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Croatia Sea Swimming
As an experienced open water swimmer and water polo player, I was ecstatic to be offered work as an adventure swimming guide. Here are a few of my experiences and highlights from my summer working for Strel Swimming in Croatia.
Krapanj is a beautiful, little island 450m away from the mainland. It is easily accessible for our guests and has a friendly and laid back atmosphere. There are several good restaurants and konobas (pubs), a small supermarket and a couple of ice cream shops. I imagine that the island has not changed much over recent years, most of the residents live in the old stone buildings and there are no roads or motorised vehicles on the land.
I have loved sharing my summer with so many passionate swimmers. One thing that I have noticed is that we have had guests of all ages from all around the world. Just this week we have had guests from Ireland, England, France, Austria and Germany. The contrast in nationalities and cultures has definitely enhanced my experience and made conversations very interesting. The common interest in swimming is always an ice breaker and we have many swimmers who come alone, as a pair or in groups. We have also had huge variances in the abilities of our swimmers, some have only been swimming for a year or so while others have competed internationally. With careful planning and consideration we have been able to ensure that all types of swimmer get the most from the swims.
I have never experienced so many days of exceptional weather. As a summer swimming destination, Croatia is second to none! When we leave Krapanj on our boat at 9am the weather is warm and the water looks like glass. The beautiful blue water blends with the sky, so that the islands that we see on the horizon look like they are floating. I have seen a pod of dolphins on a few occasions and the other day our boat passed by a sea turtle who was swimming alongside us.
On occasion we have also experienced some bad weather and rain. Our swimmers have also enjoyed these days and the chance to swim in different conditions and to see the islands from another perspective. We have many options for our swims and so are always able to find the best places to swim. The nice thing about the storms is that they make the islands look even more dramatic, though they never last for long.
We swim crossings, where we hop from island to island, as well as swimming along the shorelines. Sometimes there is a small amount of chop, other times there will be very little to no waves. Most days, at lunch time, we will visit the island that we swim at during the morning. The contrast in the islands is fun to see. Some of them are well populated and have small developments where we stop for a coffee or ice cream. Others are more remote and you feel closer to nature.
The team that I have worked with have been great. I feel that we provide a fantastic service, each of us bring our own experiences and expertise and we appreciate each others´ hard work. I have enjoyed learning new skills from the other members of the team and feel that there is always a safe, fun and friendly atmosphere on our boat.
Thank you to Strel Swimming for an unforgettable summer in stunning Croatia.
Laura Sharrod, Strel Swimming guide