Monday, February 16, 2009

Swimming in Sydney Harbour ...

I was planningo to do the Bridge to beach swim - 11km in the harbour from the bridge to Manly... I am not so sure now.... will the swim still be on? any thoughts?



  1. I'm in the same boat, I had a paddler sorted out who was keen and was set to go as this is a great swim for a challenge and something to strive for. But with the press (and it does give you moment for pause no matter how tough you are) my wife hasn’t been happy for me to do it and truth be told I haven’t taken much convincing. I have notice this year an increase in what seems to be the also obligatory fly over by the Westpac helicopter and others before the race. I believe this is not just for the view and fanfare but to check to see if there is indeed a big nasty lurking in the deep. Admittedly this gives me more confidence but as soon as the race starts the last thing going through my mind is sharks, after all they are races. Different story on the long swims it’s more of a personal challenge and you have time to think, time to wonder and time to panic. I’m sure the swim will be on and lots will do it with boats and paddlers close along side. But at the moment I don’t think I will be one of them. The state governments warning didn’t help my cause either. Best of luck to those who do and I’m interested in heard from anyone who can change my mind.

    Jordan Stockdale

  2. Carn OS.c?

    there's plenty of us "nominees" who've put our names to our comments to pick a weekly winner of the slab o Squirey's, despite the multitude of "anonymees". Surely our humble two-blob's worths (dodgy pun fully intended - even if it rules me right out of contention for da beer) are not that devoid of value that you could withold the prize on account of lack of quality like they might do for some poncey architectural gong or sumfin? Or do ya wanna make a skins tournament out of it and jackpot the kitty to next week?

    I look forward to your positive and expedient response,


  3. A reasonable response on the face of it, Davo, but even you, who have signed on formally as a blob follower, do not give your name, just a nickname.

    Who the hell are ya? Unveil yourself and we'll take your point seriously


  4. Sorry the OS.c,

    I thought my name was on display with my other details on my own blog which can be accessed from my follower icon on the left; and successfully so on over 130 occasions since i set it up last month (but sadly no comments yet).

    In any case I'm not the only one using a "nom de plume" - present company included!


    David Love (AKA Davo).

  5. Ah, the cloak removed ... Davo has been an energetic contributor to the blob, sometimes even relevantly, usually amusing, very often constructive.

    So the James Squire Award this week goes to Davo, if only in encouragement of all you Anonymous blobbers -- and you are legion -- to come out of the closet. It's February, after all.


  6. Touché OS.c,

    Flattery will get you everywhere!



  7. I am also in this boat. Usually I wouldn't hesitate to jump in, at Malabar on Sunday I was more concerned with swallowing one of those 'jelly things'. However B2B is a long swim, alot of time for contemplation of what is below.

    While at the same time I believe there is very little risk especially with all the boats about the harbour my mind is playing games with me.

    However, that led me to thinking - how about if I or my paddler had a shark shield on, you can rent them it seems and I wonder if this would overcome the psychological barrier?


  8. The Threat of Noah's In The Harbour Swims?

    Perhaps I should have responded to this before I had my whinge to OS.c about anonymity n prizes.

    Until recently I wasn't game enought participate in harbour swims because of the deep water and aggressive nature of Bull Sharks in particular.

    But considering all the reportage of last weeks attacks, I reckon the organisers of all events are on notice to keep a vigilant lookout for sharks and well and truly shoe them off with motorised craft. It would only take one attack during a race to have the meeja and probably the pollies get into a tiz and call us a bunch of irresponsible so-and-so's.

    So with that comforting thought and the statistical probability of safety in numbers, we've probably never been safer. So I'll be swimming both races at Farm Cove next month. But the "seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care" derby is a bit too long for me just yet.


  9. YOu and me davo, Same boat .
    The thought of being isolated. just me swimming and the paddler next to me concerms mesomewhat . . At least in most of the short swims- Up to 4kms - you can swim in the pack. . .
    IT alost makes the Bondi to watsons bay more enticing. . .and its a KM shorter???

    Stil considering it, justneed somethign to tip me over the edge and get bck into it. .. .

    Farm Cove for sure, will bethereafter iheard they were going to put divers under the water "just like they do every year" so they have a safe swim.

    HAPPY DAYS . . At least we will be second course. . .


    Craig N

  10. Back to the real question of swimming with sharks - i haven't voted in the poll because my answer isn't there - namely - "I'll think more carefully about what time & murkiness I'll go swimming in".

