head and shoulders photo of woman in ocean with swim cap

Jun 8, 2023

Today, 8 June, is World Ocean Day, and a perfect date for the first post on this new blog.

That’s because I love the sea, especially here on the south east tip of Africa where the Indian Ocean waves roll onto our beaches. Some days it is calm, others angry and yet it is always beautiful.

My name is Gillian McAinsh, and Gill’s Journal is my blog. You’ll probably often find me posting about swimming in the open waters of Algoa Bay as it’s balm for my body and soothes my soul.

There is a whole crew of sea swimmers here and I belong to one group called Ocean Tribe. This is one tribe where the bonds of water run thicker than those of blood. As often as I can, weather and work permitting, I slip into my wetsuit and wade into the waves with my tribe.  

When the water is  warm enough, which is more often than not, I swim without a wetsuit. There’s nothing like the feeling of being immersed in silky sea water.

Swim is a four-letter word

They say that work is a four-letter word that enables many of us to do what we really want to do in life. But swim, surf, wave, and life are also four-letter words.

You may be wondering, what is this blog going to be about? Is it swimming, conservation or perhaps something else? The answer is “this and something else” because, of course, everyone’s life has many facets.

Let’s stick to celebrating World Ocean Day today because you can read about my “work” life elsewhere on this website.

Take 3 for the sea

Perhaps I’ll take “3 for the sea” today as, although I’m in love with blue, I’m fairly green at heart.

Take 3 for the Sea is a non-profit organisation that is on a mission to rid the oceans of plastic pollution. The idea is that every time you’re on the beach, you pick up three pieces of plastic trash.

And, sadly, it is so easy to do this here in Nelson Mandela Bay. You can take your pick of scraps of polystyrene fast-food containers, plastic packets tangled with globs of sand, single-use plastic cutlery, soft drink bottles, and much more. Fortunately it’s not too bad, and I rarely see plastic waste in the water.

Wherever you are in the world, happy 

World Ocean Day. Right now, I’m heading off 

to soak up the mid-winter sun 

on the Indian Ocean.

women in swim cap in sea
waves breaking on beach
graphic of seagreen wave
sea green water