Wow! Just wow. Conditions this morning at Bondi were as good as I’ve ever seen them. I knew they were going to be. I regularly use several apps on my phone to do with checking the weather and surf conditions…and this morning I woke up a bit early so checked the webcam at Bondi live while I was still in bed. It looked so amazing there was not even the slightest temptation to hit the snooze button and I found myself bounding out of bed full of excitement! (That almost never happens, normally).

When I arrived at Bondi, it lived up to its promise and more. The sun was beaming down on us, the water was crystal-clear and warmer than forecast, there were intermittent sets of decent-sized super-clean waves rolling with plenty of power horizontally straight into the shore with not much messy foam, no tumbling and no pulling you under.

I was back in the salt and back in the surf after a week off and my wetsuit was repaired as good as new. I was warm as toast, despite rediscovering the hard way just how much hard work it is to get the bugger on. A secondary advantage of wearing the wetsuit is that it means I can take out my trusty waterproof camera; I struggle when I’m just wearing swimmers as they are too stretchy and don’t have enough structure to hold the camera securely, but everything comes together just fine with an old bikini string through the slot for the wrist strap, round the back of my neck, and then the camera shoved down the front of my wetsuit.

We were doing ramps. These involve swimming straight out in line with one ramp down from the promenade, to the back of the break, across parallel to the beach, then back in at the next ramp. The faster swimmers swim further out before turning, and the really fast swimmers run up the beach to the ramp itself and back at the end of the circuit. Repeat to the next ramp and the next up and down the beach.

This is a great way of organising training that is challenging for a group of swimmers with different levels of confidence and ability while still keeping the group together in the big surf. It also means a lot of opportunities for ins and outs, to take advantage of those fabulous waves and get in some body-surfing practice. In particular today, it was great to see a few of the swimmers who have been a bit more nervous or unsure about catching big waves taking advantage of the safe but super-fun waves and really catching some of their first waves and having fun with them.

Training can be fun!

Training can be fun!

I know I always seems to be saying this, but it was even MORE fun than usual…and I rarely have a bad day in the ocean. I caught some killer waves and swam hard and took lots of photos and frolicked in the sun and had nothing to hurry home for afterwards so sat around drinking coffee in the sun for as long as I felt like afterwards in the usual lovely company.

So ask me again if there’s anything I’d rather be doing on a Saturday morning and if staying in and skipping a night at the pub almost every friday is worth it? This week in particular, the answer is an easy and resounding yes.

The rest of the photos from the day are available on flikr on my photostream if you like the collage above…there’s plenty more where that came from!