Ageless Ocean Adventures
We think that the ocean brings out the youth in all of us, no matter how advanced in years a person may be. The sea offers ageless adventures for anyone willing to take the plunge or set sail, and there’s something special about seeing grandparents making seaside memories with their grandchildren. In our opinion, you’re never too old to reap the benefits of the ocean, whether for physical or mental wellbeing. We chatted with Fran Baker, an avid rower and sea-swimmer in her 60s for some inspiration, and have put together a list of a few of the activities we’ve seen being enjoyed by the older generation this year…
Cold Water Dipping
Fran said, “There is nothing better than being in the open sea and just swimming free. What is interesting and sometimes fun about the sea is you never know what you can encounter. Inquisitive seals, jellies big and small. I was lucky enough during lockdown that I could swim in the harbour where I live and keep up with my training.”
Whilst most think that cold-water swims aren’t for the faint hearted, the majority of dippers are of the older generation! Maybe proving that they aren’t faint hearted at all? Good for the mind, body and soul, the effects of cold water are many and varied. Aiding in boosting circulation, promoting good sleep, encouraging a healthy lifestyle and getting you out of your comfort zone, these are only a few of the proven benefits.
If you’re looking to dive in but aren’t sure where to start we’d recommend joining one of the wild swimming clubs that run around the country, or finding a swimming buddy to join you. We also work with an organisation called Wild Swimming Cornwall, who have published a helpful guide on the best swim spots in the county. You can check out the manual by clicking here.
This time of year, as summer moves into autumn, is a great time to get into it as the water is still relatively warm following the summer and you can get into the habit before the temperature drops, and ease yourself into those winter swims.
“I joined Boscastle and Crackington Gig Club in 2005, and it has been an amazing journey. Most of our Masters group (aged 60+) have been rowing since then, and we compete together as a team.”
The inspiration behind this article were a few wonderful women that we met on a recent photoshoot. Fran and Sue both row for the Boscastle and Crackington Gig Club in North Cornwall, an active pilot gig rowing club in their community. The social aspect of the sport attracts people of all ages, and most clubs have Men’s, Women’s, Vet’s and Supervet’s crews, meaning that there is a place for everyone. Gig rowing is a great way to keep fit, get moving, spend time outside and surround yourself with like-minded, active people.
You can check out our guide to getting started in gig rowing here, or find your nearest gig club by clicking here, where all Pilot Gig clubs in the UK are listed alphabetically.
Fran explained how she doesn’t think she’ll ever stop taking to the water: “It’s just something I love doing. It seems to increase my energy levels and wellbeing. Just being out in the open cold water with all the wildlife is enough.”
Fran doesn’t just swim and row for fun. She competes in both sports, plus she’s rowed in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant in 2012. “I’ve had so many amazing adventures since joining the clubs,” said Fran. Her zest for life, love for the water and competitive spirit is contagious and we can imagine she’s an inspiration for the older generation within her community.
Often seen as an “older persons” sport anyway, whether that’s due to financial situation or free time, sailing happens all over the country across seas, lakes and reservoirs. Is there a more beautiful way to travel?
Sailing can take many forms, from racing to voyaging, leisurely meanders to fishing missions. If you’re looking to get into the sport and want to find your nearest sailing club or training centre, click here to visit the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) website.
Fran’s advice for getting out on the water? “Just go for it and get involved and you’ll have an amazing experience.”
Doing something for the environment, getting outdoors, giving back to the community and meeting likeminded people: what’s not to love? We are proud to support Beach Guardian, a community interest organisation that keep our coastlines litter-free by organising regular beach cleans, educating others about the effects of ocean pollution and working towards making businesses more sustainable.
Beach cleaning is a great way to keep fit, stay healthy year-round, become part of a close-knit community of environmental activists and spend time at the seaside! Check out the Beach Guardian Facebook page for a list of upcoming events that you can get involved in.
Emily, the Beach Guardian co-founder, said, “We run a variety of organised beach cleans across the ‘Seven Bays’ in North Cornwall. Centred around the village of St Merryn, the Seven Bays; Trevone, Harlyn, Mother Ivey’s, Booby’s, Constantine, Treyarnon and Porthcothan, are the beaches and bays we try and guard against plastic pollution. All equipment will be provided and Beach Guardian will remove everything collected on our beach cleans. Our events are family friendly, the more helping hands the better!”
Coast Path Walking
Is there a better way to see the coastline than by walking it? The South West Coast Path stretches for 630 miles around the lower half of Britain’s coast, and is the longest established national trail in the country. It provides walkers with the most spectacular views, leads you to areas unreachable by road and is a place to truly lose yourself in nature. Stop for a swim, spot some wildlife, enjoy a pasty in a fishing village and grab an ice cream after a long day hiking.
To plan your route or find a suitable length and terrain for your ability, check out the South West Coast Path website here.
We hope, that if you were on the fence about taking the plunge, Fran’s words and this blog have encouraged you to try something new on, in, or alongside the ocean. Our products are designed for those moments on either side of a cold-water activity, to allow you to be comfortable and to enjoy those moments for longer. Browse our range of winter-proof Dry-Series changing robes here, or our Original-Series towelling robes here.