reply
  7. I love the sound of that creek, Mary Jo! It sounds idyllic, apart from that scary episode. It’s definitely best to be on the lookout for anyone in trouble and a good thing that dad saw what was happening.

    Reply
  8. I love the sound of that creek, Mary Jo! It sounds idyllic, apart from that scary episode. It’s definitely best to be on the lookout for anyone in trouble and a good thing that dad saw what was happening.

    Reply
  9. I love the sound of that creek, Mary Jo! It sounds idyllic, apart from that scary episode. It’s definitely best to be on the lookout for anyone in trouble and a good thing that dad saw what was happening.

    Reply
  10. I love the sound of that creek, Mary Jo! It sounds idyllic, apart from that scary episode. It’s definitely best to be on the lookout for anyone in trouble and a good thing that dad saw what was happening.

    Reply
  11. I grew up swimming in Long Island Sound, and I still love swimming in salt water. I don’t mind the sand and the salt and I love the smell of the sea. What I don’t much like is the smell of chlorine in a pool. I’ll swim in one if that’s all that’s available, but for choice I’ll always go for salt water.
    I also grew up swimming without a life guard, and I must say the first time a wave knocks you off your feet, you develop a healthy respect for the power of the sea.

    Reply
  12. I grew up swimming in Long Island Sound, and I still love swimming in salt water. I don’t mind the sand and the salt and I love the smell of the sea. What I don’t much like is the smell of chlorine in a pool. I’ll swim in one if that’s all that’s available, but for choice I’ll always go for salt water.
    I also grew up swimming without a life guard, and I must say the first time a wave knocks you off your feet, you develop a healthy respect for the power of the sea.

    Reply
  13. I grew up swimming in Long Island Sound, and I still love swimming in salt water. I don’t mind the sand and the salt and I love the smell of the sea. What I don’t much like is the smell of chlorine in a pool. I’ll swim in one if that’s all that’s available, but for choice I’ll always go for salt water.
    I also grew up swimming without a life guard, and I must say the first time a wave knocks you off your feet, you develop a healthy respect for the power of the sea.

    Reply
  14. I grew up swimming in Long Island Sound, and I still love swimming in salt water. I don’t mind the sand and the salt and I love the smell of the sea. What I don’t much like is the smell of chlorine in a pool. I’ll swim in one if that’s all that’s available, but for choice I’ll always go for salt water.
    I also grew up swimming without a life guard, and I must say the first time a wave knocks you off your feet, you develop a healthy respect for the power of the sea.

    Reply
  15. I grew up swimming in Long Island Sound, and I still love swimming in salt water. I don’t mind the sand and the salt and I love the smell of the sea. What I don’t much like is the smell of chlorine in a pool. I’ll swim in one if that’s all that’s available, but for choice I’ll always go for salt water.
    I also grew up swimming without a life guard, and I must say the first time a wave knocks you off your feet, you develop a healthy respect for the power of the sea.

    Reply
  16. That sounds wonderful Lil, and I agree the smell of the sea is lovely! It’s definitely powerful though and potentially scary.

    Reply
  17. That sounds wonderful Lil, and I agree the smell of the sea is lovely! It’s definitely powerful though and potentially scary.

    Reply
  18. That sounds wonderful Lil, and I agree the smell of the sea is lovely! It’s definitely powerful though and potentially scary.

    Reply
  19. That sounds wonderful Lil, and I agree the smell of the sea is lovely! It’s definitely powerful though and potentially scary.

    Reply
  20. That sounds wonderful Lil, and I agree the smell of the sea is lovely! It’s definitely powerful though and potentially scary.

    Reply
  21. I haven’t been swimming in years, but I do recall some experiences. In Australia, I remember we swam in a lake (perhaps it was a reservoir) that was so deep that we described it as ‘three Daddy’s deep.’ I also remember jumping the ocean waves as they rolled onto the beach. As an adult, we took our six year old daughter to Hawaii; I remember a turtle swimming by!

    Reply
  22. I haven’t been swimming in years, but I do recall some experiences. In Australia, I remember we swam in a lake (perhaps it was a reservoir) that was so deep that we described it as ‘three Daddy’s deep.’ I also remember jumping the ocean waves as they rolled onto the beach. As an adult, we took our six year old daughter to Hawaii; I remember a turtle swimming by!

