30 Bays in 30 Days – 2018 opening swim

Thank you to everyone who came along to our opening swim on Sunday 1 July. Despite threatening clouds we had a fantastic turn out, with over 130 people coming along for a swim at St Brelade’s Bay – the most we’ve seen at a group swim! The sun came out just in time for the dip and sea conditions were perfect in the end.

Thank you to Nathan from RNLI for providing the safety briefing and safety cover along with Le Mourier Sea|Swim|Save. We were also joined by Plastic Free Jersey who encouraged swimmers to #take3forthesea and to take part in a #2minutebeachclean, as part of their month long promotion.

We are just short of 300 people signing up for the event, which is growing in popularity every year.

Thank you!

It is just under a month since the closing swim for 30 Bays in 30 Days, although we know many of you have carried on swimming throughout August.

We hope that you all enjoyed the challenge as much as we did and would like to thank you for your support. We have some exciting news to announce – the amount you have raised for Jersey Hospice Care and The National Trust for Jersey … (drum roll please) £13,147!!

This is a fantastic amount and we are so grateful to you all for joining in, braving the cold and raising so much for these two local charities.

Guest blog from Alexis Vickers

Alexis Vickers

A late start to summer in Jersey made for any sign of sunshine through cloud and rain – a good enough reason to get in the sea.  Being presented with a challenge to get in the sea come rain or shine made it a big deal, a commitment, a way of shouting from the top of the lighthouse that I can withstand the cold!

On the first day of the inaugural 30 bays in 30 days challenge I expected a quiet turn out at St Brelades due to the laid-back mentality of islanders.  Most people in Jersey need to have many conversations, reassurance from their friends and at least 18 months to agree to try something new.  However, it was a great surprise to see so many people – young, old, novices and even first time sea swimmers turn up to show support for a great event and two charities.

The tides and weather were sunny side up for the first week and what started out as a challenge started to feel like a holiday.  The commitment to swim meant that a Sunday evening typically spent relaxing at home was changed to a Beauport excursion.  A bay which is accessed by a long walk down through overhanging greenery and is so picturesque that you half expect to see Leonardo Di Caprio from The Beach trying to spearhead some fish.  This is one of the nicest bays I have swam in and if you ever have visitors to Jersey you can Judith Chalmers the speedos off them with this location.

Swimming in Jersey

As well as trying to swim in all the bays my goal was to try and swim every day during the challenge rather than marathon my way through the bays in one weekend.  This proved particularly challenging when finishing work late, feeling stressed and the call for sinking a bottle of wine was stronger than a splash in the sea.  On these days, swimming in the sea became much more than a bit of outdoor exercise.  The therapeutic benefits of sea water created a calmness of mind and stillness that only Mother Nature can give, one that makes you stop and feel grateful.


An unexpected and wonderful surprise to this challenge was a positive change in my physical and mental being.  The inquisitive in me found out that sea water contains all the 89 known elements present in our bodies, including magnesium, potassium, osmium, gold, vanadium, zinc, and iodine (the reason why sea salt is so superior to table salt). We can absorb all of these vital elements, vitamins, mineral salts and trace elements through our largest organ, the skin, just by bathing in the sea.


Making my way around as many bays as possible also presented the opportunity to visit new places in Jersey.  Egypt beach?…I didn’t even know this place existed.  Archirondel definitely likes to keep its beauty secret safe and Bouley Bay is so dependable for water, it’s swimmable no matter what the tide. The shared conversations I had with elderly swimmers who manage to go into the sea like it’s a rooftop jacuzzi were especially inspiring.  Thank you to the lady who I met at Green Island in a wonderful flowery one piece who told me how swimming in the sea has helped her cancer recovery; the La Rocque lady who motivated me by swearing by the sea’s anti-aging benefits.  Equipped with this information I even managed to convince my mum to join me in a swim and she also fulfilled her challenge of not getting her hair wet.

A challenge is “a call to prove or justify something”.

My initial justification for joining in on this challenge was to raise money for Jersey Hospice and The National Trust for Jersey and to swim in the sea every day.  The result is a renewed appreciation for my home, a call to be near the sea as much as possible, the desire to speak to all generations of Jersey’s community and my decision to keep on swimming.


What an amazing start to the 30 Bays challenge

Thank you to everyone who came along to the opening swim on Saturday 2 July. Despite a last minute change in venue to St Brelade’s Bay, due to the weather conditions, we were delighted to welcome over 100 people, including 37 people who registered on the day.

