Monday, 4 March 2013

Desperate and dateless: yet another swim postponed due to nasty weather and mean surf

After last year's Freshwater swim: nice big orange buoys

At the cafe at Freshwater Beach
It was bad enough when Bondi was postponed and Long Reef cancelled. And last weekend it happened again. Conditions at Sydney's beaches were so awful that the organisers of the Freshwater swim decided to call the whole thing off.

They left it until Saturday arvo to make the call but we all knew it was coming.

Friday's weather was atrocious. Actually, I think the whole week was pretty topsy turvy. But Friday went ballistic. Monster winds and slanting relentless rain turned the city into a car pool, literally.

Saturday wasn't much better, though the rain abated for the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (as it always does because God has lots of gay friends, and there are rumours...)

Twenty two Sydney beaches were closed on Saturday because of dangerous conditions, Freshwater amongst them.

Because I don't live near the beach I didn't witness the big surf but we're talking six-foot waves, messy, untidy conditions, nasty rips and all that stuff that makes swimming in it a rather treacherous affair.

In the olden days an event such as The Barney Mullins at Freshwater Beach, not far from Manly, might have still been held.

But what with the sport of ocean swimming growing exponentially, organisers chew their nails whenever the weather closes in. None of the surf life saving clubs wants to lose a swimmer. And now there's more swimmers and more ocean swims on the calendar, the odds are greater that someone at some point in time might get hurt in a swim.

Insurance premiums are up, and after several deaths at surf lifesaving events over the past decade you can't blame organisers for pulling the plug at the 11th hour.

This coming weekend on March 10 is Caves Beach swim, which I was going to have to miss because of a prior commitment. With withdrawal symptoms kicking in, I am considering a way out of that commitment.

Let's hope the weather improves. The experts claim that climate change is to blame for Australia's chaotic summer of bushfires followed by floods.

Sydney's summer was the hottest on record, though it's hard to believe when there was so much rain.

We all need to consider our lifestyles and how we can, in some small way, make a change to help our ailing planet.

I live with Spanner so it will be harder for me to initiate changes such as solar panels and other electricity saving devices that take some time to show a financial return. Spanner should really be a politician but don't get me started.

A small victory was that I finally started a compost heap that has halved the amount of rubbish we put in our wheelie bin. At first, Spanner didn't want to know about it and continued to chuck his stuff in the bin. He is change resistent. But I have worn him down. A small win for womankind!  Woo hoo!

Enjoy the pics from last year's Freshwater swim. This year's has been moved to Good Friday on March 29. The Bondi swim is on Easter Sunday. Fingers crossed.

Freshwater 2012

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