Tag Archive: rays


Never let it be said that I don’t do things wholeheartedly.

After the decision on Friday to call a personal end to the travel, bad weather, general laziness and minor illnesses that have kept me from training (and racing) as much as I’d like, I have been back to training. 3 times in 24 hours. As you do.

After a very odd Friday swim, I made it for the double dose on Saturday morning. The water was still definitely on the chilly side, but didn’t seem quite as bad as the night before.

The first session was a lovely point to point…just what you need when the water is flat and you need to keep moving to stay warm. It was crystal clear and the water was a beautiful emerald green…nicely offsetting my hands as they got wrinklier and whiter in the cold!

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On the beach it was lovely, though…sun shining as we finally got some decent weather on a weekend.

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Something our coaches took full advantage of…

4SEASons Conference Rooms....best meeting centre location ever!

4SEASons Conference Rooms….best meeting centre location ever!

 

 

 

 

 

Plenty of these guys around….always is. Polarised goggles are the key to being able to spot all the interesting things down on the bottom and swimming around.

 

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All in all a particularly lovely (if chilly) day to return to the my Saturday double ups.

It also helped that the first session was a point to point, and then by the second session some helpful person had put out a couple of cans.

Since you should never pass up the opportunity to train with a real marker to swim around, we did circuits out and around. Nice to have something different for the second session!

Ah, Friday swims…best session of the week in my humble opinion! Last week was definitely no exception. I missed Tuesday training stuck late at work, and then didn’t make my Wednesday Can Too session (booo) as some idiot knocked over my bike where it was parked for the day and broke the clutch lever…making it a little difficult for me to get there. Anyway, a trip to the parts shop, a screwdriver, a shifter and a youtube video later and I’m back on the road and was back in the water. Yay!

I was running quite late getting out of the office so raced across and threw my gear down and literally ran down to the beach to join the group for the swim. We headed out on a swim safari to the boat ramp at North Bondi, then out and around Ben Buckler with a test of nerve to see how far we would swim out as a group!

I love doing this swim, it’s completely amazing to me to see that magical world under the surface, and it’s one of the charms of ocean swimming for me. I remember being so surprised, when I first took up this sport, to find all sorts of sea life flourishing in Bondi. I think because it’s so sandy in the middle, and quite small, and there had always been soooo many people, and I guess never having swum there with goggles and therefore been able to see properly, I had selfish(pun!)ly assumed there wouldn’t really be much in the way of sea life there.

How wrong I was!

Rarely is there a swim where I don’t see all sorts of fish and rays. At the North and South ends there are rocks and seagrass beds which are absolutely bursting with life. On lucky days I’ve seen whales not far off shore, and even luckier had a pod of dolphins come and swim with me, Jules and coach Kingy! On the unlucky days the place is overrun with bluebottles, and there are all sorts of jellyfish out there…luckily most of them seem to be the non-stinging kind.

Even though I’ve snorkeled heaps over the years, swum heaps in the past couple, and taken up diving in the past few months, there’s just something about being right in there checking out this completely different world that I never grow tired of. Luckily for me, I live somewhere where the geography and the climate mean I pretty much never have to!

Bronte Beach

Bronte Beach

Ahhh…Friday was hot and steamy in the city. A Friday night swim was definitely in order…especially after I hadn’t managed much swimming during the week due to the finger/door incident of last Sunday.

This Friday was a bit different to usual training. We went to Bronte beach instead of Bondi. Outrageous!

Don’t worry, though, we aren’t finding a new home, there was a very specific reason for the change. On Sunday, quote a few swimmers were planning on swimming the Bondi to Bronte event. We’re pretty familiar with the start, but we did some specific circuits, practicing coming in where we expected the race to end. We also had fish and chips in the park afterwards 🙂

As a special treat my sister decided to join us for a refreshing dip too!

Bronte Beach is quite similar to Bondi in a lot of ways, but in some ways it’s also quite different. The beach in general is much steeper. It’s a climb up to anywhere and the water’s edge itself is quite steep so the water gets deep very quickly.

The sand at Bronte is much coarser and more shelly than Bondi. I know this because I body-surfed right up to the beach a couple of times and ended up with a not insubstantial amount in my swimmers!

Bronte is a bit smaller than Bondi, and has more of a central rip instead of the two you normally get round the corner. A lot of fun grabbing that little express right out from the middle!

Unfortunately I did have a bit of a drama…my trusty (well maybe not so much in hindsight) Pentax decided not to work while I was in the water. When I got it home I realised why….the whole thing was full of water and the battery had leaked. The whole thing was toast. Boooo.

There’s an upside to everything, though..I did a bit of research on the weekend and made a new purchase so watch this space for a review of my shiny new camera!

Woo hoo, it was an absolute cracker of a weekend, and it all started with one stunning Friday night swim. 

The sun was shining, the air was warm, the water temp was good, and the water clarity was as good as it ever gets. Even the tourists had come out of the backpacker hostels and were down on the beach having a swim.

We did a swim across to the north end, with a trip into the beach and back out halfway. Then it was one of the famous Friday Zoe’s swim safaris out the rip, to the boat ramp, then further out to the head.

It was pretty stunning…with such clear water and good light we had a great view of all the fish and the rays and the sea grass. It still amazes me that even at a beach like Bondi where the are always people around, and where that’s been the case for such a long time, that there is so much wildlife down there. It’s pretty special to be able to be out there interacting with that environment, and in such beautiful conditions it was a real joy to be swimming.

Sometimes it’s tough training, if there’s jellies, or you’re having to choose it over some other activity. But other days, it absolutely feels like something you do for pleasure, and Friday was most definitely one of those days!

 

Yes, you read that correctly…summer is here, Can Too Training throws out our normally scheduled programming, and a whole new routine starts from now. And it begins with the long-awaited return of the Friday night swim!!! Hooray!!!

Last year we did Friday night swims at Bondi and it fast became my very favourite swim of the week. I didn’t have my motorbike last summer, so I was only able to go when I could be assured of someone heading back in my direction (public transport options from Bondi Beach to where I live are pretty disgraceful, and involve at least 2 changes). This year, I’m hoping it will be a regular fixture as I can easily zip out of the city to Bondi, and get home in 15-20 minutes afterwards!

This Friday did not disappoint in any way. The weather was glorious…beautiful golden light, warm water, just a few little shore-breakers but nothing too messy in terms of waves, and a relaxed crew of smiling swimmers who also understand that there’s no competition when deciding between Friday night drinks and a Friday night swim.

There’s just something about it….after a hot and sticky week in the city (OK, so there was a crazy hailstorm at lunchtime, but it was still hot and sticky the rest of the time), there’s just nothing like washing of the dust and grime and the cares of the week with a swim. It signals the true end of the working week and the glorious beginning to the weekend!

I also didn’t have my underwater camera last year, and discovered that the evening golden hour light produced some magnificent swimming photos. I don’t have the files with me, so I’ll have to try to remember to add in a slideshow or similar soon, but they’re definitely worth checking out on my Flikr page as they’ll give a good idea of just how lovely it was.

edit: Here’s the slideshow…

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Friday night swims also seem to be a great opportunity for the patented coach Zoe swim safaris, where we go for a bit of an explore around the rocky grassy ends of Bondi to check out all the fish and rays and other interesting things to see, and this is exactly what we did this week (Yay!). The swim map tells the story…

Friday Night North End Swim Safari

Friday Night North End Swim Safari

Ah, just divine. Welcome back Friday night swims. I’ve missed you!!

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