On arrival at Mona Vale we weren’t sure we were going to do the swim. Bus to Warriewood beach then swim back back to Mona Vale Beach. 1.6kms but a long, bumpy, testing 1.6kms

Buoys? Swim for the light my son

Standing at Mona Vale we watched big sets coming in but they weren’t clean, water flowing every which way. And  grey, foreboding lumpy sea out the back so even when you get through the break you’re  not really through the break because the break doesn’t really have an end

If you were in the water today, you know why this photo is in here

Despite our apprehensions we got the bus to the race-start at Warriewood beach. (and what a bus… I was thinking a 20-seater over-grown mini-bus. No way. A Sydney bendy-bus, capacity about 80 nervous, chattering swimmers. Good work )

Onya Mona Vale.. that's what you call a bus.

We got it not because we wanted to do the swim but because we didn’t want to not do it. It’s why you do the laps during the week, it’s why you’re there on Sunday morning and not doing it means you’ve bottled it and who wants to think they bottled something?

Janj's low-res shot... lack of detail so his Mum doesn't worry about what he's doing

What’s the worst that could happen? You struggle and turn back. The Clubbies pull you out. No harm or shame in that… you did your best and the ocean beat you. But not giving it  go. Nah, perversely we can’t do that.

So in we got and off we went. And indeed it was hard getting out. And even when you were out the ‘back’ there was still the occasional wave breaking over you. And getting a rhythm? Forget it. But, and I think this is why I like this ‘sport’, it was a bloody enjoyable swim. Much harder than Bondi two weeks ago but so much more satisfying.

Most of us live a very sanitised, safe life in the 21st century . It’s wonderful and so rewarding to do something you’re not comfortable doing, don’t want to do but feel you should. And you feel you should because you crave the reward the end brings. That wonderful ‘I bloody did that. I succeeded. I overcame my fears and worries, got in and did the job. Nice one’.

"Looks easy from here. Don't know what you were worrying about"

And they put on damn good fruit at the end too.

Scott and Janj looking pleased (and feeling relieved)

Good luck to all tackling next weeks swims, particularly the Big Swim. That’s a great swim and if I wasn’t away on holiday next week I’d be there.

Enjoy the water. Phil.

ps congratulations to Mel Speet, a FOAMette who placed in one of the ladies categories. She’s also leading the FOAM league having done the most swims. However, she did say she won’t be doing so many in February so there’s a chance to catch her.