If you are like me, breathing is essential. While swimming freestyle breathing becomes problematic. Essentially, there are two options: Head up or Head down.
Head up (Johnny Weissmuller style)
Pros: Keeps your hair dry, you can swim with makeup on, chat to nearby swimmers, keep a look out for sharks and crocs, you don't need goggles, open water sighting is easy, take a breath anytime.
Cons: Slow - you watch all the "Head down" swimmers go past.
Pros: Fast - Barb doesn't hassle you at training (who is this Popeye anyway!).
Cons: Your face gets wet. Requires a high level of co-ordination and skill to time your breath between strokes and not swallow a mouthful of water. Occasional head on collision with objects and other swimmers.
For those who aspire to swim with your "Head down", reading this Swim Smooth article might help.