    Reply
  23. I haven’t been swimming in years, but I do recall some experiences. In Australia, I remember we swam in a lake (perhaps it was a reservoir) that was so deep that we described it as ‘three Daddy’s deep.’ I also remember jumping the ocean waves as they rolled onto the beach. As an adult, we took our six year old daughter to Hawaii; I remember a turtle swimming by!

    Reply
  24. I haven’t been swimming in years, but I do recall some experiences. In Australia, I remember we swam in a lake (perhaps it was a reservoir) that was so deep that we described it as ‘three Daddy’s deep.’ I also remember jumping the ocean waves as they rolled onto the beach. As an adult, we took our six year old daughter to Hawaii; I remember a turtle swimming by!

    Reply
  25. I haven’t been swimming in years, but I do recall some experiences. In Australia, I remember we swam in a lake (perhaps it was a reservoir) that was so deep that we described it as ‘three Daddy’s deep.’ I also remember jumping the ocean waves as they rolled onto the beach. As an adult, we took our six year old daughter to Hawaii; I remember a turtle swimming by!

    Reply
  26. I’ve never swum in a lake, river or other fresh water body. Some of them sound idyllic. I specially like it if there’s a waterfall. But having been born in Cuba and now living in Florida I’ve always lived near the sea and in a tropical climate that allows for sea bathing all year round so it’s always been the beach for me. I’m actually kind of afraid of lakes in Florida: alligators. Enough said.

    Reply
  27. I’ve never swum in a lake, river or other fresh water body. Some of them sound idyllic. I specially like it if there’s a waterfall. But having been born in Cuba and now living in Florida I’ve always lived near the sea and in a tropical climate that allows for sea bathing all year round so it’s always been the beach for me. I’m actually kind of afraid of lakes in Florida: alligators. Enough said.

    Reply
  28. I’ve never swum in a lake, river or other fresh water body. Some of them sound idyllic. I specially like it if there’s a waterfall. But having been born in Cuba and now living in Florida I’ve always lived near the sea and in a tropical climate that allows for sea bathing all year round so it’s always been the beach for me. I’m actually kind of afraid of lakes in Florida: alligators. Enough said.

    Reply
  29. I’ve never swum in a lake, river or other fresh water body. Some of them sound idyllic. I specially like it if there’s a waterfall. But having been born in Cuba and now living in Florida I’ve always lived near the sea and in a tropical climate that allows for sea bathing all year round so it’s always been the beach for me. I’m actually kind of afraid of lakes in Florida: alligators. Enough said.

    Reply
  30. I’ve never swum in a lake, river or other fresh water body. Some of them sound idyllic. I specially like it if there’s a waterfall. But having been born in Cuba and now living in Florida I’ve always lived near the sea and in a tropical climate that allows for sea bathing all year round so it’s always been the beach for me. I’m actually kind of afraid of lakes in Florida: alligators. Enough said.

    Reply
  31. Whoa, good point! Thankfully we don’t have any alligators in Sweden but I do know someone who had her toe bitten by a pike once. That’s a pretty unique case though!

    Reply
  32. Whoa, good point! Thankfully we don’t have any alligators in Sweden but I do know someone who had her toe bitten by a pike once. That’s a pretty unique case though!

    Reply
  33. Whoa, good point! Thankfully we don’t have any alligators in Sweden but I do know someone who had her toe bitten by a pike once. That’s a pretty unique case though!

    Reply
  34. Whoa, good point! Thankfully we don’t have any alligators in Sweden but I do know someone who had her toe bitten by a pike once. That’s a pretty unique case though!

    Reply
  35. Whoa, good point! Thankfully we don’t have any alligators in Sweden but I do know someone who had her toe bitten by a pike once. That’s a pretty unique case though!

    Reply
  36. No one swam in pools where I grew up in Connecticut– well, not among the hoi pollo, anyway. I swam once in a creek and nearly drowned but that was where my male cousins usually swam. Played in the ocean a few times. Not much for swimming in any water.

    Reply
  37. No one swam in pools where I grew up in Connecticut– well, not among the hoi pollo, anyway. I swam once in a creek and nearly drowned but that was where my male cousins usually swam. Played in the ocean a few times. Not much for swimming in any water.

