Sunday, July 31, 2011

Finally - A Little Calm

Swimming in the sea has been difficult these past couple of weeks, even at low tide. The swell has been very big (up to 4½ metres some days). Wylies Baths has been closed to swimmers on and off over the past few weeks. Last weekend I didn't get a swim at all. So, it was with relief that I read about the swell dropping during this past week. As the weekend approached the seas flattened out, and I was able to turn up at the pool for an early morning swim, even though it was just after high tide.

It was a glorious morning, but the air temperature was a wee bit on the cool side at 9°C. On the board it said that the sea temperature was 18°C, but I'm somewhat sceptical about that. The first length felt colder than I've been used to recently. Still, three years ago it was about 15° at this time of year, and it got down to 14° during early August. In any case, the water was clear, clean and refreshing. I swam 20 lengths through several small schools of tiny fish, then sat in the sun until I started shivering. A hot shower and a hot mug of tea soon fixed that.

About a fortnight ago, I was swimming here in rough conditions at low tide, when I noticed that one of the two posts that stick up out of the pool was missing. It had been buckled over and bent under the water by the force of the waves. The image below shows the two posts, which is how Wylies has looked for the 25 years that I've been going there. In that time they've been used to rope off a wading area for small children in the summer, but nobody seems to know what they were originally intended for nor how long they've been there.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Big Seas

Last week I had a pretty wild swim on high tide at Wylies Baths. Nothing too unusual about that. This week there has been a big swell off Sydney, so it was too dangerous to swim while the tide was high. But, even at low tide, it was a wild old time in the pool.

All of these photos were taken at low tide. Actually, two days ago it was probably even wilder. Even today, some big sets were crashing into the pool and washing up over the concrete platforms at the base of the cliffs.

Twenty lengths seemed like thirty today after struggling against the swell.

Strangely, though, the water temperature is back up to 18°C.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cooler Water

It's beginning to feel like winter swimming at last. The water temperature at Wylies today was (according to the board) 17°C. I still don't feel the need to wear a swimcap, but that's because I only swim my 20 - 25 lengths.

The week has seen very strong (and cold) westerly winds. Today they were particularly strong, but, as the cliffs protect the baths from the cold westerlies and southerlies, it was warm in the sunshine. 

The offshore winds were, however, meant to flatten out the seas, but when I swam, just past high tide, I got a rather rough and choppy pool.