Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Long Swim (in order of direction)

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.

Almost two years later, I finally completed (with certain exceptions) my swim trek. The eighty swimming enclosures along the route are listed below. Ten of these enclosures have been closed completely or have had the shark nets removed. In five of these I was unable to swim at all, but in five I swam the original area without the shark nets. One pool was being cleaned on the day I was there, and I will return at a later date to swim there. One pool is restricted to women and children, so that leaves seventy-three tidal swimming enclosures that I actually swam. 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 (closed) (did not swim)

15. Ramsgate Baths

16. Monterey Baths

17. Brighton-le-Sands Baths

18. Kyeemagh Baths (closed) (did not swim)

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)

The Parramatta River

38. Balmain (Dawn Fraser) Baths

39. Chiswick Baths

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

The Lane Cove River

41. Woolwich Baths

42. Tambourine Bay Tidal Pool (closed) (did not swim)

43. Lucretia Baths (Woodford Bay)

The Parramatta River

44. Greenwich Baths

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

Sydney Harbour (Port Jackson)

46. McCallum Pool (Cremorne)

47. Clifton Gardens (Chowder Bay)

Sydney Harbour (Middle Harbour)

48. Balmoral Baths

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

50. Northbridge Baths

51. Garrigal National Park Swimming Enclosure

52. Guerney Crescent Baths (Pickering Point)

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

54. Clontarf Pool

Sydney Harbour (North Harbour)

55. Forty Baskets Beach Pool

56. Fairlight Beach Pool

57. Manly Cove Swimming Enclosure

58. Little Manly Cove Pool

Northern Beaches

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

61. Freshwater Pool (yet to swim here)

62. Curl Curl Pool

63. North Curl Curl Rock Pool

64. Dee Why Rock Pool

65. Collaroy Rock Pool

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

69. Bilgola Rock Pool

70. Avalon Rock Pool

71. Whale Beach Rock Pool

72. Palm Beach Rock Pool


73. Avalon Baths

74. Taylors Point Baths

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

76. Winji Jimmi 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