Saturday, 5 June 2010

Taking the plunge: the challenges of the winter ocean swim

It's been raining for three weeks - solidly for two.

Today, a pale sun is breaking through the clouds as I contemplate entering the Cold Water Classic at Mona Vale on Sydney's northern beaches on June 20.

It's a short swim at 1.2 km, so that's not the issue. Winter is.

I know if you live in Europe, -15 degrees is a walk in the park. But in Sydney, a temp of 2 degrees in the mornig is the lowest temp I can remember experiencing - and that wasn't in the recent past. Usually, winter days warm up to 18 degrees or more.

That is a tad chilly for Sydneysiders, of which I am one.

But that's not the main reason I hesitate. There are a couple of other factors that make a winter swim less inviting - general weather (windy, overcast), surf conditions and water temperature.

Last year, the weather was awful. Grey skies and blowing a gale. The water temp was OK, but the surf was rough and I lost my goggles when I got knocked over by a wave.

I hope the conditions will be more attractive this year.

Davo has already entered the swim. He sent me an email, pointing this out! He's on the starters list, with 23 other eejits.

There is the option of wearing a wet suit, but real ocean swimmers don't rubber up. And I rather fancy myself in the 'real' category.

Davo is going *'naked', as are 22 of the others entered so far.

I'll end up taking the plunge because I can't help myself, especially if Davo is committed - he's my lift to the gig.

*Of course, the budgie smugglers are on!
PS: This photo is from and, I believe, was taken by Glistening Dave

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