Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Long Swim

Swimming The Sydney Coast (By Rock Pool and Tidal Bath)

In April, 2009, I decided to swim in all the rock pools and tidal baths along the coastline of Sydney. My conceit was that I would adapt the idea behind Roger Deakin's book, "Waterlog", (itself adapted from an idea contained in John Cheever's story, "The Swimmer"), that is to cover a given geographical distance by swimming bodies of water situated along that distance. Essentially, I would swim along the Sydney coastline from South to North (therefore from Port Hacking to Broken Bay), using the ocean pools and saltwater public baths on the beaches, and in the bays and the rivers. My only rule was that I must swim at least one length in the direction of completing the overall swim.

Now seven years later, I have finally completed my swim trek. Strangely, I had essentially finished in April 2011, but the Freshwater ocean pool took me five years to swim (plus I discovered another enclosure at Cockatoo Island).The eighty swimming enclosures along the route are listed below. Seven of these enclosures have been closed completely or have had the shark nets removed. In two of these I was unable to swim at all, but in five I swam the original area without the shark nets. Also one pool is restricted to women and children, so I was unable to swim there. 

Here they are:

Port Hacking

1. Gymea Bay Baths

2. Lilli Pilli Baths

3. Gunnamatta Bay Baths

Cronulla Beaches

4. Oak Park Pool

5. Shelley Beach Pool

6. Cronulla Ocean Pool

7. Cronulla Rock Pool

Botany Bay

8. Kurnell Tidal Baths

The Georges River

9. Como Baths

10. Oatley Bay Baths

11. Jewfish Bay Baths

12. Carss Point Baths

Botany Bay


13. Sandringham Baths

14. Dolls Point Baths 

15. Ramsgate Baths

16. Monterey Baths

17. Brighton-le-Sands Baths

18. Kyeemagh Baths 

Eastern Suburbs Beaches

19. Little Bay Rock Pool

20. Malabar Rock Pool

21. South Maroubra Rockpools

22. Mahons Pool (Maroubra)

23. Ivo Rowe Rock Pool (South Coogee)

24. Wylies Baths (Coogee)

25. McIvers Baths (Coogee) (women and children only) (did not swim)

26. Ross Jones Pool (Coogee)

27. Giles Baths (Coogee)

28. Clovelly Bay

29. Clovelly Pool

30. Bronte Baths

31. Bronte Bogey Holes

32. Bondi Icebergs Pool

33. Wally Weekes Pool and Children's Paddling Pool (Bondi)

Sydney Harbour (Port Jackson)

34. Watsons Bay Baths

35. Parsley Bay Swimming Enclosure

36. Nielsen Park Swimming Enclosure

37. Redleaf Pool (Double Bay) (since renamed Murray Rose pool)

The Parramatta River

38. Balmain (Dawn Fraser) Baths

39. Cockatoo Island Swimming Enclosure

40. Chiswick Baths

41. Henley Baths (closed) (swam within the original area)

The Lane Cove River

42. Woolwich Baths

43. Tambourine Bay Tidal Pool (closed) (unable to swim)

44. Lucretia Baths (Woodford Bay)

The Parramatta River

45. Greenwich Baths

46. Balls Head Tidal Pool (closed) (swam within the original area)

Sydney Harbour (Port Jackson)

47. McCallum Pool (Cremorne)

48. Clifton Gardens (Chowder Bay)

Sydney Harbour (Middle Harbour)

49. Balmoral Baths

50. Edwards Beach Swimming Enclosure (Balmoral) (shark net removed) (swam within the original area)

51. Northbridge Baths

52. Garrigal National Park Swimming Enclosure

53. Guerney Crescent Baths (Pickering Point)

54. Sangrado Baths (closed) (swam within the original area)

55. Clontarf Pool

Sydney Harbour (North Harbour)

56. Forty Baskets Beach Pool

57. Fairlight Beach Pool

58. Manly Cove Swimming Enclosure

59. Little Manly Cove Pool

Northern Beaches

60. Fairy Bower Rock Pool (Manly)
61. Queenscliff Pool

62. Freshwater Pool 

63. Curl Curl Pool

64. North Curl Curl Rock Pool

65. Dee Why Rock Pool

66. Collaroy Rock Pool

67. North Narrabeen Rock Pool
68. Mona Vale Rock Pool
69. Newport Rock Pool

70. Bilgola Rock Pool

71. Avalon Rock Pool

72. Whale Beach Rock Pool

73. Palm Beach Rock Pool

Pittwater

74. Paradise Beach (Avalon) Baths

75. Taylors Point Baths

76. Salt Pan Cove Baths (closed) (did not swim)

77. Bayview Wharf Baths

78. Scotland Island Swimming Enclosure

The Hawkesbury River

79. Illawong Bay (Kur-ring-gai Chase National Park) (shark net removed) (swam within the original area)

80. Brooklyn Baths