    Reply
  38. No one swam in pools where I grew up in Connecticut– well, not among the hoi pollo, anyway. I swam once in a creek and nearly drowned but that was where my male cousins usually swam. Played in the ocean a few times. Not much for swimming in any water.

    Reply
  39. No one swam in pools where I grew up in Connecticut– well, not among the hoi pollo, anyway. I swam once in a creek and nearly drowned but that was where my male cousins usually swam. Played in the ocean a few times. Not much for swimming in any water.

    Reply
  40. No one swam in pools where I grew up in Connecticut– well, not among the hoi pollo, anyway. I swam once in a creek and nearly drowned but that was where my male cousins usually swam. Played in the ocean a few times. Not much for swimming in any water.

    Reply
  41. That sounds like a terrifying experience Nancy! Hope your cousins were on hand to help. I’d love to try swimming in a creek sometime but don’t think there are any near me.

    Reply
  42. That sounds like a terrifying experience Nancy! Hope your cousins were on hand to help. I’d love to try swimming in a creek sometime but don’t think there are any near me.

    Reply
  43. That sounds like a terrifying experience Nancy! Hope your cousins were on hand to help. I’d love to try swimming in a creek sometime but don’t think there are any near me.

    Reply
  44. That sounds like a terrifying experience Nancy! Hope your cousins were on hand to help. I’d love to try swimming in a creek sometime but don’t think there are any near me.

    Reply
  45. That sounds like a terrifying experience Nancy! Hope your cousins were on hand to help. I’d love to try swimming in a creek sometime but don’t think there are any near me.

    Reply
  46. Wild swimming is a new phrase for me but it seems appropriate. As I was growing up we had access to rivers, lakes, ponds and creeks, but very few swimming pools. Rivers, especially, could be dangerous, but it was so nice to get into cold water on a hot day. Once swimming pools were more available, it was swimming pools all the way for me.
    Mary Balogh has quite a few swimming scenes in her books. I especially remember several from her Slightly series.
    Enjoyed this post!

    Reply
  47. Wild swimming is a new phrase for me but it seems appropriate. As I was growing up we had access to rivers, lakes, ponds and creeks, but very few swimming pools. Rivers, especially, could be dangerous, but it was so nice to get into cold water on a hot day. Once swimming pools were more available, it was swimming pools all the way for me.
    Mary Balogh has quite a few swimming scenes in her books. I especially remember several from her Slightly series.
    Enjoyed this post!

    Reply
  48. Wild swimming is a new phrase for me but it seems appropriate. As I was growing up we had access to rivers, lakes, ponds and creeks, but very few swimming pools. Rivers, especially, could be dangerous, but it was so nice to get into cold water on a hot day. Once swimming pools were more available, it was swimming pools all the way for me.
    Mary Balogh has quite a few swimming scenes in her books. I especially remember several from her Slightly series.
    Enjoyed this post!

    Reply
  49. Wild swimming is a new phrase for me but it seems appropriate. As I was growing up we had access to rivers, lakes, ponds and creeks, but very few swimming pools. Rivers, especially, could be dangerous, but it was so nice to get into cold water on a hot day. Once swimming pools were more available, it was swimming pools all the way for me.
    Mary Balogh has quite a few swimming scenes in her books. I especially remember several from her Slightly series.
    Enjoyed this post!

    Reply
  50. Wild swimming is a new phrase for me but it seems appropriate. As I was growing up we had access to rivers, lakes, ponds and creeks, but very few swimming pools. Rivers, especially, could be dangerous, but it was so nice to get into cold water on a hot day. Once swimming pools were more available, it was swimming pools all the way for me.
    Mary Balogh has quite a few swimming scenes in her books. I especially remember several from her Slightly series.
    Enjoyed this post!

