Saturday, 30 November 2013

First swim of summer

Today was the first day of summer, December 1. What better way to welcome advent than a swim with the Bold and the Beautiful at Manly. It was a perfect swimming day, except for one little (wobbly) thing. The water was 19.5 degrees, clear and sparkly, the sun was out, the ocean was flat, and the fish were out in force:  Little ones, fluorescent ones, camouflaged ones (I missed them), cat-fishy ones and wobbly ones like this chappie here. Him and a bunch of his gelatinous chums had quite a lark wishing the simmers a happy Christmas in the only way they know,  the stingy way. Nothing too bad but I can still feel mine seven hours later.


Thank you to Snorkles, B&B blogger for the picture


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

A mid-week swimming treat (or two)

This week Sid and I decided to have some time in the lieu and set off on a mid-week, afternoon truant. We decided to go for a swim at the Drummoyne Olympic Pool, or Crummy Drummy as labelled by Mr Ocean Swims Paul Ellercamp. To me it’s not at all Crummy, more Scrummy in fact. However my vision impairment means I don’t notice the reputed low cleanliness standards of the changing rooms!  The Drummy is set against the bay in Drummoyne and has a lovely vista. The 50 metre heated pool is saltwater which provides a great swimming boost. So I can feel pleased with my swimming with thoughts like:  “I was swimming well today” and “I’m really fit at the moment,” conveniently forgetting the saltwater factor. 

We went on Tuesday afternoon. The pool was almost deserted and we had a lane each, what luxury. I had a modest swim trying to be nice to my swimmer’s shoulder. I used some toys to take the strain off my shoulder, nice light bendy flippers and a miracle kickboard that purports to do wonders for the core. Sid managed to do his whole swim freestyle. Well done Sid! We had a lovely swim, peaceful, warm and tranquil. On arriving home we discovered I had left aforementioned miracle kickboard on the poolside. “Oh no! this means we have to go back tomorrow” (I’ll remember this trick!). So, on the following day we had another mid-week truant to retrieve the miracle kickboard. It wasn’t there. Somebody had obviously recognised its supersonic core developing properties unparalleled by other kickboards, and snaffled it. Oh well, might as well have a swim then. This time we swam in the morning and it was a lot busier with the local kiddies having their learn-to-swim classes. It was still uncrowded though with around two swimmers per lane. Today Sid’s progress continues and he completed a longer session freestyle. I put in a 2.7 km swim and emerged brimming with endomorphs and happy feelings.
I am savouring these wonderful Sydney outdoor 50 metre pools. These swimming delights will be replaced by different swimming experiences next year with summer swimming in the UK. I’m also enjoying the truanting!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Delightfully Damp Dawny Cockatoo Island Challenge

On November 17 I did the Dawn Fraser Cockatoo Island Challenge, a 2.4 km swim around Cockatoo Island. The island serves as an industrial museum and swimmers were treated to visions of cranes and warehouses en route.  Many in Sydney won’t swim in the harbour believing it dirty and full of dead things. Not true! It may be a bit murky but the water quality is good. Definitely no corpse encounters. Today it was warmer in than out with the water temperature at 20 degrees. We had a rain squall on the way around. What fun! 

This is my third Dawny swim and I am afraid my last. We are heading back to the North of England next year. I guess next summer will also see me swimming in squally rain (but very cold water) in the Lake District in Cumbria.

This is my first swim of the season and it was great to see my ocean swimming chums again. I have missed them over the winter.  This swim was also special because husband Sid participated in the 1km event. But he was still there at the end to cheers us in.

As usual the swim started in the water. The waves of swimmers were large and close together as the swim needs to be completed before the Sydney Harbour ferries start. We sighted on a “bloody big crane” as the course marshal described it, to take us around to the back of the island, then swam single file under a bridge at the ferry landing and along the back of the island. As we came around the other side the squall descended upon us. The sea got choppy and visibility was poor. As usual I lost my bearings swimming back from the island. Added to this there was a pull from the tide which added a bit of distance to my swim. Arriving at the jetty there were plenty on hand to help us out of the water. Then it was a quick massage from one of the sponsors and some fruit before heading off to a cafĂ© for breakfast number two. Coffee and a doughnut, a right nice treat!