|My favourite little|
island in the world
This time, I dived into Lord Howe's sea-side on Pinetrees' first Ocean Swim Week, led by Gold Coast-based former Ironman Trevor Hendy - who is now an wholistic life coach (check out his online Bootcamp for the Soul course) and something of an aquatic centaur (half man, half fish), so at home is he in the water.
|Trevor Hendy: half man, half fish|
|Taking a break, off Ned's Beach|
Pic by Luke Hanson
Any water will do, but the sea is my true home. It's where I go to reconnect with the natural world and with myself. I have cried into it, laughed in it, shared surfs and swims with friends in it. When I'm in the water, there's nowhere else I'd rather be.
Which is not to say I didn't find this week challenging. I did.
I haven't done much ocean swimming and I'd been travelling right up to the start of Ocean Swim Week (my life is one long trip these days), so a few sessions in the pool before I flew to Lord Howe was all the training I could manage.
|Gliding through the blue|
Pic by Luke Hanson
Some days we'd leap like lemmings from a glass-bottomed boat into the blue. One day we bushwalked 2km up and over a hill to our launch spot. We'd glide (or thrash) over coral in midday sunshine and morning rain, seeing turtles or curious Galapagos sharks that would cruise by below us.
|Twin peaks in this season's colours|
Did I mention that all but one of my eight Ocean Week comrades were salt-seasoned ocean swimmers? Six of them were lifesavers too, from up and down the east coast (come on down, Marcoola!).
|Happy swimmers: Ross, Lou & Jude|
"I wanted Ocean Swim Week to be not only a chance to swim and explore these incredible grounds of Lord Howe," he told us, "but to let go of something while we’re here. To let go of the need to be someone and do something and get to the next place. And experience each moment as it goes, and take that back into life."
|Lord Howe's underwater world|
Most importantly, he was just very present, honest and down-to-earth all week, which inspired us all to experience whatever we were experiencing, on land and sea.
Lord Howe always seems to find me where I am, and know what I need - and what I needed this week was to be in the sea, to move, to rest and to live simply for a week. Mission accomplished.
|Gratuitous fan-shot: thanks, Trev!|
And all you need is deep water, a pair of goggles, something to wear (and even that's not entirely necessary, though we did all keep our togs on this week). Oh, and a sense of adventure - to step off the beach and into another world, one where gravity doesn't apply to you and you're suddenly, utterly free.
Newsflash: Pinetrees' resident videographer Andy Lloyd has just finished his amazing video of our Ocean Swim Week, narrated by Trevor Hendy. Check it out: