Salt Spring Seals


Photo by Barry Peterson, from “111 West Coast Literary Portraits”

The Salt Spring Seals began on a cold February afternoon in 2002 when I traveled to Sombrio Beach on Vancouver Island for a photo shoot. I rented wetsuits for the occasion and after the shoot I took my first winter dip in the cold waters of Juan de Fuca Strait. It was exhilarating and provided a new avenue for health and wholeness.

The same year that I began my daily swims in the ocean, I was joined first by one and then, soon after, a pod of eager swimmers – thus began the Salt Spring Seals. We are now a group of fifteen strong, swimming in the various bays of Salt Spring Island, year-round. We love to share the challenge of open water swimming and encourage curious swimmers to join us in our pursuit of wellness and aqua-adventure.


Pat Burkette article “The Daily Dippers”Time Colonist April 2005
PDF – Pat Burkette article “Stroking Past the Cold”Aqua Magazine June 2006
“Swimming Into My Life”, Diana Hayes – published in Companions, Winter 2007 Volume 16, number 1
“Fellowship of the Sea: A Bond Forged by the Ocean” by Rick Collins for Zoomer Magazine, Sept. 2019
“Become Seals”  by Claudia Cornwall, Hakai Magazine, April 2015