Micro Adventure Wild Swimming

Micro Adventure: Wild Swimming
Wild Swimming in Sweden.


Wild Swimming is a fantastic way to have a micro-adventure close to home – low on hassle and high in adrenaline and fun  Take part in a Micro Adventure Wild Swimming.

 

 

Daniel, author of the Wild Swimming  and Wild Guides was speaking at the fundraiser Night of Adventure organised by Alastair Humphreys and the brilliant charity Hope and Homes.

He tells us about his own journey into wild swimming, and his favourite places around the UK for adventure.

Micro Adventure Wild SwimmingWhen you slip into the water, swim along a willow-lined river or plunge into a mountain waterfall, you are doing more than just enjoying one of nature’s greatest and healthiest highs.

You are opening up a whole new world of magical adventures – adventures that are abundant in in our wet and seabound country.

Bring on a whole new way of exploring our landscape without masses of kit of clutter.

My own micro adventure wild swimming adventures began in a Huckleberry Finn  kind of way.

I grew up on the River Waveney and by the North Sea in Suffolk.  I learnt to swim in the river, building rafts, Kayaking, rope swings, camping out on the river bank, surfing, fishing and canoeing.

It is not looked at as normal in the uk to be swimming in rivers so I challenge you all to bring wild swimming to Blighty just be careful.

Choose your area well, do not put yourselves in danger and make sure you know of any dangers.

Some Dangers

Polluted water

Under Currents

Sharp objects

Cold water shock

Hypothermia

Make a day of it.  Find an area where you can spend the day taking part in other micro adventures such as fishing or outdoor cooking.

Micro Adventure: Wild Swimming / Outdoor Cooking / Fishing / Hiking / Sailing / Canoeing the list goes on and on.

It doesn’t cost the earth and can be normally done in your nearby area but please check the water is safe before entering.

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Micro adventure – Scuba Diving

This all started about 22 years ago when I had my first experience of this Micro adventure -Scuba Diving.  I was working in Corsica and I done my first try dive.

I have always loved the water grown up paddling, swimming and surfing and learning to dive was on my bucket list.

It wasn’t until the next summer when working as a instructor in a hotel in Southern Italy that I started to climb the ladder of scuba diving where I took courses up to advanced diver.

The following year I was working in Tunisia where I done some more diving but it wasn’t until I went to the island of Rhodes in Greece that I studied up to the level of Divemaster.

The following year life took me out to Cyprus where I started working in Viking Divers and also done my instructors training.

Viking divers. Photo taken at Green Bay in Protaras

I worked as a instructor for 6 years teaching recreational and some technical diving so my boys have grown up hearing my stories of diving adventures.

Micro adventure – Scuba Diving

This year it was the turn of my youngest to learn. The easiest and more time beneficial way to learn is to either do all the theory at home or theory and confined water training.

You can purchase a android or apple app which does all of the theory, knowledge reviews, final exam and will send the diving centre you will do the open water dives your results.

Micro adventure: scuba diving
Swim tests

So theory completed it is a case of 5 confined water sessions and 4 open water dives. Now the youngest is 10 so his maximum depth to dive as a junior open water diver is 12m.

Micro adventure - Scuba Diving
Pre-dive briefing

The whole cost of learning to dive this way was €400 including his certification card.

 

 

The main issue with children of this age learning to scuba dive is their size compared to size / weight of some of the equipment so some assistance is needed donning and removing equipment also some skills they have to complete can be difficult due to size of equipment.

 

 

Dive Safari

Once all of his skills where completed and open water dives done we spent a day on a dive safari where we all could dive together and enjoy diving without skills and assessments.

We visited Cape Greco and done a dive that I always loved taking divers to ‘Tunnels and Caves’

This is a great dive site where the dive finishes surfacing through a hole in the roof of a cave.

Second dive site of the day Xylofagou

I would recommend participating in a try dive first to see whether they like it first as it is quite expensive if they decided they don’t like it.  A try dive is also a great little Micro adventure – Scuba Diving

 

 

 

The adults had planned to dive the Zenobia wreck but due to illness this didn’t happen.

Zenobia Ferry

The Zenobia is a 180m three deck Ro-Ro ferry full of truck and cargo that lays on its port side at 40m that can be reached at 18m so to deep for the boys but a fantastic wreck for all to enjoy.  This dive is its own micro adventure.

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Micro adventure-river paddling

Micro adventure-river paddling A quick over nighter down the river Waveney.

We are lucky being so close to the coast and right on the doorstep of the river Waveney an evening paddle down the river cannot be missed.

Kit all packed in the car for a overnighter we leave from the sailing club at Beccles and head down towards Geldeston.

Micro adventure-river paddling
Micro adventure-river paddling

The plan was to stealth camp on the river bank as I had previously seen an area.

Now wild camping in the uk is not the norm.  There are only a few places where this is legal or a blind eye is turned such as Dartmoor or certain places in Scotland.

We are unfortunate not to have the ability to wild camp but lots do and are very caring about the places they camp and I wish it was so that we could but hey ho it’s the UK.

Canoe all packed

Setting Off on our Micro adventure-river paddling

So canoe loaded with supplies we head down the river from Beccles towards Geldeston.

This is where the river ceases to become navigable to boats and home of the Geldeston Locks a fantastic Pub.

We did cheat as we took the battery powered trolling motor which sits on the side of the canoe.

This is great for getting back from the pub or assisting when the boys are ‘too tired!’.

We where lucky as we had accidently timed it perfectly as the river was on the flood so it was easy paddling down for our Micro adventure-river paddling.

The Camp

The place I had thought about camping on was a no go so we had to revert to plan B at the three rivers campsite.

Initial plan was to setup a shelter using the canoe and a dd hammocks tarp.

I had a configuration in my head and it went ok considering it was my first time with this configuration.

Camp made

The idea was to Peg the tarp at two corners behind the canoe. I would then bring it over canoe and support with two paddles supported by guy lines.

This worked well but canoe needed supporting with two poles at a slight slant to stop it from moving.

We had taken our frontier stove to Cook of instant noodles and a handful of polish sausage to grill over the flames.  

Anevay.co.uk

The frontier stove I brought about 8 years ago from Anevay and has been the talk of many a campsite over the years even made a camping magazine at one point.

Camp made and food on the go.

So we cooked our food and the boys filled themselves up on s’mores and within 10 minute the little one was asleep outside.

Sleeping outdoors

It is amazing how this one sleeps so well outdoors.

I took my Uco Gear candle light which I absolutely love using.  With a 9 hour candle this gives just enough light in case the boys wake up.

Some of my gear taken

Early rise in the morning, breakfast cooked and camp packed away.

Back down the river to load everything onto the car and head home.

This little trip was only about 18hrs in total but it was a great little trip

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