Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Getting Back In The (Salt) Water

After a couple of days of swimming in a chlorinated pool, it was a relief to get back into the saltwater at Wylies Baths. My foot is healing, and the water is clean and clear again. I enjoyed it so much, that, not content with a morning swim, I went back for a second swim in the evening.

The pool was quite busy - it's school holidays, and today was the first sun after a couple of rainy days.

The beach across the bay at Coogee was very busy (though you can't tell on this photo).

One of my Christmas presents was a pair of neoprene, divers' rock boots. A timely present indeed, and one that I'll be wearing when I resume my coastal/ harbour swimming trek. A couple of times now I've come to grief on oyster shells or sharp rocks when swimming in unfamiliar rock pools.

Wylies Baths was established by Henry Wylie, who was famous as an underwater and long distance swimmer. He actually built the tidal pool itself by carving into the rock platform. His daughter was Mina Wylie, who, along with Fanny Durack, was one of the first two women to represent Australia at swimming in the Olympics. She won a silver medal in the 100 metres at the 1912 Stockholm games. Both Durack and Wylie were originally forbidden to swim in a race observed by men, and had to have a rule change before they could compete. Even then, they had to pay their own way and be accompanied by a chaperone.

There's a sculpture of Mina Wylie just inside the entrance gate to Wylies Baths.


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