It's the summer of 1982. The Man from Snowy River is a box office hit and Paul Hogan is on the TV.
In a seaside suburb of NSW, housewife Theresa Howard takes up swimming. She wants to get fit; she also wants a few precious minutes to herself. So at sunrise each day she strikes out past the waves.
From the same beach, the widowed Marie swims. With her husband gone, bathing is the one constant in her new life.
After finding herself in a desperate situation, 26-year-old Leanne has only herself to rely on. She became a nurse to help others, even as she resists help herself.
Elaine has recently moved from England. Far from home without her adult sons, her closest friend is a gin bottle.
In the waters of Shelly Bay, these four women find each other. They will survive shark sightings, bluebottle stings and heartbreak; they will laugh so hard they swallow water, and they will plunge their tears into the ocean's salt. They will find solace and companionship in their friendship circle and learn that love takes many forms.