On Swimming


Inspired by a book, my friend Rachel decided to swim in the sea every day for a year. ‘It’s either that or therapy,’ she said to me, ‘and I can’t afford therapy.’ She started in summer. Despite her fear of sharks, she swam long distances around Wellington’s coast. She joined a long-distance sea swimmers club and when she arrived she was embarrassed to find she was the only person without a wetsuit. The second time, she arrived late and the swimmers had already left. She could just see their orange and white-capped heads out in the water. She swam out and followed behind them at a distance all the way from Evans Bay to Oriental Bay.


Hannah Newport-Watson completed a Masters in Creative Writing at the IIML in 2010 and is unable to properly account for the years that have elapsed since.