Seabirds sea swimmers

At NukuNuku we are very happy to know that our Haramakis support people who work and play outside as they allow you to stay outside longer by keeping them warmer for longer.

A great example is the growing wild swimming community. Seabirds Ltd sell NukuNuku Haramakis and their sea swimming community benefits from having discovered our core-warmers for warming up post-sea swim. Here is a post from one of the Seabirds explaining why she loves Sea Swimming and how to start it up:

Sea swimming has become part of my regular routine now. It gives me equilibrium. It never fails to shift a black mood. I am outside in all weathers, enjoying life and feeling alive. Swimming with the Salty Seabirds has brought fun and laughter into my life on a daily basis. Having FUN and JOY as a routine part of my daily life is SO MUCH BETTER THAN BEFORE. This has made me realise how previously days/weeks/months could go by before where life was mainly job and duty, no scheduled FUN, much less laughter and playfulness. I have re-discovered my inner child doing handstands in the cold water and found my tribe having a laugh about forgetting my pants again with other Salties drinking tea on the beach.  This is why we started Seabirds Ltd and then the Salty Seabirds. To share the swim love and enlarge the group of like minded folk who relish dicking about in the sea in all weathers! We all deserve fun and laughter and to play – it is the antidote to many, many things I have found.

So if you want to start, how does the Salty Seabird Swim Community work? Firstly it is SELF SERVICE so if you need a swim set up every Wednesday at 3pm for example – you can set one up. Our current regular swims are: Mondays 10:45, Fridays 13:30 and Saturday 9:45 (all Hove Lawns/Dolphin 5) were all set up to fit with our work/life routines.  Regular swims are in the events section on the facebook page. So are event swims like the monthly full moon swims.

So there are the regular swims, and then the daily random/spontaneous swims posted in the group. This of course takes a bit more Facebook hovering. Anyone can post and if it is posted in the group any member is welcome and can turn up. Unless stated otherwise (ie the rare ‘who will come around the West Pier with me type invitations’) dipping and messing about, head out breaststroke or head down crawl swimming round the buoys all welcome. I for one am a parallel breaststroker and happy with that. You don’t need to be a confident or ‘strong’ swimmer to stay in the shallows and swim parallel to the shore. No wetsuit or wetsuit on. Whatever suits you best. No judgement, all welcome. The experienced Salties are all very friendly and kind, you will be welcomed and glad you came along.

Haramaki:essential kit in Summer

So running a business mainly selling core-warmers could be tricky in the summer – or so you would think! While we can’t really argue that when the weather goes about 20 degrees only those who really feel the cold need a haramaki for warmth – there are plenty of times when one is invaluable throughout the summer months….

  1. Protect yourself from air-conditioning – in offices and on planes. How many times have you got off a long plane journey and come down with a cold? or tried to sleep under the scratchy free blanket but not been able to because of the draft and cold? Put on your core-warmer and snuggle down to a good sleep and get off feeling refreshed.

2. Take your haramaki camping or to the beach and put it on as evening cools. Takes up little space but packs a big cosy punch. Really helps when sitting round a campfire when your front is toasty and your back is facing out into the cold evening.

3. Beach life! surfing, sea swimming, picnics etc – the Sea will cool you down however warm it is on land. The haramaki in the bag can make the difference between having to leg it home shivering or being able to sit out on the beach enjoying the post-dip glow!

4. British Weather – “There’s no such thing as bad weatheronly bad clothes”. In Swedish, it means “Go outside.” You can still wear your summer clothes when the temperature drops – just add a haramaki as an extra layer and enjoy the great outdoors – whatever the weather!

Cold Water Swimming Hack

Discovered a few weeks ago when we had a river swim….

I took an isothermal bottle  full of boiling water, my daughters mini hot water bottle and two haramakis – one cotton for next to the skin and an ultra-warm angora core-warmer. Once out of the water and dressed (and while my fingers still worked) I filled the hot water bottle with the boiling water and popped the hot water bottle in my roo pouch of haramakis. Combined with my robe I built up a nice warm core radiating heat.  Added tea and amazing marmalade cakes and I was a very happy post-swim seabird! Been doing it ever since to beat the after-drop….

Haramakis to the ready – we are cold-water swimming

Earlier this summer I was attending Camp Abyss with some of my favourite people in the world, close family and oldest of friends. Hot and exposed in the field for 3 days we needed to cool off and get wet. I turned to my new favourite discovery I have banged on about before the Wild Swim Map and the Wild Guide and found Wallers Haven was our nearest swim spot to the field.

It is a little difficult to match the spot on the road to the description given. However, we parked on the side of the (very fast) road and waited for a gap in the traffic and headed over to the bridge to investigate. We took the most difficult route in which turned into a battle with nettles and one of our party almost falling down the side into the river. Don’t do that as there is a ‘proper’ access by path a bit further up the road each way!

We walked on until we round the concrete jetty described in the map. It is a beautiful spot. Peaceful and surrounded by countryside. Weeping Willow trees dangling down over the silky water surface of the river. Minerally (?) tasting water refreshingly cold in the heat of the day. My first river swim! Having been stung by nettles almost falling in the river and spotting a ‘snake’ on the surface of the water one of our party stated that they were just there to watch. However….it was inviting enough to get all of us in having fun. This is despite our varying levels of confidence and anxiety about being out our depths etc. Some stuck to the edges for a quick float, others dived and jumped in and generally messed about. A lovely spot. Much fun. We all returned to the festival invigorated, energised and happier. I highly recommend. Take your haramaki – you will need it whatever the weather after the cold water. Keep that core warm and the rest will follow 🙂

Also published by the Seabirds Blog

Tips for warming up after sea swimming

“After drop” is common after swimming in cold water; you get out and feel fine, and then you start to get colder, sometimes growing faint, shivering violently and feeling unwell.” (Outdoor Swimming Society) 

Learning to head off the after drop is a key part of continuing to swim in cold water all year round. While in the cold water you can be lured into a false sense of security (numbness!) and stay in what turns out to be too long. With practice you learn your limitations (trial and error!)  just how cold you are going to be about 10 minutes after getting out. You then learn to moderate your swim times and get out before you feel you have to. Then the key is warming up – slowly. If you have a hot shower for example the blood can run from your core (where it is working hard to maintain your core temperature and keep you alive!) to your skin and actually make your temperature drop along with your blood pressure – potentially making you feel faint and ‘stinging’ your skin.

As you start to warm up blood starts to recirculate in your extremities and peripheral blood vessels, cooling as it travels. You can lose up to 4.5°C from your core temperature. This is where you haramaki corewarmer comes in really really handy.

swimmers in haramaki

Tips to warm up after you get out of cold water: 

  • Get dressed as soon as you can. Preferably starting with the top half of your body.  Use a haramaki. Use a robe to get dressed quicker and keep out of the wind.
  • Put on a hat and gloves and have some tea from a flask you brought with you!
  • Put on lots of layers. Haramaki, gloves, hat, thermals.
  • Sip a warm drink: this helps warm the body gently from the inside.
  • Eat something: sugar will help raise body temperature so have some cake!
  • Sit in a warm environment: chance for more tea and more cake with your fellow swimmers….
  • Walk around to generate body heat. It can take some time to warm properly. Running up and down the beach while waiting for your friends-who-faff can help.

For more information about acclimatising to cold water, the benefits and the risks go to the Outdoor Swimming Society 

If you have any good tips please add in the comments 🙂