Updated: 4 days ago
BBC News reports: A film-maker and photographer is sharing his passion for wild swimming in Scotland’s cold rivers, lochs and seas.
Calum Maclean, from Inverness, makes films and vlogs of his swims and posts them online and also to the website, BBC The Social.
His efforts to seek out new places to explore is also the feature of a new series of TV programmes to shown on Gaelic language channel BBC Alba from this week.
For Into the Water (Dhan Uisge in Gaelic), Mr Maclean was filmed at locations in the Highlands, islands and Argyll. They included Loch Maree in Torridon, Sanna in Ardnamurchan and a swim between Seil and the island of Luing in Argyll.
Before attempting challenging swims at sea, Mr Maclean checks information on tides and currents, and draws on local boatmen’s knowledge of the waters.
The wild swimmer said: “I never jump straight into cold water – so always acclimatise for a minute first.
“It’s the first 90 seconds that take your body to get used to it, to help avoid cold water shock.”
He added: “Like I say in one of the programmes, I always assess first: how deep is it, how cold is it, are there hidden dangers under the surface such as rocks or branches?
“Also, where can I get out, is there a current, or a rip tide?
“And though I sometimes swim alone – I am experienced at it, and I know my limits. I always get out before you feel cold.” However, Mr Maclean said there are also places in Scotland where most people should be able to swim safely.
Mr Maclean said: “There’s a boom in wild swimming at the moment.
“It’s very popular now in Scotland and England – in fact all over the world; groups are forming on social media to help people find out about the best natural swimming pools and go swimming together.
“I think the reason it’s so big now is because it becomes addictive – you go once and then you’ve just got to go again.”