|The southern end of Mollymook Beach|
The significance of the above year in relation to the Mollymook swim cannot be underestimated. That is the year I was truly confronted by the force of the ocean. I, and a small peloton of bloody eejits including my brother-in-law Davo, endured an angry surf, three-metre swell and low visibility while involuntarily ingesting litres of sea water on a floundering hike from the northern to southern end of Mollymook Beach.
It was a scary experience, which made me swear I would never again swim in such extreme conditions.
Saturday, April 16, 2011.
As Davo had predicted (after a lengthy analysis of a couple of weather websites) it looked as though this year's swim would be a repeat of 2009. The weather was as nasty as The Hiss during a full-blown tantrum, the sky burdened by swollen gun-metal clouds, squalls of rat-a-tat rain and a south-easterly wind blowing up the beach and the surf. It didn't augur well for Sunday's swim.
I'd already forked out $90 for The Hiss, PP and me in registration fees, so I wasn't happy about pulling out. On Saturday night I fuelled up on white wine, pasta and Arnott's Mint Slices.
Sunday, April 17, 2011.
Unbelievable. We awoke to an abating wind and silvery sunlight streaking the ocean. The southerly that was supposed to bring in a huge swell had, instead, flattened it out. There were still some hefty waves, but out the back it looked relatively calm.
My nephew, Little Prince, did the 500 metre swim, which started at 9.30am (that's 9am Mollymook time) at the southern end of the beach, not far from the surf club. La famiglia cheered him in as he finished first in his age group. Then it was a drive back up to the northern end of the beach for the 2km start.
Because this swim had less than 200 entrants, we all started together. I watched as my peers charged into the surf ahead of me. They became distant blobs as I copped a set of waves. It would've taken me a good five minutes to get beyond the breakers. Story of my life.
Once I was out the back I got to enjoy the scenery below. Schools of medium and large fish flitted below me on the reef that runs a fair way along the beach. The water was clear and magically warm at 24 degrees. I could see to the bottom for most of the journey.