Monday, 26 March 2012

North Steyne to Shelly Beach and back

Saturday night: Party party. I drink a cocktail and convince myself it's loaded with vitamins because somewhere mixed into a concoction of overproof spirits is a hint of passionfruit. Add to this a couple of glasses of fruity shiraz - more goodness in the form of antioxidants. 

Next, jam as many canapes down cake hole as is humanly possible (not humanely). Sausage rolls filled with real sausage, mini hamburgers, meat pies and small delicate pastries. And cake! Cream and jam-filled sponge with icing decorated with chocolate flowers. 

Fall into bed exhausted and bloated around midnight.

Sunday morning: Wake at 2.30am, guzzle down buckets of water. Fall asleep at 4.30am and wake at 8.30am.

Text Ms Fivestar: 'Am thinking of breakfast at North Steyne and maybe a swim. Wanna come?' 

Ms Fivestar says 'yes' so I drag myself into the car and pick her up. We head north over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We are Manly-bound. 

I'm under the misguided impression the North Steyne to Shelly Beach swim starts at 10am and is 2.2 km long. "I'd love to do the swim but I reckon we'll be too late." Secretly hoping.

We arrive at the beach, find a two-hour parking space (because that's all you can get in Manly unless you live there) and stroll to South Steyne before I remember the swim is run by the North Steyne SLSC. We continue at a casual pace along the Norfolk Palm-lined promenade. I think about a hot flat white and tomatoes with salt and pepper on buttery toast.  Yum.

Turns out the swim starts at 10.30am so I have time to register. Bugger. Turns out the swim is 2.8 km and is to Shelly Beach and back. Double bugger. 

I bump into a couple of my swim squad friends and Ms Fivestar, who only ever paddles, points out that the surf break is tiny "like a pool". I am committed. 

As it turns out, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be though I was puffed by the time I turned around the yellow can at Shelly Beach. 

What's nice about this swim? 

1. It was a real community swim. It wasn't too crowded like many of the swims held at the peak of the season in January and February. 

2. My age group didn't start last. Yay. We were in the second of three waves. 

3. The surf was gentle so it was a lovely swim to the first can, which wasn't placed too far away. 

4. It involved a journey, of sorts, even though it was a circuit. We swam down the beach to South Steyne and then in to Shelly Beach before heading back.

5. If the water had been clearer, we would have been able to see the huge numbers and variety of fish that hang out in Cabbage Tree Bay.

6. I could see to the sea's sandy bottom (!) as I swam out of Cabbage Tree Bay, so even though I was a long way from the shore, it was still shallow. 

7. Because I breathe on the left I had a view of the promenade on the way back - right-side breathers would have enjoyed this picture postcard on the first half of the swim. 

8. On the way back in to shore I saw silver bream darting in the shallows. 

9. Getting out wasn't too hard and the run up the beach was reasonably short. 

10. Breakfast! There's hundreds of cafes to choose from in Manly. 

Sounds like my life is just one long hedonistic binge! Woo hoo! Tonight I am off to see The Cranberries with sister-in-law, Nurse Nice. Turns out the show was cancelled last Thursday and her hubby, who was going to go, can't make it tonight. 

I'm cramming it in! 

PS: I will write more about Precious Princess's 21st in my next post. More specifically I will focus on the gift she received from her male work colleagues. Hooley Dooley.  

PPS: Thanks to Ms Fivestar for photos taken on her iPhone. I'll load a few more later when I have a spare moment.

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