Monday, February 28, 2011

Coogee At Sunrise

It's been very hot indeed for the past month in Sydney. Not only have the daytime temperatures been in the thirties (and occasionally the low forties), but the nighttime temperatures have been in the low to mid twenties. After yet one more hot and humid night, I decided I'd had enough, and, rather than wait for daylight, I set off for the beach in the wee dark hours. I got to Coogee sometime around six, and sat up on the cliff to watch the first light come. As the light grew stronger, I walked down to the beach to watch the sun rise from the Pacific.

At the pool below the Surf Lifesavers Club

There were already several people on the sand. Some were meditating, some were swimming, some were paddling surf skis, some were jogging and some were photographing the dawn with huge cameras and tripods. My cheap Tescos camera couldn't compete with that, but I took a couple of snapshots anyway.

Sitting on the cool sand watching the sun rising

I sat for a good while, accompanied by seagulls and seaweed, at the edge of the beach where the waves were breaking. The sand was cool and the breeze from the water was also cool, so I forgot about the heat, and just watched the sun slowly rise.

Walking to Giles Baths for a swim

As the sun got higher in the morning sky, I set off for a swim. It's been quite some time since I swam in the rock pool below the old Giles Baths, so I headed over there. It was still not really light, and it was a lot of fun jumping off the rocks into the dark water. Surf was gushing over the rocks, and I loved being washed around by the foam. I swam up and down the pool until it was light, then walked slowly back along the beach.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lucretia Baths, Woodford Bay, Lane Cove River

Another one that I missed....

As part of my attempt to swim the shoreline of Sydney using bay and ocean pools, I should have visited these tidal baths back in December 2009. They should have been swum between the disappointment of Tambourine Bay Baths and the wonderful Greenwich Baths. On the day, however, I didn't know that they existed. They weren't indicated on any of the maps that I'd been using to plot my course on this extended swim trek. Only later did I spot a reference to the baths in an online council document. I supposed that, much like Tambourine Bay or Balls Head Baths, they were no longer in use.

Then, just last week, I was studying a map of the Sydney Harbour Circle Walk, and I noticed an icon for a tidal pool at Woodford Bay on the Lane Cove River. This must be, I thought, the baths that I read about, so I decided I'd go over and take a look. Even if they were no longer in use, I could photograph their location as I have done with other abandoned tidal baths.

When I arrived at the baths early this morning, I found, somewhat surprisingly, that they were open for swimming. I was the only person going for a swim at that time, but there were many kayakers setting off from the strand of beach next to the pool. The water was calm and warm (24 degrees Celsius), and I just gently breaststroked my way around for twenty minutes or so.

This has got me wondering, though, how many more tidal baths I am ignorant of. As I said, it's difficult finding out about harbour and river baths. Not all councils list the seawater pools that are in their municipality, preferring to promote their chlorine pools with lifeguards and facilities. There is no website dedicated to these baths, unlike the ocean pools (see ). 

Perhaps a little more research on my part is required.