From looking at the smiles and laughter it’s clear that everyone enjoyed themselves – the waves certainly added to the fun!

Here are just a few photos taken at the weekend (thank you to Jacqueline Ranieri and STAxford Productions for sharing them). To see some more, please head to our Facebook page.











Not long to go

Time is flying and we are now just days away from the opening swim!

We are inviting everyone who has already registered, and anyone who would still like to take part, to join us at St Brelade’s Bay on Saturday at 15.00. We will be there to hand out your fab new swimming hats, generously provided by our sponsor Network Insurance, before the klaxon sounds for everyone to run into the sea.

Now would be a good time for a few thank yous (in no particular order) :

  • Mark Morrison and Jersey Aquatic Rescue Club who will be providing our safety cover on the day. Mark has also been coming along to our organisation meetings and his input and expertise has been invaluable.
  • Ed Prow from the Potting Shed for his terrific design work
  • Oliver Goater from Network Insurance & Financial Planning for sponsoring the event and providing the cover insurance for the opening and closing swims
  • Tim Gaudion from Fuse2 for creating our website
  • Steve Pallett, Assistant Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture for supporting the event
  • Sally Minty-Gravett MBE (congratulations Sal!) for supporting the event and offering us her swimming wisdom
  • Lizzie Stonebridge, who came up with the concept to raise money for Les Bourgs Hospice in Guernsey and generously shared the idea with us

We can’t wait to see you there!

Basic safety for a casual swim with friends

We are very grateful to have the support of Mark Morrison from Jersey Aquatic Rescue Club, whose members are providing safety cover for our opening and closing events. We asked Mark to give us his top tips for staying safe in the sea.

Never swim alone. First and foremost, never under any circumstances ever swim alone. Did I mention never-ever? Would you SCUBA dive alone? Of course not! Whenever you’re in the water, always swim with a buddy, even if there is a lifeguard. A lifeguard cannot be considered a buddy because his primary duty is to protect and prevent hazardous situations for all patrons, not just you.

Check water conditions before entering. Is it safe for everyone to swim? Are there hazards not immediately visible, such as potential boat traffic? Is the water quality poor or dangerous? Are there any indications that signs could be missing? Could those have been signs warning of a “No Swim” area? Survey the area before you enter and know what to look for.

Have a plan for emergencies. What is your plan should something happen to you or your buddy? Does someone else know where you’re going? Will someone be watching from shore, ready to take action in the event you need assistance? Plan for everything and eliminate as much uncertainty as possible.

Understand currents, rip currents, and such. Currents are another variable of open water swimming versus pool swimming. Sometimes you won’t know how strong or which direction the current pulls until you get in the water. This topic alone warrants a whole article, but for now, keep the following tips in mind:

If it looks quick, it is. Be careful, exercise extra caution, and be smart about deciding whether to get in the water.

Ride it ‘til it weakens. If you get caught in a rip current—strong columns of water that rush out to sea and can carry a swimmer a great distance from shore very quickly—your best bet is to ride the current until it weakens, then swim out of it, parallel to shore. Once you’re past the rip, you can turn and swim back into shore. If you try to fight the current or swim against it, you will lose.

Stay calm, be safe, and be aware. Currents happen and your best defense is to always remain calm and aware.

Know your surroundings. Be acutely aware of your surroundings. Boats, swimmers, marine life, variable weather and water conditions and a lot of other elements can threaten your swim. Stay vigilant and get out of the water if you feel threatened.

Watch the weather. If the forecast calls for rain or thunderstorms, it’s prudent to not swim. That said, meteorologists are rarely 100% spot-on and weather changes frequently. Double check credible weather forecasting services before you swim. If you hear thunder before or during your swim, get to shore and a safe environment immediately. You do not know how quickly a storm might be moving or where it’s headed, so remove yourself from the water and take cover.

Be aware of how cold water can have an effect on your ability to swim. You may be a very competent swimmer in an indoor pool, but 25 meters in cold water in the sea even with a wet-suit can feel like a real slog if your muscles stop working properly.

Top ten open water safety tips

The conditions at open water sites change constantly:

  1. Always look for warning and guidance signs
  2. Swim parallel with the shore, not away from it
  3. Avoid drifting in the currents
  4. Do not enter fast flowing water
  5. Be aware of underwater hazards
  6. Get out of the water as soon as you start to feel cold
  7. Never enter the water after consuming alcohol
  8. Where possible enter the water in areas with adequate supervision and rescue cover
  9. Always take someone with you when you go into or near water. If something goes wrong they will be able to get help
  10. If someone is in difficulty in the water shout reassurance to them, shout for help and call the emergency services (call 999 remember you can ask for the coastguard)

Jump in this July!

