Starting today: Ocean and Me with Claire Walsh

Written by Oceanographic Staff

Our new Ocean and Me series will feature the engaging experience of different ocean-focused ambassadors over the next few months.

The new series, curated by Oceanographic Magazine and Fourth Element, will be released in several parts, each taking the form of an exclusive online feature and accompanying social media assets about personal ocean stories . The features will share the engaging experience of ocean-focused ambassadors from all walks of life, including freedivers and filmmakers.

The series will accumulate exciting and intimate stories on their personal relationship with the ocean, including vivid anecdotes about wild swimming, freediving and personal struggles.

We start off Ocean and Me today, 3 March 2022, with Claire Walsh. In her feature, the Irish freediver will explain how sea swimming got her through a long covid diagnosis and mental health struggles throughout her life:

“The pre-dawn skies, the craning your neck to hunt for gaps in the cloud; Will we get a light show this morning? The bite of the water, the gasp as a rogue wave hits your shoulders before you’re ready. The string of curses that explode out of your mouth. It’s part of my routine; creative expletives, a wrinkled nose and face pulled into a grimace… and then I breathe. Closing my eyes, focusing on slowing my breath, calming down my mind and releasing my muscles that have tensed against the cold. These breaths are my daily nod to freedive training. It’s a little reminder of all the time spent focusing on my breathing to prepare to hold it. Integrating it into the swims is a comfort, a reminder and a little whisper of I haven’t forgotten you.

Read the full feature here.

For more from our Ocean Newsroom, click here.

Photography courtesy of Niall Mehan.

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