Nothing in life is free and that principle can be applied to ocean swimming.
For example, over the past weekend two swims were held in Sydney - one at North Curl Curl and the other from Bondi to Bronte.
The option for people entering an ocean swim is to do the 'earlybird', where you enter and pay online or send a cheque in the mail before the event.
If you choose to enter on the day of the swim (if that option is available) the organisers tend to whack an extra $10 onto the entry fee.
One of the reasons I like to leave entering as late as possible is so I can see what the conditions are like closer to the day.
On the weekend, I was in two minds about swimming because my swimming mate, Davo, was out of town. I left it to the last minute. Will I swim or won't I?
In the end I didn't and saved $90 and two long drives and the stress of finding a parking spot ($40 for North Curly and $50 for B2B - on-the-day entry fees).
I know I missed two good swims (go to http://www.oceanswims.com/ to read about them), but I don't mind.
I figure that if I do 10-12 ocean swims this season, I'll be $500+ the poorer.
There are a couple of reasons why ocean swims are getting more expensive - insurance is the big one.
But since I started swimming four years ago, and Precious Princess was doing the swims well before that, the cost has slowly but surely increased.
Still, cost obviously isn't a deterrant as more and more people are taking the plunge and happily forking out their disposable income to participate in a 2-3km swim.
I reckon the rise and rise of ocean swimming has lobbed the golden egg into many Surf Life Saving Clubs' laps.
Crikey, they must be laughing!