So, we have less than a month to go before our opening swim at Le Braye Slip, in St Ouen – we can’t believe how time has flown!

Our small organising team headed down to Le Braye yesterday to finalise plans for Saturday 2 July. While we were there, we couldn’t resist popping down to the beach; the sea did look very inviting, but we resisted the urge to go for a paddle.

This new challenge has really highlighted how lucky we are to live in Jersey, with it’s amazing coastline and beautiful beaches and bays to swim in. We really are spoilt for choice. Earlier in the year, this was highlighted in this video Sue Daly filmed for The National Trust for Jersey.

So what are you waiting for? Why not sign up, make some memories and jump in this July!


Sally Minty-Gravett’s tips on why it’s great to swim in the sea

We are delighted to secure the support of Sally Minty-Gravett for our 30 Bays in 30 Days Challenge, so we asked her to share her thoughts on the health benefits of sea swimming.

In my view, the beach and a sea swim may be the ultimate place to go for relaxation and stress relief. But why does it feel so good? Having done some research, I have come across the following facts :

  1. It improves lymphatic and cardiovascular circulation : the cold water encourages faster flowing blood, hence improving circulation through the blood stream
  2. It reduces muscle and joint inflammation : we all know about injuries and ICE treatment (ice, compression and elevation). Sea swimming really does aid recovery
  3. It boosts happiness levels : being outside is part of this as well, but it really does make you smile
  4. Increased weight loss : due to increasing the brown fat in our bodies

Take your time and once you get over the momentary shock when getting in, and provided you are sensible and don’t stay in too long, it’s fun to swim with like-minded friends and super-exhilarating.

It is important to advise that this should never be done alone or without anyone watching you. Have fun with friends and try one minute, build up slowly over the month and never stay in too long.

Once you are warm and dry, and enjoying a nice warm drink, the tingling in your body is wonderful!

30 things to do after your swim

As well as enjoying a quick swim during July, we have come up with 30 ideas of other things you might like to try.

  1. Fly a kite
  2. Discover a shark’s egg case
  3. Go on a rock pool ramble
  4. Go Razor fishing at Archirondel
  5. Surf a wave in St Ouen’s Bay – body board, surf board or tummy it is up to you!
  6. Bird watch
  7. Go on a coastal forage
  8. Collect shells along the high tide line
  9. Build a sandcastle or stone/pebble tower
  10. Have a picnic
  11. Paddle!
  12. Build a sea defence
  13. Create some sand/beach art
  14. Clean a beach!
  15. Play beach cricket
  16. Go skim boarding
  17. Get a bucket and see what you can find
  18. Go snorkelling
  19. Go low water fishing
  20. Paddle board
  21. Have a running race
  22. Play ‘Rounders’
  23. Climb rocks
  24. Take a photograph
  25. Walk your dog (before 10.00 and after 18.00 in the summer)
  26. Play Frisbee
  27. Have an ice-cream
  28. Watch the sunset
  29. Go crabbing
  30. Have a barbeque (make sure you clear up afterwards)

If you can think of other things to do, please drop us an email and we can add it to the list.

The sun finally appears

It has been a couple of months since we launched 30 Bays in 30 Days to Jersey’s media, when a group of brave swimmers took a dip in the Havre des Pas Lido (and were duly rewarded with a bacon roll and hot drink for their efforts!).

We were delighted to see so many people turn up and would like to say a special thank you to members of the Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club and Jersey Swimming Club for coming along and to Mark Morrison from Jersey Aquatic Rescue Club who provided the safety cover. We would also like to thank both our Chief Executives, Charles Alluto, from The National Trust for Jersey, and Emelita Robbins, from Jersey Hospice Care, for being such good sports by going in the sea too. We are also extremely grateful to Ben Davies and Marcus Calvani who very kindly provided the refreshments.

It is great to see the sun has finally made an appearance and the sea temperature has increased to double figures. It almost feels like summer could be just around the corner. We hope the current good weather is tempting you to register for our 30 Bays fundraiser. The challenge runs between 2 and 31 July and is the first of its kind in Jersey.  You can swim before work, lunchtimes, daytime, after work, before a picnic tea, by moonlight – basically anytime you can fit it in. Make it a family affair or go out with friends – whatever works for you.

You can register by downloading our form or visiting the Jersey Hospice Care website.