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PICTURES: New outdoor activity company Wet n Wild is making waves along north coast Highlands


By Caroline McMorran

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A FLEDGLING company which offers open water and outdoor activities on the north coast aims to move up a gear in 2022.

Talmine-based North Coast Wet n Wild Ltd kicked off the New Year as it means to go on with a community “dash n splash”, in which around 20 folk took part.

Wet n Wild co-founder George Kennedy, front, with the hardy New Year’s Day dippers
Wet n Wild co-founder George Kennedy, front, with the hardy New Year’s Day dippers

The firm was launched in August by siblings Rhoda and George Kennedy and their friend Caroline Watson and offers open water swimming coaching, guided swim trips, cold water dipping, and stand up paddle boarding as well as coasteering and guided bike tours.

The idea for North Coast Wet n Wild came as the coronavirus pandemic struck.

“Like many other people, I found the first lockdown hard, but the physical and mental benefits of wild swimming, along with the friendship of fellow swimmers really helped me to stay positive,” said Rhoda, a youth development officer and active schools coordinator.

“We all love wild swimming and paddle boarding, and we thought how great it would be to share our enjoyment with other people.”

The business partners set about gaining qualifications in open water swim and paddle boarding coaching, water safety management, first aid, and tidal planning and coastal navigation.

Since the August launch, they have used their weekends and holidays to establish the business, which has been very successful with no shortage of interest from both visitors - many touring North Coast 500 - and locals in the activities.

Rhoda said: “The best part of the business is seeing people enjoying themselves and the big smiles on their faces.”

Wet n Wild intends this year to work further with local communities, youth and school groups - they have already visited schools to give sea safety talks.

“We are excited to offer paddle boarding and swimming sessions to local people from next month in collaboration with North Coast Connection as part of its community health and wellbeing project.” said Rhoda.

They mainly use beautiful Talmine beach which is sheltered but also hold sessions off Portskerra as well as using a number of local lochs.

The New Year two-mile walk/jog/run followed by a splash in the sea proved popular with participants jogging or running round a two-mile loop of Talmine beach before taking a plunge.

Rhoda said: “There were a few screams as folk hit the water but the mulled wine and mince pies afterwards soon warmed everyone up!"

George and Rhoda Kennedy with Caroline Watson.
George and Rhoda Kennedy with Caroline Watson.
Participants could walk, run or jog, two miles round Talmine beach.
Participants could walk, run or jog, two miles round Talmine beach.
Brrr.....George Kennedy looks cold.
Brrr.....George Kennedy looks cold.
Some swimmers wore bobble hats.
Some swimmers wore bobble hats.

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