    Reply
  51. Lovely post, Christina. Like Mary T I spent a lot of my childhood swimming in whatever lake, or creek or river I could. I swam in some of the major rivers in Europe when I was 8 — I guess they weren’t so polluted then, because my whole family swam in them. My sister and brother used to swim out to canal boats and get a ride, but I was deemed too young to be allowed, which I thought very unfair. And once we moved to the city, it was the sea or swimming pools — except when I went camping.
    I was playing a favorite album just now, and thought of you and this post when this song came up by Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Canadian sisters.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZXfDxikwWA

    Reply
  52. Lovely post, Christina. Like Mary T I spent a lot of my childhood swimming in whatever lake, or creek or river I could. I swam in some of the major rivers in Europe when I was 8 — I guess they weren’t so polluted then, because my whole family swam in them. My sister and brother used to swim out to canal boats and get a ride, but I was deemed too young to be allowed, which I thought very unfair. And once we moved to the city, it was the sea or swimming pools — except when I went camping.
    I was playing a favorite album just now, and thought of you and this post when this song came up by Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Canadian sisters.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZXfDxikwWA

    Reply
  53. Lovely post, Christina. Like Mary T I spent a lot of my childhood swimming in whatever lake, or creek or river I could. I swam in some of the major rivers in Europe when I was 8 — I guess they weren’t so polluted then, because my whole family swam in them. My sister and brother used to swim out to canal boats and get a ride, but I was deemed too young to be allowed, which I thought very unfair. And once we moved to the city, it was the sea or swimming pools — except when I went camping.
    I was playing a favorite album just now, and thought of you and this post when this song came up by Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Canadian sisters.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZXfDxikwWA

    Reply
  54. Lovely post, Christina. Like Mary T I spent a lot of my childhood swimming in whatever lake, or creek or river I could. I swam in some of the major rivers in Europe when I was 8 — I guess they weren’t so polluted then, because my whole family swam in them. My sister and brother used to swim out to canal boats and get a ride, but I was deemed too young to be allowed, which I thought very unfair. And once we moved to the city, it was the sea or swimming pools — except when I went camping.
    I was playing a favorite album just now, and thought of you and this post when this song came up by Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Canadian sisters.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZXfDxikwWA

    Reply
  55. Lovely post, Christina. Like Mary T I spent a lot of my childhood swimming in whatever lake, or creek or river I could. I swam in some of the major rivers in Europe when I was 8 — I guess they weren’t so polluted then, because my whole family swam in them. My sister and brother used to swim out to canal boats and get a ride, but I was deemed too young to be allowed, which I thought very unfair. And once we moved to the city, it was the sea or swimming pools — except when I went camping.
    I was playing a favorite album just now, and thought of you and this post when this song came up by Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Canadian sisters.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZXfDxikwWA

    Reply
  56. Thank you Mary, so glad if it brought back happy memories! I much prefer lakes to swimming pools but as I’m such a water baby I’m usually happy with anything as long as I can swim. Thank you for the recommendation!

    Reply
  57. Thank you Mary, so glad if it brought back happy memories! I much prefer lakes to swimming pools but as I’m such a water baby I’m usually happy with anything as long as I can swim. Thank you for the recommendation!

    Reply
  58. Thank you Mary, so glad if it brought back happy memories! I much prefer lakes to swimming pools but as I’m such a water baby I’m usually happy with anything as long as I can swim. Thank you for the recommendation!

    Reply
  59. Thank you Mary, so glad if it brought back happy memories! I much prefer lakes to swimming pools but as I’m such a water baby I’m usually happy with anything as long as I can swim. Thank you for the recommendation!

    Reply
  60. Thank you Mary, so glad if it brought back happy memories! I much prefer lakes to swimming pools but as I’m such a water baby I’m usually happy with anything as long as I can swim. Thank you for the recommendation!

    Reply
  61. That’s absolutely perfect Anne, thank you! Never heard that before. You’re so lucky to have swum in some of the big rivers, but hitching rides with canal boats sounds dangerous!

    Reply
  62. That’s absolutely perfect Anne, thank you! Never heard that before. You’re so lucky to have swum in some of the big rivers, but hitching rides with canal boats sounds dangerous!

    Reply
  63. That’s absolutely perfect Anne, thank you! Never heard that before. You’re so lucky to have swum in some of the big rivers, but hitching rides with canal boats sounds dangerous!

    Reply
  64. That’s absolutely perfect Anne, thank you! Never heard that before. You’re so lucky to have swum in some of the big rivers, but hitching rides with canal boats sounds dangerous!

    Reply
  65. That’s absolutely perfect Anne, thank you! Never heard that before. You’re so lucky to have swum in some of the big rivers, but hitching rides with canal boats sounds dangerous!

