Established in 2019, Immerse Hebrides started out as one woman operation with Norma leading local groups of swimmers on various adventures around the islands with assistance from her husband Neil. In 2020 we expanded and trained up 2 more Level 2 STA Open Water Coaches and now in 2021 Immerse Hebrides has a team of 3 Open water Coaches, 2 swim teachers and 2 swim guides.
Image Credit: Hope Blamire Artist
Norma grew up in Lewis and began swimming from an early age in the lochs and sea surrounding the small village of Callanish on the West coast of Lewis. Leaving the lochs and sea for a time, she progressed to swimming competitively as a teenager with mainland swimming clubs, competing internationally at a young age.
Whilst nursing in her 30's she was brought back to her love of swimming outdoors after competing in her first triathlon which had reignited the fun and adventurous nature of swimming in the wild. She has also rediscovered the physical and mental healing benefits of cold water swimming personally after loss and a diagnosis of cancer. She is passionate about sharing the joy, challenge and healing benefits of swimming outdoors in a safe environment and is currently trying aiming for a long distance swim in 2021. Her favourite swims are adventurous ones to islands and through caves.
A qualified RLSS Open Water Lifeguard, STA Open Water Coach (Level 2), Emergency First Aider and RYA Powerboat Level 2 qualified, she will offer anything from one to one beginner sessions to guided swims and longer distance swim treks for the active swimmer.
Neil is Norma’s better half and he’ll provide logistical and safety support for the tours. As a qualified Master Mariner with over 25 years experience, he has sailed all over the world as a deck officer in the Merchant Navy which includes Antarctica with the British Antarctic Survey.
He was previously full time RNLI Cox’n of Stornoway Lifeboat so has extensive knowledge of the coastline and waters in which you will be swimming and will provide boat support for the tours where required.
Both Norma & Neil enjoy walking and swimming the landscapes of the Hebrides and with their complementary experience of the Hebridean waters, together they are uniquely placed to provide you with an unforgettable experience of the Outer Hebrides.
This is a family-run business so expect to meet more of the clan on your adventure holidays!