Simple tips to help build your confidence in the ocean

Simple tips to help build your confidence in the ocean

Over­come your ocean pho­bias with these insights. You’ll be out enjoy­ing South Australia’s marine parks in no time.

Ever been swim­ming in the ocean and thought, what the hell is under­neath me?’

To put your mind at ease, in South Aus­tralia you’re like­ly to be swim­ming over sand, shells, fish, sea­grass, maybe some crabs and a ray. But the deep­er and fur­ther you swim out, the more var­ied marine life will be around you.

The mys­tery of the end­less ocean is enough to cast a shad­ow of doubt in the best of us. Whether it’s the fear of putting your face under­wa­ter, the unex­pect­ed sea­weed that brush­es past your legs, the unpre­dictabil­i­ty of rip cur­rents and large waves, the sur­prise-fac­tor of those lit­tle marine crea­tures nip­ping at your legs, or the fear of encoun­ter­ing the most daunt­ing crea­ture of them all – sharks.

It’s easy to think of the under­wa­ter world as the deep dark ocean rather than the fresh blue sea. So let’s try and put your mind at ease by debunk­ing some of these wor­ries now:

  • Take it slow, wade in the shal­lows, and build your sea con­fi­dence. A wet­suit or buoy­an­cy vest can help you float around the ocean. One day you’ll go under­wa­ter, if you want to. 
  • Sea­weed can be slimy, stinky and a place for sea crit­ters to hide. But it’s also a sign of a healthy ocean. 
  • Avoid rip cur­rents and big waves by swim­ming between the Surf Life Sav­ing flags. These areas are mon­i­tored by SA’s own Bay­watch team.
  • There may be lit­tle crabs, sea snails and oth­er marine crea­tures that could nip at your feet. But it’s just a nip, so shake it off. Blue-ringed octo­pus­es are not aggres­sive and like to hide, so see­ing them is rare and usu­al­ly accidental.
  • Sharks. There are many species of sharks and only a few are dan­ger­ous to humans. While no-one wants to be attacked by a shark, the fear is far greater than the real­i­ty. There’s an aver­age of only one shark attack a year in SA, and that’s usu­al­ly not fatal. You’re more like­ly to be attacked by a cow. So be care­ful cross­ing a paddock.

Still need a lit­tle push to dip your toes in the water? Here’s five rea­sons why the ocean is great for you:

  1. Splash­ing, wad­ing, and pad­dling in the ocean is fun, and breath­ing in the ocean air can help you sleep at night.
  2. Expo­sure to the ocean’s salty envi­ron­ment has been found to reduce symp­toms of hay fever.
  3. The water helps you cool down and relax, and spend­ing time in nature is good for your mind. Plus, the sand is a nat­ur­al skin exfo­lia­tor.
  4. The ocean envi­ron­ment can inspire cre­ativ­i­ty. Take a look at some of our weird-look­ing marine crea­tures – they just might spark your imagination.
  5. About 85 per cent of the marine life in SA waters is found nowhere else in the world. Our state has the Great South­ern Reef, so explore it.

Feel­ing more at ease? Ven­ture out to a marine park and enjoy SA’s beau­ti­ful under­wa­ter world. It’s one of a kind.

Need some tips of where to go and what to see? Check out thetop spots to snorkel in SA, orwhere to see octo­pus­es orplaces to dive to see blue dev­il fish.

(Main image cour­tesy of Carl Charter)

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living