    Reply
  66. Oh yes, I’m a wild swimmer, although I also find the term a bit funny. Most of the swimming where I grew up was done in lakes, although we did have a pool that was semi-wild; it was formed by damming up a mountain stream, and it had natural rock walls and a dirt bottom. I’ve swum in creeks, rivers, abandoned rock quarries, sand pits, under waterfalls, and many, many lakes and ponds all over New Jersey and New York. I’ve never swum in the Hudson River, but it’s much cleaner now than it was decades ago, and many people do. I enjoy ocean swimming too, but if I had to pick only one, I would take fresh water over salt.

    Reply
  67. Oh yes, I’m a wild swimmer, although I also find the term a bit funny. Most of the swimming where I grew up was done in lakes, although we did have a pool that was semi-wild; it was formed by damming up a mountain stream, and it had natural rock walls and a dirt bottom. I’ve swum in creeks, rivers, abandoned rock quarries, sand pits, under waterfalls, and many, many lakes and ponds all over New Jersey and New York. I’ve never swum in the Hudson River, but it’s much cleaner now than it was decades ago, and many people do. I enjoy ocean swimming too, but if I had to pick only one, I would take fresh water over salt.

    Reply
  68. Oh yes, I’m a wild swimmer, although I also find the term a bit funny. Most of the swimming where I grew up was done in lakes, although we did have a pool that was semi-wild; it was formed by damming up a mountain stream, and it had natural rock walls and a dirt bottom. I’ve swum in creeks, rivers, abandoned rock quarries, sand pits, under waterfalls, and many, many lakes and ponds all over New Jersey and New York. I’ve never swum in the Hudson River, but it’s much cleaner now than it was decades ago, and many people do. I enjoy ocean swimming too, but if I had to pick only one, I would take fresh water over salt.

    Reply
  69. Oh yes, I’m a wild swimmer, although I also find the term a bit funny. Most of the swimming where I grew up was done in lakes, although we did have a pool that was semi-wild; it was formed by damming up a mountain stream, and it had natural rock walls and a dirt bottom. I’ve swum in creeks, rivers, abandoned rock quarries, sand pits, under waterfalls, and many, many lakes and ponds all over New Jersey and New York. I’ve never swum in the Hudson River, but it’s much cleaner now than it was decades ago, and many people do. I enjoy ocean swimming too, but if I had to pick only one, I would take fresh water over salt.

    Reply
  70. Oh yes, I’m a wild swimmer, although I also find the term a bit funny. Most of the swimming where I grew up was done in lakes, although we did have a pool that was semi-wild; it was formed by damming up a mountain stream, and it had natural rock walls and a dirt bottom. I’ve swum in creeks, rivers, abandoned rock quarries, sand pits, under waterfalls, and many, many lakes and ponds all over New Jersey and New York. I’ve never swum in the Hudson River, but it’s much cleaner now than it was decades ago, and many people do. I enjoy ocean swimming too, but if I had to pick only one, I would take fresh water over salt.

    Reply
  71. Living in the Southeast (US) there are basically NO natural bodies of water. All the lakes and ponds are man made to provide flood control, power generation and cow ponds. Though there are indeed creeks/streams and rivers.
    I’ve gone swimming in many potholes in creeks. Rivers not so much as they tend to be a bit fast. Generally I’ve only swum in rivers when I got dumped out of a canoe or raft. Grin. Pools of water at the bottom of waterfalls are indeed lovely.
    Growing up, in the summer, we used to make special trips to a spot on Dog River (which in the summer was a very shallow river) because there were nice pot holes that we could swim in. But alas, progress came and they made a reservoir so that stretch of the river got flooded out.

    Reply
  72. Living in the Southeast (US) there are basically NO natural bodies of water. All the lakes and ponds are man made to provide flood control, power generation and cow ponds. Though there are indeed creeks/streams and rivers.
    I’ve gone swimming in many potholes in creeks. Rivers not so much as they tend to be a bit fast. Generally I’ve only swum in rivers when I got dumped out of a canoe or raft. Grin. Pools of water at the bottom of waterfalls are indeed lovely.
    Growing up, in the summer, we used to make special trips to a spot on Dog River (which in the summer was a very shallow river) because there were nice pot holes that we could swim in. But alas, progress came and they made a reservoir so that stretch of the river got flooded out.

