Thursday, November 6, 2014

Some Spring Swims in Western Australia

Bunker Bay

A smaller version of Canal Rocks, near Smith's Beach


Pemberton Pool under the Karri trees

Luckily, no venomous snakes observed while I was swimming

Walking down to Green's Pool

Green's Pool, William Bay National Park

Middleton Beach, Albany

Pontoon for lap swimming at Emu Point, Albany

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Some Winter Dips

Kariong Falls, Brisbane Water National Park, in July

I chose the term 'Winter dips' especially to describe Kariong Falls. Though there was plenty of water, and I immersed my body up to my neck and moved through the water by breaststroking, I couldn't really call it a swim. I was in the icy water for a couple of minutes at most. It was a cold July morning, and, even though I was warm from walking 4 kms, the pool had been in the shade most of the day and felt bitterly cold.

Jellybean Pool, Blue Mountains National Park, in July

Another dip rather than swim, Jellybean Pool had been in the sun for most of the morning, but was still bitterly cold. I'd warmed up on a long bushwalk by this point, and thought I'd be in the water for a while. Once again it was a matter of minutes.

Jervis Bay in July

Beach in Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay

At least I could stay in the water at Jervis Bay for a good long swim (even if I did shiver for quite some time afterwards). The sea was not much cooler than back in Sydney, probably around 17°C. 

Uloola Cascades, Royal National Park, in September

Probably a Spring dip, by most people's reckoning, but still a dip rather than a swim. There's enough deep water to wallow and use a few strokes, but the real attraction is sitting under the various cascade falls. The water is still pretty cold at this time of year, but that's half the thrill. Luckily, this was on a sunny day.

Karloo Pool, Royal National Park, in September

Karloo Pool

This, however, is an amazing place for a swim. No dipping here. The water is deep, and the pool is long enough to really stretch out. It's one of my favourite ever swimming holes. I love the way that, unlike the tannin-stained pools of nearby Heathcote National Park, Karloo Pool is incredibly clear.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Watching Whales from Wylies

I've spent some glorious winter afternoons at Wylies Baths recently. After swimming my lengths with the fishes in the cool clear pool, I usually stand on the high decking with a cup of tea and my binoculars. I'm looking for whales, and, most days, I see lots. Humpback whales travel up the NSW coast from the Antarctic Ocean to the Coral Sea at this time of year. Usually, the spray from the blowholes tell you where the whales are, and, then, you can look through the binoculars to see them at the surface. Often you can see some tail slapping. One day, I was lucky enough to see one breach. On the odd day that I couldn't spot a whale, I watched dolphins in the bay, or gannets soaring above the sea and suddenly diving into the water to feed.

They're out there.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Little Night Swimming (at Coogee)

A great place to be on a hot, humid night in Sydney. The beach pool under the Surf Lifesavers Club is lit by street lights and a floodlight.

Okay. Not the best photos. Just from the mobile phone.

Bit of seaweed in the pool. From a recent storm.

The water looks cool.

And it is cool. Exactly what I needed.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bay Of Fires, Tasmania

Binalong Bay on The Bay Of Fires

I had a quick swim (that super cold water again) from the beach at Binalong Bay at the southern end of the Bay Of Fires. Clean, salty water and squeaky, white sand.

Coles Bay, Tasmania

A sunny day at Coles Bay on the east coast of Tasmania. The water was very clear and clean, but cold. I swam for about half an hour, then sat in the sun to warm up.

Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park

The beach at Wineglass Bay

Unfortunately we couldn't get a sunny day for the view over Wineglass Bay (see below for what it can look like). It was still gorgeous though. We walked down a steep track to the beach, and sat for a while watching small waves on the clear saltwater. I went for a swim even though it was a cold morning with a strong wind. The water was very cold indeed, and really salty. Ten minutes was enough for me. 

Wineglass Bay from the lookout
(Creative commons: J J Harrison)

First Basin at Cataract Gorge, Launceston, Tasmania

First Basin at the Cataract Gorge in Launceston has an open air pool on a grassy reserve beside the freshwater basin itself. There is a kiddie's pool and play equipment too, so the park is pretty perfect for families on a warm day during the summer school holidays. I had a dip in the swimming pool, but it was far too busy to swim a length or two.

View of First basin from the Zig Zag walking track

I'd really come here to swim in the basin itself though. There were a few people in already, including kids with inflatable rafts and teenagers jumping off the low cliffs into deep water. I swam along the southern shore and back in water that was just a little chilly.

First Basin