Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
For the first time in many years, I didn’t swim on Christmas Day or Boxing Bay. I had badly cut my foot on oyster shells a few days earlier and it was still very painful. Then on Christmas Day it started to rain heavily. Even though my foot was healing, it wasn't a good idea to swim at the beaches or in the harbour because of possible stormwater pollution leading to infection.
Petersham Pool is also (officially) known as the Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre after a champion swimmer from the early years of the 20th century who lived in the area. It's reported that she was the most accomplished (woman) swimmer in the world from 1910 to 1918, holding all the women's swimming records from 100 yards to the mile. She was also the first Australian woman to win an Olympic swimming gold medal.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The water was very warm (and very salty).
This is the view from the steps as I was walking down to what each of my city road maps described as Balls Head Pool. These waters off Balls Head are over the deepest part of Sydney Harbour.
This is what I found - no swimming enclosure at all. Obviously, my maps are well out of date. The steps led down to the water's edge anyway, so I decide to go in for a swim. Carelessly, I cut my feet quite badly on the rock oysters. I swam around for a while in the clear water over sand and rock, until I started to think about blood in the water, sharks in the harbour and no nets. When I couldn't stop the sharky feelings, it was time to get out.
Still to come:
Monday, December 21, 2009
Woolwich Baths is on the Lane Cove River close to where it flows into the Parrammatta River/ Sydney Harbour. The water gets deep very quickly until it reaches about four metres in depth out under the enclosure and the jumping (strictly no diving) platforms. I had a great old time, flinging these old bones off the edge and into the warm depths.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
After my usual circumnavigation, I swam across the waterhole, and climbed out to sit on the rocks. Usually it is very hot on the sandstone, but today the wind was keeping things cool.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The last week or so, temperatures in Sydney have been incredibly hot, and it's been great to swim in the ocean and the harbour in cool saltwater. On Sunday it reached 41 degrees Celsius, and we complained again and again about the heat (except when we were splashing about in cool seawater).
I was remembering a holiday in Japan during their cold, snowy winter. We spent quite a lot of time (especially after skiing) soaking in onsens (volcanic thermal mineral springs). These baths, indoor and outdoor, are always over 40 degrees - precisely the air temperatures we're grumbling about here and now. Still, they felt rather special after the snow.
Most onsen, and outdoor rotemburo, were small, deep baths, with just enough room for a couple of people to sit comfortably. Sometime, they were large enough to do a bit of floating. But in Beppu, there was an onsen complex, Kitahama Termas Onsen, with an outdoor swimming pool sized hot spring. This was just great to swim around in, then we would vary this routine with the huge outdoor spa, the hot waterfall, the mist baths and the (very) cold "squall" shower and bath.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
It's about 10 years since I've jumped off the wall. I'm not sure if these brittle, old bones would be up to it these days.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
I was lazing on the old wooden deck on a beach towel sipping a mug of tea. I could watch the water for hours.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
We used to throw a penny into the sixteen foot six end of the baths, then try to dive down to the bottom to get it. I can't remember any of us actually making it to the bottom. I do remember feeling the pressure as I swam down.
We all used to go up on the diving tower and steel ourselves to jump (never dive) from the second stage. The top stage was always roped off.
Wigan will be getting a new baths in a couple of years. Strange to think that these baths would've been new and modern when I first went to them.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
This morning, it was a different story. The onshore winds had brought stingers to the beaches. There was a bloke in the water fishing them out, but the waves kept washing more in. It' wasn't going to be fun swimming here.
The stingers were mostly bluebottles (Portugese Man-Of-War). The south and central areas of the beach were littered with them.
So I walked down to the south end of the beach, and along the headland, to swim at Giles Baths. The onshore winds were from the north-east, so this pool was in the lee of the point.