Planet Beyond Podcast

Epic Swim Maui and the value of our ocean

Epic Swim Maui Robby Seeger and Andy Donaldson (1)


28 Mar 2024

In a little over a week, Planet Beyond will be recording live at the UN Ocean Decade conference in Barcelona. In the run up to the event, we’re considering the value of oceans. In our last episode, we looked at the value of the ocean as a way to store carbon and mitigate the effects of climate change through mangrove restoration. In this episode, we look at what the ocean can mean to us as individuals and communities.

Andy Donaldson is an ultra-marathon swimmer. He completed the Ocean Sevens challenge, swimming seven of the world’s toughest channels, in the shortest time in the water, and shortest overall time to complete the challenge. This year, he is joining a new challenge, Epic Swim Maui. His swim will raise funds for the Black Dog Institute, a mental health charity, and he talks about the value of the ocean in preserving his own mental wellbeing. 

Robby Seeger founded Epic Swim Maui. He has lived on Maui for thirty years, as he pursued a high-profile career in windsurfing and is now a filmmaker. 

The challenge will see ten swimmers from six nations swim around the island, over the course of two weeks. They will meet with local indigenous leaders, who will tell the story of Hawaiian culture and of the islanders' relationship with the ocean.  

They will fuel important research projects - Carry sensors from Sea & Sun Technology to measure conditions in the water. Samples taken during the swim will support a study by the Scripps Institute and Deheyn Labs on micro- and nanoparticles released from textiles, and on PFAS, or forever chemical pollution for the Hereon Institute.  

In doing this, they will inspire more citizen science projects and a respect for our one ocean. 


Jon Baston-Pitt, Fugro


Andrew Donaldson, world record breaking endurance swimmer 

Robby Seeger, founder, Epic Swim Maui 

Photo credit: Epic Swim Maui

Sea Auk activities on the WaveWalker1 working on windfarm Hollandse Kust Noord

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