Category: Coogee


Birthday Bliss

It was my birthday this week, and it was sensational. I wouldn’t normally mention it on here, but this year I’m hoping the Easter Claus Fairy (hedging my bets) brings me my latest object of lust, the recently announced Nikon 1 mirrorless waterproof.

I’m not sure exactly how I’d fit it down the front of my swimmers/wetsuit, but both my latest waterproof point and shoot and my DSLR are Nikons, and I love them both dearly, and the new release looks pretty damn awesome.

But seriously, the real reason I thought I’d mention it is that I took a couple of days off work to have myself a little “staycation” for my birthday this year. The day of my birthday was reasonably busy, but the day after I had to scoot over to Coogee to drop something off for a friend.

So what’a a girl to do? Pack the togs and go for a swim of course!

My brag text to my friends stuck at work.

My brag text to my friends stuck at work.

I have to admit, the water was a touch chilly, I was on my own, and pretty much nobody knew where I was, plus the waves were a touch on the wild side. So I played it safe. Well, safe-ish. I headed out just to the edge of the break and spent an hour or so body-surfing. Have to admit I was a little proud of being the only woman out there with the one serious body-surfer, the half-a-dozen late-teens daring each other to catch a wave (standing in the wrong spot and squealing like girls at the cold water), and a couple of surfers I suspect took a wrong turn and ended up at the wrong beach.

The waves were great, but unforgiving. If you hopped on in the wrong spot or didn’t quite catch it right…well, let’s just say I got dumped once, and tumbled even getting under waves a couple of times. You know what, though, the more time I spend swimming in the ocean, the more I’m convinced that one of the main differences between a good swimmer and one who struggles (not necessarily talking about fast and slow here) is their ability to not panic. It’s totally the worst thing you can do but totally the first thing you turn to if you rely entirely on instinct and not experience. A couple of winters swimming through have really shown me that every time I’ve been dumped and found myself a little anxious, within a second or so (if I’m really unlucky it might get up to 5 seconds or so) that pesky wave has broken, the white water passes, and you figure out which way is up. The air in your lungs pops you up like a cork, whether you’re thinking about it or not, and you fill your lungs with sweet, free air. Easy!

No guarantees you'll have glamorous hair afterwards, though!

No guarantees you’ll have glamorous hair afterwards, though!

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You’ve read the review. if you’re really  interested, and/or were there on the day, I actually took a lot of photos. Or handed my camera to a couple of people who took a lot of photos while I was swimming (that’s kind of the same thing, right?) so thanks to my delegate photographers who did such an outstanding job/

So here’s the link to the full set of pictures from the fabbo day!

If you enjoy them half as much as I enjoyed the swim you’re in for  treat.

Ah Coogee…one of my favourite beaches and one of my favourite races. Swimming out and around an island is definitely fun. Once you get out near the island you can start seeing the bottom again, and all the fishies. And there just seems to be something kind of primal and basic about swimming out to an island. Inspiring the explorer spirit in all of us.

It was a beautiful day again. Autumn seems to be succeeding where Summer failed as far as delivering gorgeous weather for event days!

This was a pretty long day for me as I did the 1km event followed by the 2.4km. It’s the longest I’ve done, but the arms held up pretty well (despite a bit of a case of house-painter’s arm!).

The 1km was a bit of an interesting start. It was scheduled to start at 9.15 so just before 9 we headed over to near the start line for a briefing and a warm-up.

Well, it turns out the organisers decided to start the race early. 15 minutes early. Where was I when this happened? Out past the break still warming up! The start waves were divided into under 40 and over 40…so I had missed my wave start.

Well, there was only one thing for it, I cut across in a curve to intercept the pack. As this was a long event, I had already planned to take it a bit easier on the short course. The stuff up with the start wasn’t such a big deal for me, but it did mean I didn’t start my Garmin so there’s no map for that event.

The race went as expected. Plenty of breast-strokers…but you do tend to get a bit more of that with the short courses as those are the ones that the less -experienced swimmers tend to sign up for. Still, it’s the height of poor form in my book…I don’t care who you are. Breast stroke is for lanes in a pool, not ocean swims. I’ve been on the receiving end of more than one frog kick and can tell you it’s a downright danger to the swimmers around you. (Rant over!)

The 2.4km was much better on that front, and I managed to get to the line and start with the rest of the crowd this time!

Ah, I do love this race. There were a lot of people participating this year…all grateful that there are finally some swimmable events! I like the course, and it was well laid out. The water safety were plentiful and helpful. The only problem in the end was a stuff-up with results for a bunch of swimmers being left off. Oceanswims have done a great job of trying to figure them out from the photos taken at the finish line, but it’s really, really bad to have a problem like that in the first place…hopefully lesson learned for next time!

So all in all, a great day out. The season is winding down now….no swims next weekend (well, none close enough to be do-able), then 2 more to go. Time to start thinking about off-season training and winter swimming!

Coogee 2.4

Wow, yesterday I was up early. Very excited about getting to go diving with my friends Matt and Rebecca at a super secret military location…super luxurious beach to ourselves!

The diving was a little average, but the spot was pretty sensational and it was lovely to be back in the ocean…especially with water as warm as it was yesterday…

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Then they dropped me back at my brother’s house where I borrowed a car and headed to Coogee beach. Yep, you read that right, there’s a beach here called that too, though apparently it’s pronounced differently. I met up with the lovely Claire Green from 4SEASons who has recently moved over here and we got in a bit of a swim session.

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It was pretty stunning…warm water, white sand and clear water. We did have a giggle that there were at least a dozen lifeguards on duty for about 35 swimmers, tops!

The beach was a pretty cool location. Two pontoons…one with a slide on it, were moored just off shore, plus there was a great jetty with different ladders and spots you could climb up and jump off. It was really well set up and we had a lovely swim around pontoons, followed by the mandatory post-swim coffee on the beach.

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So that was a pretty full on day. A swim, and then a post-swim swim. I was looking forward to some food and a shower and getting out of my swimmers.

Until I got home and these two talked me into a dip their backyard pool!

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How could I say no?

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