  11. I have entered myself in the bridge to beach swim. Was hoping to get an idea of precautions that may be taken by the organisers and how any people have entered. Would hate to turn up on the day and be one of only a handful and then get left for dead on the start line. I know the risks of sharks is small but the comfort of a few others around is always welcomed.

  12. Maybe if the threat of sharks is a concern, you could try marinating yourself in Lavender oil. I noticed a distinct smell of it at Malabar (amongst other smells). Perhaps someone decided to err on the side of old wives tales. Maybe it works? No one was eaten.

  13. Thanks OSC for opening up an interesting blog. The Sydney Harbour Swim Classic in Farm Cove has commited to running a safe event since the inaugural swim in 2002. This year especially, as always, the swim will be managed under the supervision of safety and rescue professionals. We are taking serious precautions to make sure the event is run in the best interest of the swimmers.

  14. How does everyone feel about the Bridge to Beach swim and will you be going ahead with it?

    I am nervous about the swim given more bad press and pictures of a shark caught off Clifton Gardens but will still take part.

  15. Does the idea of more scuba divers to protect us strike anyone else as kind of ironic?

    Apparently the over 60's waves are banned this year due to threats of incontinence attracting more sharks.


  16. That was a rather sad story about the large shark injured on purpose at Clifton Gardens. I'm no shark expert, but the images of that brown shark with a pointy snout look more like a "bronze whaler". Bronze whalers are always in the harbour. They eat schooling fish and squid. Wouldn't have much interest in ocean swimmers. They might take a dislike to spearfisherman, but so do I when I crash into them off the rocks at South Coogee.

  17. Dear Richard, ' Bronze whaler' is a a generic term for a whole bunch of whaler sharks including the dusky and the Bull shark. But the piscal world thanks you for your detailed and definitive description of a 'brown shark with a pointy snout'.....thanks Richard, you just described 88% of all sharks.

    On the upside you have backed up your opening are indeed no shark expert.

    To draw an analogy, referring to a 'bronze whaler' is a bit like saying you were attacked by a Nissan. The big one, the little one, the blue one etc? The Bull sharks (lets call them the Nissan Bluebirds) are REAL nasty, they can live in both fresh and salt water. In fact, there is a land locked fresh water lake in Nicaguara that is full of them.

    But Richard, I will give you a bone here. Here is an arguement you can actually employ with some kind of authority.. It's a free one. On me.

    Are you ready Richard, got a pen???? Here goes..

    If a fisherman fights a shark for two hours and then 'tags and releases' it (when it is exhausted) into the harbour isn't that MORE of a risk to swimmers? A disabled fish unable to hunt those fast moving fish, Richard.........are you with me big guy???

    Oh and the spearfisherman you crash into are only carrying handspears, not spearguns.

    Any further questions Richard, feel free to look me up for a dose of common sense.


  18. I always think that during an open water swim with boats buzzing around and other swimmers you have a better chance than at others times. I swam Rotto last year and my paddler had a shark shield but I am not convinced it would make much difference as you would need to be swimming quite close for it to be effective. I was using the personal ones but there are devices to mount on boats with larger range.

    I have entered the Bridge to Beach on the 15 March but still don't have have a paddler for the event so if you know someone who might be interested I can be contacted at
    I have kayak organised and ready to go and can transport the paddler to the start line etc.

    I haven;t done the 11k before but it sounds like the stringers will be the major threat in the water

  19. I've searched the Harbour swim website to see what time swimmers in the 2k swim should arrive.
    It says the late registration tables close at 8.30am. Does mean we have to get there an hour and a half before the swim to collect our timing chips?

  20. I think I will abandon my idea of getting a shark shield for the event:,25197,23300091-30417,00.html

    I see their sales have gone up though.

    Better anyway, it is all psychological, they have been swimming around near us for a long time before this summer. Though reading the SMH and the like you would think sharks just arrived in Australia.

  21. I just noticed on the website that the organisers have cancelled the Bridge to Beach 11km swim. That settles that then.

  22. NO! They have canceled it! Disapointing

    With the Cole Classic 10km gone, that just leaves Bondi-Watsons bay? I take it there have been no more mummerings about cancelling any Ocean Swims - i'll be at Manly on Sunday so hope not!!!!

  23. I believe that the 11km Sydney harbour swim planned for 15 March has been cancelled (for safety reasons).

  24. There you go, Anonymous. The decision to swim or not to swim has been taken out of your hands.

    Bridge to beach Swim cancelled, Fears the water could be too "bitey". !!!


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