The Pod: Ocean Swimming-logo

The Pod: Ocean Swimming

Sports & Recreation Podcasts

There's more to ocean swimming than swimming in the ocean.

There's more to ocean swimming than swimming in the ocean.




There's more to ocean swimming than swimming in the ocean.




Ocean swimming... with Chloe McCardel

Chloe McCardel is probably the world's best ocean swimmer. She holds the record for the world's longest unassisted ocean swim (124.4 km), has crossed the English Channel 37 times, was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 2016 and was International Marathon Swimmer of the Year, 2014 & 2015. Her achievements are too long to fully describe! She is also an acclaimed coach, and in November is giving free online English Channel solo swim advice talks for which you can...


Ocean swimming... the Coals to Newcastle

Craig Clarke is a champion Australian surf life-saver who has had a dream of swimming the English Channel since watching Des Renford in the 1970s. He had a slot booked in for this year, and then Covid-19 hit. Undeterred, not wanting to waste the training, and to raise money for Beyond Blue, Craig developed the 36 km “Coals to Newcastle” ocean swim on the Australian East Coast, a swim leg that has never been attempted before. The course dates back over 100 years to when coal ships loaded at...


Ocean swimming... in extreme environments

Heather Massey is a senior lecturer in the Extreme Environments Research Group at the University of Portsmouth. Heather has done extensive work into the human response to cold water, both the physical and mental effects, and her areas of research interest include thermal, altitude and survival physiology. She's also an amazing ocean swimmer, having swum the English Channel and around Jersey, among other things. And has a podcast called Humans in Extremes, interviewing extraordinary guests...


Ocean swimming... with Bold and Beautiful

Bold and Beautiful are an informal Sydney swim group for all ages and abilities who meet out the front of Manly Life Saving Club every day and swim at 7am, 7 days a week from Manly to Shelly Beach and back. Dorset Sutton is a philanthropist and along with Bold and Beautiful has been a key part of Operation Crayweed, an effort to bring crayweed back to Sydney beaches - you may remember this from the last episode. Dorset, along with wife Jenny, runs the Lim-Sutton Initiative which is focused...


Ocean swimming... and underwater forests

Crayweed, a type of seaweed, forms dense forests on shallow reefs all the way from Port Macquarie to Tasmania. However, there is a 70 km gap in crayweed off the coast of Sydney. Sometime during the 1980s, crayweed disappeared completely between Palm Beach and Cronulla, likely due to the poorly treated sewage that used to be pumped directly onto Sydney’s beaches. However, despite Sydney's water quality improving dramatically since the establishment of the deep ocean sewage outfalls, the...


Ocean swimming... with Shane Gould

Dr. Shane Gould is the only swimmer to hold every world freestyle record from 100 to 1500 metres and the 200-metre individual medley simultaneously. She is the first female swimmer to win three Olympic gold medals in world record time, and the first swimmer to win Olympic medals in five individual events in a single Olympics. She is also the only Australian to win three individual gold medals at one Games. And now she's a card-carrying member of the Ocean Swimmers' Union! But not only...


Ocean swimming... and Places We Swim

Caroline Clements and Dillon Seitchik-Reardon run the beautiful website Places we swim and have just released a book, also called Places we swim, a travel guide for water-loving people, exploring Australia through swimming. The book takes us to beaches, pools, waterfalls, lakes, hot springs and gorges all over the country. Caroline and Dillon visited hundreds, if not thousands, of swimming holes to explore Australia's wild beauty and to curate the absolute best of every place they visited....


Ocean swimming... and COVID-19

Hannah Sassi is a virologist from the University of Sydney who studies the persistence of viruses in the environment. She is also an ocean swimmer who trains with BondiFit, whose local beach is Maroubra. Right now during the Coronavirus pandemic, many swimmers are wondering whether it is OK to go for a swim. At the time of recording, a lot of world is in lockdown or headed towards it, so some of this is a moot point. If the local laws say don't swim, then obviously, don't swim! In summary,...


Ocean swimming... and event organisation

The Cole Classic is one of Sydney's oldest and largest ocean swims. It has a storied history and in 2020, ownership of the swim moved from Fairfax to Manly Surf Life Saving Club, meaning essentially a whole new swim had to be organised. Simone Hill is a member of Manly SLSC and runs her own company My Crew Travel. Simone coordinated the volunteers and logistics for the day, and helped create a new community vibe around the event. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative...


Ocean swimming... and The Memory Pool

Therese Spruhan must be one of Australia's experts on the cultural impact of the swimming pool. Her recent book, The Memory Pool, is a fabulous nostalgic anthology bringing together reflections on the childhood swimming pools of 28 Australians including Trent Dalton, Leah Purcell, Shane Gould, Bryan Brown and Merrick Watts. You can taste the hot chips, smell the chlorine and feel the burning concrete. For many kids, the local pool is a place of imagination, freedom, friendship and...


