Firstly apologies to those FOAM Leaguers who’ve noticed that I’ve not been prolific in terms of posts over the last few weeks…. busy at work so little time in the pool. Also the football season has returned, I’m back with the Curl Curl Over 35s and Sunday mornings are now spent recovering from the punishments of Saturday afternoon games. The 40s are definitely not the new 20s when it comes to body recovery.
But I held back this Saturday afternoon (not sure my teammates would’ve noticed any difference, mind) as I’ve been looking forward to this swim, literally for months. Sue and I frequently walk the Curly to Freshie boardwalk as these are our two local beaches and as I walk along I always look at the ocean thinking, “One day I’ll swim that”.
I”m not brave enough to tackle it by myself but thanks to South Curly SLSC and 300 other like-minded souls, today was the day. And thanks to Sue for taking all the photos here on her phone after her camera’s batteries gave out.. apologies for the quality but for those of us who were there I reckon they do capture the mood of the swim
At 7am the sky was blue, by 9am it was as grey as a winter’s afternoon in Belfast… as Steve, my fellow Norn Iron ocean-swimmer remarked. The organisers wisely wanted to get us in and hopefully out before the Southerly hit (much the same as they did in the Bondi to Bronte in December) but same result … in, but not out before the fun arrived.
And you know what? I’m bloody glad that Southerly came through. It actually made the swim more enjoyable for me. I know that sounds weird….. but those of you who enjoy the challenges the ocean throws up know what I mean
That’s not what what I was thinking as our mob hit the water. The last swim I did was the Malabar Magic (respects to Murray Rose). That was two months ago and it certainly doesn’t provide a challenge when it comes to getting out through the break. For me, today did……
I got out eventually but not after getting smashed a few times and wishing I’d done a lot more training. Speaking to Steve, who started in the same wave, he got out the back before the set came through….
And after all that jogging to get into water deep enough to swim in, getting the breathing right didn’t come easy. But I got through it and once out the back had a yellow buoy to aim for.
Once past the first buoy it was right turn and full-on into the Southerly. A lot of water was swallowed because turning for a breath meant risking a bucket-full of sea-water in the face. Rhythm, such as mine is, was destroyed by chop and flurry.
Slowly the buoys passed by on my right shoulder. I stopped a few times just to take in the view. I’ve looked out at this part of the ocean hundreds of times… it was wonderful to look in this once.
And I think that’s where the wonder of this swim lay for me. Us humans live on land yet water casts a spell on many of us. To see what I see every day from a completely different perspective was just magic and I won’t ever forget it.
Enough of that… there’s Freshie point approaching, waves smashing on rocks and I’m a bit too close to those rocks. Turn left, head to Manly for 50 metres, then right to the pink cans that signal the final dash-ish into Freshie
Made it in to the beach, via a rip that pulled me well to the right of the finishing flags… run? Now I have to bloody run? Did enough of that yesterday, chasing a ball like a demented terrier.
Steve was standing near the finish-line (dressed already…) and encouraged me on saying, “Last 10 metres of the season, Phil”.
And, for me, indeed it is. It’s been marvellous, made all the boring up-and-down laps at North Sydney pool worthwhile.
Thanks to Steve, Scott and Janj for being there at various beaches up and down Sydney. Sorry you weren’t there today Scotty and Janj.
When we set up FOAM League we promised prizes for the FOAMy who swam the furthest over the season. Well, given the season in Sydney is over (bar the Cold Classic in June) we think we have a winner
We think that is Anne Gately (‘though we suspect Mel Speet gave Anne a swim for her money and Brianna Davis went hard at the start). If you three ladies read this please get in touch. Once the mighty oceanswims.com publish their final tally for the season we’ll know for sure which FOAMy swam the most distance in races. There will be a prize, we promise.
We’ll definitely be back in the water next season and probably blogging too. Hope you had a great spring, summer and autumn of tackling the ocean and all her delights and surprises.
It’s a wonderful thing to do and I know we are truly privileged to be able to do it.
Keep swimming. Enjoy the ocean.