You might think ocean swimming is a cheap hobby once you've bought the flash cossie and goggles. But think again!
If you want to swim in the relative safety of a pack and participate in the numerous Surf Life Saving Club co-ordinated ocean swims that run from October through to June, you end up handing over a fair wad of cash for the privilege.
I had a haphazard 2010/11 season owing to illness (shocker flu and killer back). In addition, my swimming partner Davo broke his wrist in January, which left me solo for two months. Without Davo's enthusiastic nagging (When are you going to register? Get online now!) I tended to wait until the day of the swim to register, which costs more. It's always cheaper to register online.
This is the first time I've added up the total cost of a season's worth of swims, so I'll probably get hysterical towards the end of this post. Here goes -
November: Dawny to Cockatoo Island swim - $40 (late rego is $10 more than pre-registered); Coogee Express Glass Island Challenge - $30 (early rego and then I missed it because of illness)
December: Bilgola - $25 (early rego)
January: Newport - $30 (late rego); Gerringong - $30 (late rego); Mona Vale $40 (late rego); Palmy to Whale - $35 x 2 (I also paid for Precious Princess, early rego)
February: Cole Classic - $49 (early-bird entry, but sick as a dog on the day of the swim so I missed it); North Bondi - $35 (early rego. I still can't believe I managed to do this swim as a I was still pretty crook. I probably didn't want to waste any more money); Malabar - $40 (late rego); Long Reef - $35 (late rego, which is $10 more than online)
March: Manly - $30 (not sure if this was late rego); Sydney Harbour - $55 x 2 because I paid Precious Princess to keep me company (early rego)
April: Stanwell Park - $30 (early rego. I also lost a $29 pair of goggles in this swim); Balmoral Beach - $30 x 2 (late rego for PP and me); Mollymook - $30 x 3 (early rego for PP, The Hiss and me!)
May: Byron Bay - $65 (early rego).
The total is: $629. However, when I factor in the cost of daughters' regos and lost goggles, the total jumps to $838.
I'm actually feeling rather calm, but that might have something to do with a head cold dulled by a glass of Shiraz. And the other thing that makes me feel OK is that most of the money goes to good causes, including the SLSC and to fund cancer research. And it sure beats hanging out at the mall.