Tamsin McVean: My Daily Swim, Cold Running Tides ... Blog posting each day on Facebook

Welcome.  My Daily Raw Swim, Cold Running Tides gifts me & my camera for up to 30 mins each day of the year, into a stunning cold immersion in Atlantic tides.  A daily raw experience. Bracing weather, light, tide & the openwaters of the Scottish Hebrides.  To meet the dawn, sunrise, noon, sun set, moon rise in the gloaming, moon set at first light.  Bare skin, no wetsuit, each day of the year.   This is a personal journey.   The spirit of my journey - to capture a glimpse of the fleeting wild beauty of air, sea, wind & tide.  To hold it close.  And to pass it on.  

This daily blog lives on Facebook & Instagram.  Its daily image feed dates back to September 2016  simply as a way to date stamp immersion in the wilds, as a way of exploring the process of creativity & voice through difficult times.         Since then it has touched many lives, a beautiful community of sea, across the world.. 






My Daily Raw Swim FILMs - featured on Vimeo - to view click here

Seal's eye, great sun rising, a porous hydrogen sense

Spring tides, waves spilling quiet.  Heat holding its breath.  Seed heads bursting.  Sweet grass scythed, hay made.  Time drifts.  Minutes empty, fall as passing waves.  Breath & body synchronise.  Sea is a gift for this.  Body slows, arms cease drawing liquid, the end of a scattering breath.  So thoughts are not thoughts.  Just crystalline fissures of a blinking graze of life.  My breath.  Spills quiet, runs empty.  Empties, fills.  A clear run of water, draining its own blue sky.  Above, just blue, empty sky, a glistening arc of sun.  So you know life is done, and then starts beautiful fresh over, with each blinking breath.  Here, time runs differently off shore. In the islands, we live quite invisible, as horizon spins past, so fast slow as a day or a moon.  Time is measured by a wilder, harsher forgiving cut.  Salt rushing up to meet jagged rock ledge.  Ancient limestone, anachronism of a molten crust as ferries drift, totems of another faster world.  Blink.  Water laps a salt skin.  Temperatures glisten cold.  Sea is of shedding expectations, peeling back the known.  Deeper water is always pristine at the surface.  A darkening whorl and sensed, intuited, sound.  Cut through & find yourself again, sharp as a gull's keening.  Turn.  Eyes fall into a softer catch, sea's latch where water opens, a porous hydrogen sense.  Seal's eyes, briny, a shell's breath.  So you know time has no meaning.  A wave curling, unfurling.  A cadence of light & sound.  And seems to me, Sea has no talk of time or markers.  Boundaries, inhibitions, all of it washed away.  Sea helps you See.  This, and so much other.  So that all you hold precious, that by its holding can hold you in check, rushes blue beautiful empty away.  Off shore, here, no separation.  As sea drenches heart, & salt drenches skin.  On a wild sung rock of an island.  The Isle of Lios Mor.  

Sunrise Ringing Out, Hard as a Bell

Dawn.  Sunrise.  A new swim, north of Kilheran shores.  07.06, 4.21m high tide.  Off a rock shelf.  Into the deep water.  Temperatures ringing out, hard as a bell.  Sunrise 08.20.  2 degrees out.  Prickling, tingling cold in.  Hot flask of tea.  Steaming.  Hands wrapped about, warmth.  Lost swim hat back, on my head.  Above, a waxing moon.  In zodiac Aquarius.  This quiet universe, flowing out & on.  Map & patterning behind & beyond. All afoot, so fleeting here.  Such change, unpredictable times.  Sitting here on the water.  Against the mountains, rising sun, falling moon & empty sky.  Stillness, gold circling all.  My Daily Raw Swim, Cold Running Tides.  

Shell Sand Horseshoes, White at the Neep Tide

Allastra. White sands at the neep tide. Exposed double horseshoe of fine white shell. Flowing into the Lynn of Lorn. 1.06m, 12.24. Rain. Bright blinks. Kaleidoscope of wildlife & raw sound. Pared back, rock bare. A few hours lost & gained. Walked high over cliffs & woodland to reach. Along ragged shoreline, sheep tracks, dense thicket, the return. A wild, ancient landscape. Lost trails. Old ways, imprinted memories, still the beasts know. Each signed by stone, thick gnarled gateways & wood arch, quiet pointing of the way. Today I found it. Taken 10 years to find the secret path through. Stepping through, bent low, to another world. Altogether. The wilder north shore of Lios Mor. My Daily Raw Swim, Cold Running Tide.

Beltane Fires in January...

Sunset 16.44. Beltane fires in January. 18.13, 4.05m high tide. Kilheran shores.  Walking back in darkness. Skies torched, aflame. Of an older, resonant time. When ancient signs, symbols & auguries, held fast the promise of the year. Flat calm on the water.  8 degrees out.  Stretched out to the buoy, & back. Fingers aching, biting cold. Longing for 3mm C-skin neoprene hand mitts. Heart glowing. Fire in the dark. Saw the shape of an orange beast. Burning through willow. A pyre, of dead wood, all of the olden year. My Daily Raw Swim, Cold Running Tides.

Dawn Awakening, Nearing the Half Year Pass...

Dawn. First light, awaking the morning. Cold edge, sharp serrated skyline. Of all swims, these early starts, imprint into my soul. An inexplicably moving experience. Out in the deeper tides. Skies lit all about. 7 degrees out. In the water, trainers, swimmies. Lost my cap, wearing woolly hat. Sodden in the out, diving under breaking waves. A Year & A Day slowly passing by. Five months in. Touching the half year pass. Every day in this sea. Bare skin, lungs, heart. Singing out. My Daily Raw Swim, Cold Running Tide.