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Avoiding Riptides at Canty Bay, North Berwick and checking out Drift

View from Drift, North Berwick

I caught up with a friend recently who lives in North Berwick and he suggested we go for a swim at ‘the secret beach’ aka Canty Bay.  I was super keen to go a little off the beaten track and as you can see in the video below, it paid off.  The sun was beaming down, the water was fairly calm and crystal clear.

I received a message a few days after I had been to Canty Bay, from the lovely Anna who I enjoyed my official first wild swim with in February 2019.

Jojo Fraser - wild swimming and mojo at 37

(My first Winter wild swim was captured by Anna – it was freezing but apparently I smiled through my marathon on a baking hot day despite the pain.  Looks can be deceiving).

Anna is an experienced wild swimmer and co author of Taking the Plunge and The Art of Wild Swimming Scotland.  She told me to watch out for riptides at Canty Bay.  A riptide or rip current, is a strong, narrow band of water that flows quickly away from the sea.  Swimming into a riptide can be all too easy with around 70% of them hard to spot.  They are mostly calm stretches of water, which usually form in between crashing waves.  A riptide can pull swimmers away from the shore rapidly, which can be a dangerous position to be in. If you find yourself in a riptide, you should:

Try to Keep calm (easier said than done).

Swim sideways, parallel to the beach.

When out of the rip current, swim at an angle away from the rip current and toward shore.

If you can’t escape this way, try to float or calmly tread water.

Canty Bay, North Berwick wild swimming

Thankfully the day we visited Canty Bay, the water was fairly calm and we enjoyed a lovely, safe swim.

After our swim, we headed up a steep path towards Drift for coffee and cake with an amazing view.  It didn’t disappoint.

Drift North Berwick

Since hearing about riptides, I have been looking at videos on youtube to educate myself as we have to respect the power of the ocean.  Personally, I prefer to swim in the sea when it is calm.  A gentle wave is more than enough for me.  Last week, I enjoyed an amazing day at Gullane Beach with friends.  We were all in and out of the sea all day.  My favourite part of the day for swimming was around 6.30pm.  The tide had come in significantly from when we had arrived around 1130am.  The beach was calmer, there was way less seaweed than there was for our first morning dip and the water was lovely and warm on approach, getting colder and more refreshing as we swam a few metres deeper.

Gullane beach on a summers night

Let me know if you check out Canty Bay or have ever come across a riptide.  You can also tag me across social #mojoinjection – I will be checking out lots more amazing swimming spots and sharing them on the blog and at my youtube channel. 

You got this.


Jojo Fraser - motivational blogger and writer

Jojo Fraser is an award-winning author, podcaster and keynote speaker, dubbed as ‘the Queen of positivity and a kindness advocate.   She is a Tedx speaker and a regular speaker on BBC Radio.  Jojo is known for normalising discussions around our mental health, making it accessible and relatable to all.  She has quickly grown a reputation for having a huge impact even on the most sceptical of people.  She has a huge passion for helping people to get their mojo back.

Contact her at – or across social @jojofrasermojo



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