Wild, or Secret, Swimming is something this blog has written about on several occasions, in August, in February, and in August 2012.
It’s not something that I was aware of, other than reading through previous blog posts on SL Naturist, until last week, when I heard a thing on the radio about it, with ‘elderly’ nude swimmers upsetting an angler because they had frightened off the fish, not because of any offence caused due to their nudity. (Please note the ‘Listen Again’ feature to that radio link may only be available in the UK, and that link may only last for a month or so).
I was intrigued and have been doing a bit of research into it.
Ella previously mentioned that even before she ran the blog, she’d seek out ‘wild swimming’ locations in Second Life which seemed like a fantastic idea, one I could try. The more I read about wild swimming in real life, the more it seemed to have at least some associations with nude swimming too.
So let’s explore.
My first stop was at the wonderful, magnetic Naked Dreams sim. During a previous visit I’d noticed the ‘free scuba gear’ at the embarkation point for the underwater swim, so I went back and picked up the free kit. It also comes with face mask, flippers and scuba tanks, but as this post is for wild swimming, which may include very cold water, I dispensed with those and just limited my look to the wet suit.
I know that it’s an odd choice for a naturist blog, but we’re now in the northern hemisphere’s autumn and any water we’re entering is going to be rather chilly, hence the decision to model a free wet suit.
Some wild swimming rules first, in case you’re going to indulge yourself in real life.
- always be polite to other water users and landowners.
- swim with somebody else – this is particularly important in cold water (officially, UK water is cold year-round). They could be in the water with you or on shore. This keeps you safe and makes the swim more fun.
- wear a wet-suit when the water is cold, and get into the water slowly to allow your body to acclimatise.
- Until you are used to swimming outside, and understand your body’s “getting too cold” signals, don’t stray too far from shore.
- Keep cuts and grazes covered up.
- Report any obvious signs of pollution to the Environment Agency (and Surfers Against Sewage for coastal areas)
- wear a bright coloured hat so that other swimmers and boats etc can see you – a tow float can also be useful where there is a lot of boat traffic.
- Build up your swimming ability, the better you are at swimming indoors, the better you’ll be able to manage outdoors where the conditions are very different.
- trespass to get to the water. Use public footpaths or other rights of way
- stay in too long. All UK water is classed as “cold” year-round – staying in too long increases your danger of cold incapacitation (you can no longer swim effectively, and may struggle to climb out of the water at the bank).
- Get in to water that looks murky and unappealing or smells funny.
- Swim in privately owned reservoirs unless it’s clear that it is allowed
- swim under the influence of drugs or alcohol – EVER. (these rules copied and pasted from the Ink Spots and Grass Stains blog).
As you can see, wild swimming can be, and is, sometimes undertaken nude or semi-nude. That’s clearly part of the appeal, that the swimming is both wild and free. But first and foremost, remember the rules outlined regarding cold water. The important point is to stay safe. That just doesn’t apply to hidden underwater hazards, but to the dangers of hypothermia. This (and I speak as a total novice) might possibly present a greater danger than underwater hazards to many people.
OK…so where to swim? The idea is that you might go out and search for your own ‘secret swimming’ location, but I’ll begin by demonstrating what can be undertaken at Loch Noble, a sim I sourced via Bitacora Viajera. So it’s a loch, which makes it Scottish, which makes it blooming cold water, so I’ll keep the wetsuit on, thanks.
If anyone can find their own ‘secret swimming’ location in more tropical Second Life waters, please let me know where. Or send photos we can share with the readers.
By attaching a ‘swimmie’ attachment it is possible to swim in many bodies of Second Life water, and there are thousands to choose from. The trick is to find a particularly photogenic spot in which to have your own ‘secret swimming’ adventure.
I think that I’m going to add a ‘Secret Swimming’ page to the blog so that people can do reports and photos from their own secret spots. I’m sure we can find some where a spot of discreet skinny dipping, even on a PG sim, is possible.