Sunday, December 15, 2013

Thoughts and distractions in Cabbage Tree Bay

My thoughts and distractions during an ocean swim...

Jen Gwynne's GPS-in-a-plastic bag measured the 2km swim at 1.67km.
Manly LSC Blue Dolphins

The starting line
the rope in the sand
the feet on the start
getting a photo
clearing my goggles
listening to the briefing
5 booees
count down
go - press start on the watch
running into the water
knees up
dolphin diving
starting to swim
sighting the booee
finding a path through the swimmers
trying to get a good rhythm
trying not to go too hard at the start
forgetting all that
other swimmers in front and next to you
swimmers' togs
other swimmers' kicking
swimming pace
breathing rhythm
the clarity of the water
sandy bottom
ripples on the sand
other patterns caused by shifting sand on the seabed
the booee
around the booee
getting a heading across the bay
rocks of the bower
sandy seafloor
sunlight patterns in the water
other swimmers nearby
the commotion in the water from swimmers
patterns on the rocks
fish in the rocks
feeling the pull of the ocean
thinking maybe it's faster over to your right
not worrying about it
swimming with the ocean
booees again
the crush of swimmers
finding a space again
red togs
finding a pace after turning the beach booees
seaweed now to look at
finding fish in the seaweed
wondering if I will see the groper
or the turtle or sharks
more fish
red togs still
yellow building to sight the booee
still fish
round another booee
divers down underneath!
a Santa hat (did I really see that?)
neon fins very bright
would be a good photo
they could take a good photo of us!
too late
more fish
very colourful fish swimming right around me
sighting the final booee
red togs still there
another pair of red togs on my left
wondering if I can get a better pace
taking on water when trying to breath
changing your stroke to get your pace right
forgetting to keep that rhythm
trying again
realising the swim's almost over
remembering to actually try harder
getting a better catch in the water
forgetting about that when you go past more fish in the rocks
turning the final booee
sighting the shore
aiming for the waves
feeling the pull & push of the ocean
swimming with it
going nowhere
catching waves
missing waves
touching the sand
catching the last wave
running up the beach to finish
That was fun.
Jen Gwynne


  1. Another fabulous swim around Manly with the only problem being, it was too short. We got out and wanted to do it all again.

  2. I didn't do this swim this year, however, I did do it a couple of times when it was run later in the season (March?). Anyway, why would you even bother with the Cole Classic when you can do this one? Cheaper, better organised (pick up cap and timing chip on the day, option to enter on the day), less crowded and it doesn't take all day to get the competitors off the beach. One year I too saw divers as well as 3 baby sharks in Cabbage Tree Bay - just fabulous! Loved reading Jen's post above, brought back memories of a lovely swim.
    Susan Tutt.


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