    Reply
  73. Living in the Southeast (US) there are basically NO natural bodies of water. All the lakes and ponds are man made to provide flood control, power generation and cow ponds. Though there are indeed creeks/streams and rivers.
    I’ve gone swimming in many potholes in creeks. Rivers not so much as they tend to be a bit fast. Generally I’ve only swum in rivers when I got dumped out of a canoe or raft. Grin. Pools of water at the bottom of waterfalls are indeed lovely.
    Growing up, in the summer, we used to make special trips to a spot on Dog River (which in the summer was a very shallow river) because there were nice pot holes that we could swim in. But alas, progress came and they made a reservoir so that stretch of the river got flooded out.

    Reply
  74. Living in the Southeast (US) there are basically NO natural bodies of water. All the lakes and ponds are man made to provide flood control, power generation and cow ponds. Though there are indeed creeks/streams and rivers.
    I’ve gone swimming in many potholes in creeks. Rivers not so much as they tend to be a bit fast. Generally I’ve only swum in rivers when I got dumped out of a canoe or raft. Grin. Pools of water at the bottom of waterfalls are indeed lovely.
    Growing up, in the summer, we used to make special trips to a spot on Dog River (which in the summer was a very shallow river) because there were nice pot holes that we could swim in. But alas, progress came and they made a reservoir so that stretch of the river got flooded out.

    Reply
  75. Living in the Southeast (US) there are basically NO natural bodies of water. All the lakes and ponds are man made to provide flood control, power generation and cow ponds. Though there are indeed creeks/streams and rivers.
    I’ve gone swimming in many potholes in creeks. Rivers not so much as they tend to be a bit fast. Generally I’ve only swum in rivers when I got dumped out of a canoe or raft. Grin. Pools of water at the bottom of waterfalls are indeed lovely.
    Growing up, in the summer, we used to make special trips to a spot on Dog River (which in the summer was a very shallow river) because there were nice pot holes that we could swim in. But alas, progress came and they made a reservoir so that stretch of the river got flooded out.

    Reply
  76. Anne – My husband plays that song by the McGarrigles on the first day of summer every year! He is the wild swimmer in our house, having never met a pool of water he didn’t want to try! He swam off Monhegan Island in Maine – in early October! – on our honeymoon, and I watched several seals follow him about. I imagine they were a bit bemused!

    Reply
  77. Anne – My husband plays that song by the McGarrigles on the first day of summer every year! He is the wild swimmer in our house, having never met a pool of water he didn’t want to try! He swam off Monhegan Island in Maine – in early October! – on our honeymoon, and I watched several seals follow him about. I imagine they were a bit bemused!

    Reply
  78. Anne – My husband plays that song by the McGarrigles on the first day of summer every year! He is the wild swimmer in our house, having never met a pool of water he didn’t want to try! He swam off Monhegan Island in Maine – in early October! – on our honeymoon, and I watched several seals follow him about. I imagine they were a bit bemused!

    Reply
  79. Anne – My husband plays that song by the McGarrigles on the first day of summer every year! He is the wild swimmer in our house, having never met a pool of water he didn’t want to try! He swam off Monhegan Island in Maine – in early October! – on our honeymoon, and I watched several seals follow him about. I imagine they were a bit bemused!

    Reply
  80. Anne – My husband plays that song by the McGarrigles on the first day of summer every year! He is the wild swimmer in our house, having never met a pool of water he didn’t want to try! He swam off Monhegan Island in Maine – in early October! – on our honeymoon, and I watched several seals follow him about. I imagine they were a bit bemused!

    Reply
  81. Lovely post, Christina, bringing back so many memories! We spent summer vacations on the Outer Banks of North Carolina when I was growing up, with the lovely calm waters of the Pamlico Sound on one side of the island, and the towering waves of the Atlantic on the other. Those waves were quite wild, but didn’t make for easy swimming, but we did body surf – back before that was a regularly used term! Other than those weeks, my experiences were more like Vicki T’s – swimming in creeks, farm ponds, and huge “lakes” created to be reservoirs.
    My favorite romance scene with a sort of swimming comes in Mary Balogh’s Slightly Dangerous, when Wulfric astounds his siblings and niblings (my new favorite word, thanks to Mary Jo!) by climbing out on a branch and diving into freezing water, showing Christine that he is not just the Duke, but also a man with deep feelings and an ability to laugh at himself. It’s a pivotal moment in their story and always makes me teary and happy!

