Ocean is swim­mer’s happy place

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - METRO - TANYA WATERWORTH

“IT’S my happy place” – that’s be­ing in the ocean for South African swim­mer and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist Sarah Fer­gu­son.

To raise aware­ness of the mas­sive pol­lu­tion of the world’s oceans, a docu-se­ries of her daunt­ing 100km marathon swim from Ponta Do­bela, Mozam­bique, to Sod­wana Bay, on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, in July was re­leased this week.

In 2017, Fer­gu­son, 36, who lives in Dur­ban North, swam Kai’wi Chan­nel off Hawaii – the first woman from Africa to do so – and it was the prepa­ra­tion for that which laid the foun­da­tion for this year’s chal­lenge along the Ele­phant Coast.

“I did a huge amount of train­ing for the Hawaii swim, an 18-hour non-stop swim, while this was a staged swim which took place over six days and was much harder.

“I chose the swim from Mozam­bique be­cause it was lo­cal and much of it in Ma­rine Pro­tected Ar­eas. Along the iSi­man­gal­iso Wet­land Park beaches, there were clean-ups clear­ing the plas­tic lit­ter ev­ery day.

Dur­ing her six-day swim, she com­pleted up to 18km daily, and while she had to com­bat winds and cur­rents, Fer­gu­son de­scribed it as an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

She is al­ready plan­ning an­other swim next year, but the de­tails are still un­der wraps.

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