|Belmont at Lake Macquarie. Spanner obligingly posed for this pic. Check out the rims of his spectacles. What a dork!|
Ocean swimming is addictive.
I find it hard to miss a swim in summer when there's an ocean swim on somewhere in Sydney every weekend. This Sunday it's the 2.4 km Malabar Magic Ocean Swim.
Because of the continual wet weather Malabar, a surfless* beach in Sydney's south, sometimes gets a bit whiffy. The effluent from the sewerage outlet tends to hang around after heavy rain.
The Malabar Magic swim has been around for three years and that's how many times I've done it. In its first year the finish line was in Little Bay, a beach 'around the corner' from Malabar. By corner I mean a small headland.
Conditions that day were so bad - I remember the vomit-inducing swell - that the course now starts and ends at Malabar. Boring maybe. But that first year I'm pretty sure I missed the last buoy, so desperate was I to get to the shore. Sort of accidental cheating. It was a bloody hard swim.
I find Malabar and its surrounds a strange part of the coast. Not my cuppa. Behind Little Bay is the more famous Botany Bay, where the then Lieutenant James Cook, who later became a captain, landed in 1770 on the ship the Endeavour. In 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip popped in with the First Fleet but decided to move on because of poor soil quality and a lack of fresh water.
Back to the present... Oh dear. I just checked the Beachwatch Bulletin, which gives updates on conditions at Sydney beaches, and Malabar isn't looking good. Check out the map of the coast with smiley faces handed out like gold stars to the unpolluted beaches. The only beach with a Ghostbusters symbol (representing POLLUTION) stamped on it is Malabar. Yuck. Guess I'll have to wear earplugs.
Check out the map here: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/beachapp/OceanBulletin.aspx
I think rain is predicted for the weekend. Sydneysiders won't know what to whinge about once the rain goes. They'll have to re-focus on our ailing economy and a super strong Aussie dollar that's great if you're travelling overseas but not much good for anything else.
Everyone is cranky.
On a happier note, next Saturday my swim squad peeps and I are tooling it past the Central Coast to Lake Macquarie for the 3.8 km swim across the lake. I've never swum that far before in an an open water swim. It's gonna be tough but lots of fun.
* = sans surf