Sunday, 27 February 2011
Long Reef 2011: seagrass and sandbars
This time last year the citizens of Chile were recovering from an earthquake. It's darkly ironic that 12 months later, the earthquake that hit Christchurch, New Zealand, on Tuesday has so far claimed the lives of 147 people with more than 50 still missing.
It makes my heart heavy.
Driving out to Long Reef today, I recalled that sunny day last February when all the beaches along Australia's eastern seaboard were closed because of fears that a tsunami was heading our way. The Long Reef swim was cancelled. When I arrived at the beach it was as flat as a tack and, being an eejit , I went for a swim half expecting to be sucked out to sea. But nothing happened.
Today, the weather was muggy and overcast and the swell was mild at less than a metre.
A sandbar that stretched for a good 50 metres greeted swimmers at the start and end of the swim.
The nice thing about this swim is that it never gets too deep so you can see the ocean floor. For a lot of the course, you're swimming over the reef. If I'd had the time I would've slowed down (it could be argued that I was already slowed down) but I didn't get a chance to appreciate the view of wafting seagrass because I was busy trying not to finish last.
As I swam to the shore, the timing-chip's velcro band loosened and fell of my ankle. By the time I reported it lost I was probably coming last!
Ya gotta laugh. It's better than crying.
Photos: Top - swimmers in the 1 km swim wading in over the sandbar; Bottom - a dedicated ocean swimmer