Friday, April 20, 2012

At Heathcote National Park Again

Lots more rain has fallen here in Sydney, especially during this past week. Today was sunny, however, so I jumped on the train to Waterfall and went for a long bushwalk in Heathcote National Park. The track from Waterfall to Heathcote is about 10 kilometres long, and it passes along sandstone ridges and along creek gullies. 

One of the reasons that I enjoy this walk so much is that there are lots of opportunities to swim in the creeks. Usually there are several swimming holes where I can swim, but this year the creeks are full so I could swim just about anywhere. 

Here is one of my favourite swimming spots. Usually it's just a deep hole in the creek bed with very little flow along the creek. Today the water is flowing quickly. 

Usually these rocks are pretty dry, and there's just a trickle of water in the channel. After lots of rain though, this hole in the rock becomes a whirlpool jacuzzi. There's just enough room to sit inside the hole.  The water running through the hole creates spa-like jets in the swimming hole. It's fun to sit on the rock just below water level and feel the jets on your body.

The rapids in the photo above are normally only a couple of trickles flowing over the rocks until heavy rain creates a strong flow making it's way down to another beautiful swimming hole at Kingfisher Pool.

Kingfisher Pool is very full indeed in the video above. There's a lot of water in the waterfall. It's great fun to swim over to the falls and sit behind the curtains of water. Also fun to sit under it and feel it hammering down on your head.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The End Of The Summer Swimming Season

On Sunday, I had my last swim at Dawn Fraser Pool (or Balmain Baths) for six months. It is now closed for the winter. I managed to have a few days swimming just before it closed. The weather was kind enough to stay dry for several days in a row (unusual for this past summer), so I went on Thursday evening after work, on Saturday morning at sunrise and again on Sunday morning at sunrise. Monday was actually the final day, but, after a wild storm on Sunday night, the Parramatta River was polluted by stormwater yet again. I'll be back on, or shortly after, the October long weekend.

On Wednesday I headed back to Coogee and Wylies Baths. I'll be swimming here for the next six months. I actually like having the two different locations at the two different times of year for my regular swims. It provides a seasonal feel to both sets of baths.

I swam again at Wylies today, on a beautiful Autumn morning in the warm sun. The water was clear, sparkling and 21°C. I'm used to swimming a kilometre at Balmain, which is 20 lengths, but I have to remember that a length at Wylies is 50 yards rather than 50 metres, so I need to swim an extra 2 lengths. Not much of a problem in this wonderful saltwater.

Today I was amused to see that somebody had dug out an old sign that I'd completely forgotten about. It used to be displayed quite prominently when I was a regular swimmer and member here during the 1980s before the renovation/ restoration of the baths.