After the indecision over whether or not to do the Mona Vale winter ocean swim, Davo and I decided to give it a whirl.
We arrived at the beach just after 9am and the surf was pumping - a little too much for mine. I kid you not, the waves - bigger than the 1.7 metres predicted on http://www.seabreeze.com.au/ - were breaking over the first set of cans we were to swim through. There was loads of chop and surfers all over the shop. It was a big sudsy surf.
I was filled with dread, memories of Mollymook (read the bloody blog post - April) caused the panic to rise. For the next 45 minutes we debated our course of action.
Davo explained why he might pull out. Last night during a friendly game of Scrabble at a mate's house he consumed a few too many sorbets - he guestimates a bottle of wine (we're talking 750mls).
This behaviour reconfirms the Aussie male stereotype, though Davo is a refined sort of bloke who enjoys art, cinema and that great national game, rugby league (Gawd - if you're not familiar with the sport, Google 'Brad Fittler', 'Matthew and Andrew Johns', 'Greg Bird' and 'Brett Stewart').
Last night, Davo got carried away. Scrabble is a competitive game and can drive real cultured blokes to drink.
So, the morning after (there's gotta be...) Davo was feeling pretty ordinary.
I was happy to leave the beach and head up the road to my friend, Ms Loveachat's house for a freshly brewed cuppa.
But no. Davo says, "Let's do it."
So, into the pounding surf we charge, and I'm thinking, "Here we go again. I am a sad, sad puppy."
Then, surprisingly, I got into the rhythm and started enjoying myself. "I can do this," I thought, as a sense of jubilation washed over me. I think that was just before a 3 metre wave bowled me over and tore off my goggles, not far from the cans I mentioned earlier.
There was no point carrying on. I can't swim without my goggles and they were well and truly gone.
I refused the offer a ride back in to the beach on the surflifesavers' inflatable. I still had my pride.
I also had a nasty scratch up the back of my leg from the swim start - we all entered the water in the one wave, which can be really scary (lots of big boofy blokes thrashing about like Terminators) - and a wounded ego.
I'm feeling OK now, sort of, and Davo is probably feeling very pleased with himself. As he struggled up the beach, as did every competitor mind you, he confessed that he nearly spewed at the first can, and it took all his mental mettle to battle on.
The wine seemed like a good idea at the time.
By the way, the water temperature was magic - I'd say around 20-21 degrees Celsius. Not bad for the winter solstice.
There's always next year! I'll be back!
*Did Not Finish (small sob)