    Reply
  82. Lovely post, Christina, bringing back so many memories! We spent summer vacations on the Outer Banks of North Carolina when I was growing up, with the lovely calm waters of the Pamlico Sound on one side of the island, and the towering waves of the Atlantic on the other. Those waves were quite wild, but didn’t make for easy swimming, but we did body surf – back before that was a regularly used term! Other than those weeks, my experiences were more like Vicki T’s – swimming in creeks, farm ponds, and huge “lakes” created to be reservoirs.
    My favorite romance scene with a sort of swimming comes in Mary Balogh’s Slightly Dangerous, when Wulfric astounds his siblings and niblings (my new favorite word, thanks to Mary Jo!) by climbing out on a branch and diving into freezing water, showing Christine that he is not just the Duke, but also a man with deep feelings and an ability to laugh at himself. It’s a pivotal moment in their story and always makes me teary and happy!

    Reply
  83. Lovely post, Christina, bringing back so many memories! We spent summer vacations on the Outer Banks of North Carolina when I was growing up, with the lovely calm waters of the Pamlico Sound on one side of the island, and the towering waves of the Atlantic on the other. Those waves were quite wild, but didn’t make for easy swimming, but we did body surf – back before that was a regularly used term! Other than those weeks, my experiences were more like Vicki T’s – swimming in creeks, farm ponds, and huge “lakes” created to be reservoirs.
    My favorite romance scene with a sort of swimming comes in Mary Balogh’s Slightly Dangerous, when Wulfric astounds his siblings and niblings (my new favorite word, thanks to Mary Jo!) by climbing out on a branch and diving into freezing water, showing Christine that he is not just the Duke, but also a man with deep feelings and an ability to laugh at himself. It’s a pivotal moment in their story and always makes me teary and happy!

    Reply
  84. Lovely post, Christina, bringing back so many memories! We spent summer vacations on the Outer Banks of North Carolina when I was growing up, with the lovely calm waters of the Pamlico Sound on one side of the island, and the towering waves of the Atlantic on the other. Those waves were quite wild, but didn’t make for easy swimming, but we did body surf – back before that was a regularly used term! Other than those weeks, my experiences were more like Vicki T’s – swimming in creeks, farm ponds, and huge “lakes” created to be reservoirs.
    My favorite romance scene with a sort of swimming comes in Mary Balogh’s Slightly Dangerous, when Wulfric astounds his siblings and niblings (my new favorite word, thanks to Mary Jo!) by climbing out on a branch and diving into freezing water, showing Christine that he is not just the Duke, but also a man with deep feelings and an ability to laugh at himself. It’s a pivotal moment in their story and always makes me teary and happy!

    Reply
  85. Lovely post, Christina, bringing back so many memories! We spent summer vacations on the Outer Banks of North Carolina when I was growing up, with the lovely calm waters of the Pamlico Sound on one side of the island, and the towering waves of the Atlantic on the other. Those waves were quite wild, but didn’t make for easy swimming, but we did body surf – back before that was a regularly used term! Other than those weeks, my experiences were more like Vicki T’s – swimming in creeks, farm ponds, and huge “lakes” created to be reservoirs.
    My favorite romance scene with a sort of swimming comes in Mary Balogh’s Slightly Dangerous, when Wulfric astounds his siblings and niblings (my new favorite word, thanks to Mary Jo!) by climbing out on a branch and diving into freezing water, showing Christine that he is not just the Duke, but also a man with deep feelings and an ability to laugh at himself. It’s a pivotal moment in their story and always makes me teary and happy!

    Reply
  86. “wild swimming”, that’s what it’s called now? Good grief. As I live in the land of thousands of lakes, there are plenty to choose from, though usually I swim in one of the two lakes closest to my childhood home in the countryside. Of course back in the day I didn’t have to worry about blue-green algae. Or the haddocks biting my bare feet when I went to one of the swimming places (yes, I could run all over with bare feet) since cows kept the grass pretty short and their hooves probaly scared the snakes, too.

