Bathing & Connection
Bathing & Connection
Located in Mona Vale on Sydney's northern beaches, Vicki Ratcliff, a painter and avid swimmer, is a proud member of The Buckettes. A group of 25 women who come together every day, 'rain hail or shine', to embrace a morning ocean swim.
Conceived 15 years ago, they coined the name 'The Buckettes' after bringing litres of hot water and buckets down to the beach to pour over themselves post bathe, allowing their feet to soak in the warmth. Their connection and commitment to the act of communal ocean bathing inspired independent film maker Ed Coney to create the acclaimed short film 'SEA BIRDS', capturing the ritual's joy and shared sense of community that it fosters.
We had the opportunity to speak to a member of The Buckettes, Vicki Ratcliff, to uncover how her participation within the group has helped nurture enduring friendships centred around the shared love of wild ocean bathing.
"My bathing ritual consists of heading to the beach each morning around 7am. I often like to walk the beach first, especially if its cold. I swim in the bay if the sea is calm but more often than not I head to the rock pool to do laps.
The act of bathing allows me to meet and connect with other like-minded souls and adds to my joy."
"The characters I have met at Mona Vale have become like family. We are all very different individuals connected by the sea. We share our celebrations, our losses, our grief and our illnesses with love and support.
The vast sea and sky have a way of humbling and connecting us as we float and chat."
"I love that moment when I first reach the other end of the pool and I stop to take in the morning – the water coming over the rock ledge beyond, the deep ocean beyond that to the horizon and then that beautiful morning sky.
I love the tingly sensation on my skin that comes from being in the cold water, especially when the waves creep over the rock ledge and into the pool creating a foamy, swirly, bubbly champagne."
"Post bathe I feel invigorated and recharged, determined to tackle whatever the rest of the day will bring."
- Vicki Ratcliff
"My paintings capture my love for swimming and the women that share it each morning with me at Mona Vale rock pool. I am inspired by their warmth and strength, love of life, and age defying beauty."
Bathing & Connection Volume 02. Karen Kim
Founder of BINU BINU, a brand inspired by the Korean bathhouse, a place free of vanity and where generations unite in the simple act of cleansing. Karen’s upbringing, immersed in the ritual of bathing alongside the women in her family, supported an intergenerational bond, fostering intimacy and connection.