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A LOVE LETTER TO ORKNEY’S WILD WATERS

Ella Foote meets Victoria Whitworth, author of Swimming with Seals, a memoir about the transformative power of swimming outdoors
Victoria Whitworth

GETTING ALONG SWIMMINGLY

“There are two ways of experiencing books,” author Victoria Whitworth explains as we meet over my battered and sea bruised copy of her new book, Swimming with Seals. “There is the book as a physical artefact that needs to be respected or there is the book as an experience that you just have to dive into.”

It is the latter experience I chose and I did devour Victoria’s book. I dove in and swam through her copy, battling her raw and untidy experience of life like a swimmer battles the waves. I dove through the abundance of history, knowledge and folklore that appears throughout the pages and I held my breath learning about the beauty and mystery of Orkney. But like a pilot fish on a host species I followed Victoria’s words and found myself booking flights to the archipelago wanting to experience for myself what it is like to swim at the Sands of Evie.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Flicking through my Facebook feed on a weekend I am always astounded by the sheer variety of challenges swimmers around the world take on, from wild dips to awe-inspiring marathon swims. This past month Caroline Block finished just short of a two-way North Channel crossing; Chloë McCardel announced her new world record attempt – a four-way English Channel; and Sarah Thomas swam into the record books with a 104-mile swim in Lake Champlain. It often makes me feel very inadequate! But sometimes swimming is about more than just swimming This issue we look at how you can give back to the swimming community, and Becky Horsbrugh visits Bangladesh to work for a drowning prevention charity. Author Victoria Whitworth talks about the transformative power of swimming outdoors and coach Mat Hudson explains how to swim strong for life. Plus, wildlife, nutrition, training, wild swimming and reviews. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming. Jonathan Cowie Editor
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