    Reply
  87. “wild swimming”, that’s what it’s called now? Good grief. As I live in the land of thousands of lakes, there are plenty to choose from, though usually I swim in one of the two lakes closest to my childhood home in the countryside. Of course back in the day I didn’t have to worry about blue-green algae. Or the haddocks biting my bare feet when I went to one of the swimming places (yes, I could run all over with bare feet) since cows kept the grass pretty short and their hooves probaly scared the snakes, too.

    Reply
  88. “wild swimming”, that’s what it’s called now? Good grief. As I live in the land of thousands of lakes, there are plenty to choose from, though usually I swim in one of the two lakes closest to my childhood home in the countryside. Of course back in the day I didn’t have to worry about blue-green algae. Or the haddocks biting my bare feet when I went to one of the swimming places (yes, I could run all over with bare feet) since cows kept the grass pretty short and their hooves probaly scared the snakes, too.

    Reply
  89. “wild swimming”, that’s what it’s called now? Good grief. As I live in the land of thousands of lakes, there are plenty to choose from, though usually I swim in one of the two lakes closest to my childhood home in the countryside. Of course back in the day I didn’t have to worry about blue-green algae. Or the haddocks biting my bare feet when I went to one of the swimming places (yes, I could run all over with bare feet) since cows kept the grass pretty short and their hooves probaly scared the snakes, too.

    Reply
  90. “wild swimming”, that’s what it’s called now? Good grief. As I live in the land of thousands of lakes, there are plenty to choose from, though usually I swim in one of the two lakes closest to my childhood home in the countryside. Of course back in the day I didn’t have to worry about blue-green algae. Or the haddocks biting my bare feet when I went to one of the swimming places (yes, I could run all over with bare feet) since cows kept the grass pretty short and their hooves probaly scared the snakes, too.

    Reply
  91. Thank you Constance, I’ll have to reread that as I had forgotten. Your summer vacations sound idyllic with two wonderful swimming choices!

    Reply
  92. Thank you Constance, I’ll have to reread that as I had forgotten. Your summer vacations sound idyllic with two wonderful swimming choices!

    Reply
  93. Thank you Constance, I’ll have to reread that as I had forgotten. Your summer vacations sound idyllic with two wonderful swimming choices!

    Reply
  94. Thank you Constance, I’ll have to reread that as I had forgotten. Your summer vacations sound idyllic with two wonderful swimming choices!

    Reply
  95. Thank you Constance, I’ll have to reread that as I had forgotten. Your summer vacations sound idyllic with two wonderful swimming choices!

    Reply
  96. Oh I used to love running around barefoot too, Minna! That brings back so many childhood memories. I love the sound of your lakes.

    Reply
  97. Oh I used to love running around barefoot too, Minna! That brings back so many childhood memories. I love the sound of your lakes.

    Reply
  98. Oh I used to love running around barefoot too, Minna! That brings back so many childhood memories. I love the sound of your lakes.

    Reply
  99. Oh I used to love running around barefoot too, Minna! That brings back so many childhood memories. I love the sound of your lakes.

    Reply
  100. Oh I used to love running around barefoot too, Minna! That brings back so many childhood memories. I love the sound of your lakes.

    Reply
  101. What a lovely ritual the start the summer, Constance. I’ve never swum with seals — having passed a few seal colonies, the stink puts me off, though I know it wouldn’t be the same in the open water. I have always wanted to swim with dolphins, though.

    Reply
  102. What a lovely ritual the start the summer, Constance. I’ve never swum with seals — having passed a few seal colonies, the stink puts me off, though I know it wouldn’t be the same in the open water. I have always wanted to swim with dolphins, though.

    Reply
  103. What a lovely ritual the start the summer, Constance. I’ve never swum with seals — having passed a few seal colonies, the stink puts me off, though I know it wouldn’t be the same in the open water. I have always wanted to swim with dolphins, though.

    Reply
  104. What a lovely ritual the start the summer, Constance. I’ve never swum with seals — having passed a few seal colonies, the stink puts me off, though I know it wouldn’t be the same in the open water. I have always wanted to swim with dolphins, though.

    Reply
  105. What a lovely ritual the start the summer, Constance. I’ve never swum with seals — having passed a few seal colonies, the stink puts me off, though I know it wouldn’t be the same in the open water. I have always wanted to swim with dolphins, though.

    Reply

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