Ocean swimming... the oceans seven

Dean Summers has conquered the triple Crown of open water swimming and as I type this, is waiting for his chance to swim the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand, part of his attack on the Oceans seven. Only 18 people have completed this astonishing series of seven incredible channel and strait swims around the world, and Dean is five in. He has swum The English Channel, Catalina Strait, The North Channel, Moloka’i Channel The Strait of Gibraltar. He plans to...


Ocean swimming... and extreme endurance

Tim Garrett is an extraordinary athlete. Not content with swimming some of the world's most famous and gruelling waterways, Tim tags on runs and rides of hundreds of kilometers to his swims. For instance, Tim has completed the Arc2Arch: He is one of only two people to have completed the Arc2Arch and Uberman, an event in which you swim from 21 miles from Catalina Island to Los Angeles (a major event in itself!), cycle 400 miles to Badwater basin, the lowest point in North America, and then...


Ocean swimming... with the wild swimming brothers

Wild swimming is something of a cousin to ocean swimming. Or is ocean swimming a subset of wild swimming? Either way, wild swimming is huge across the world, and particularly in the UK and Europe. It's also often stunningly beautiful - search #wildswimming on instagram and you'll see what I mean. Calum Hudson is the middle brother of The Wild Swimming Brothers, triathlete,Ice swimmer, author, nature love, swimming advocate and wild swimmer. He has swum the world's most powerful maelstroms,...


Ocean swimming... and wave power

Dr. Mark Hemer is a Principal Research Scientist leading the Sea-Level, Waves and Coastal Extremes team within CSIRO's Ocean and Atmosphere Climate Science Centre. Mark has researched offshore renewable energy for the past 10 years, exploring the potential of Australia's renewable offshore resources. We chatted about offshore energy, and among many things, whether you can swim around wave farms. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: ShyinkaChuckeeChris...


Ocean swimming... and tsunamis

What is the likelihood of a tsunami hitting your favourite beach? Dr. Hannah Power, from University of Newcastle's School of Environmental and Life Sciences, conducts research on ocean waves, and recently published on the likelihood and consequences of a tsunami hitting Sydney Harbour. She has also developed the risk forecast for the Figure Eight Pool in Sydney's Royal National Park. This forecast examines the likelihood of being struck by large waves on your journey across the rock...


Ocean swimming... in poo

Have you ever had the visibility in a swim drop to a few centimeters? Has it ever gone a bit brown? Perhaps you've ended up swimming through sewage! This happened to Dr. Ian Wright in the 90s, and is likely to have happened to any ocean swimmer who was swimming off the coast of Sydney in that period. Ian is a keen ocean swimmer and a senior lecturer in the School of Science and Health at Western Sydney University, whose research interests include freshwater ecology, water chemistry and...


Ocean swimming... with whales (part 2)

Scott Portelli is an acclaimed wildlife and underwater photographer, and has swum with whales and other magnificent creatures of the deep in some of the world's most exotic locations, like Antarctica, Tonga, the Falkland Islands and Norway. Among many other awards, Scott was awarded Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2016, and he runs tours that you can join up with around the world to swim with whales. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: Ulrik...


Ocean swimming... with whales (part 1)

During winter, you're probably familiar with human snot, but are you familiar with whale snot? Dr. Vanessa Pirotta is! Vanessa is a marine biologist, naturalist and science communicator, and has been collecting snot from whale spouts using bespoke drones in order to understand whale health. She's collected viruses, bacteria and DNA from the snot, in a much less invasive way than other methods. She's also run whale watching tours, swum with whales in Tonga and observed them in...


Ocean swimming... and the box jellyfish antidote

Last time we talked about stingers, we learnt some valuable insights - don't wee on them! Turns out, there may be some better solutions on the horizon. Associate Professor Greg Neely, from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney, has discovered an antidote to the sting of the most venomous creature on Earth - the Australian box jellyfish. Greg's antidote, discovered using CRISPR genome editing technology, blocks the symptoms within 15 minutes, and overlaps...


Ocean swimming... and

Whether you are an experienced or aspiring ocean swimmer, if you are in Australia or New Zealand, you will visit handles the entries for the majority of organised swims in this part of the world, as well as being home to commentary, photos, witty banter, results and competitions. Paul Ellercamp and Suanne Hunt are the ocean swimming doyens who run and Ocean Swim Safaris, and we talked rather pleasantly over tea and macaroons about all things...