One of the perks of living in the Philippines is having access to multiple beaches nearby, where the whole family can bond, enjoy fresh air and swim. While swimming remains to be the same sport whether you swim in the ocean or in the pool, there are some important differences to take note of.
1. Water Depth
Pools are usually marked to display their depth, so swimmers are well aware of how deep or shallow a pool is. When swimming in the ocean however, you can never surely know the depth because of the ocean floor’s unpredictability. While swimming along the shore is quite shallow, as you swim out, the depth can increase dramatically— sometimes with sudden drop offs.
It’s very easy to see your surroundings when swimming in a pool, but when you’re in the ocean, water clarity can differ in every beach. So even if you’re wearing goggles, there may be a chance that you won’t be able to see that far into the water. This may also affect whether you can see where you’re going, compared to being able to follow lines along the bottom of a pool.
The ocean is also home to hundreds of marine animals, meaning you never know what you could run into as you swim further out. Most animals will stay away from humans, but it’s important to be able to properly inspect your surroundings for any harmful creatures such as crabs or jellyfish.
3. Water Conditions
Water in a swimming pool tends to stay flat, with the exception ripples caused by other swimmers. The ocean water, however, has waves and undercurrents that could make swimming a lot more tiring, and can possibly bring you in a direction you did not originally intend. So when you swim in the ocean, make sure to frequently check where you are and how far you are from the shore.
Taking a trip to the beach is great fun, but swimming in the ocean definitely comes with risks. Even if you’re a strong swimmer, make sure to take precaution. Ask a lifeguard or local resident about any drop offs, dangerous animals, or water conditions you should be aware of before you enter the water. And even if your child has had formal swimming lessons, don’t let them swim out alone. Instead, keep them near the shore with adult supervision.