Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Delightfully Damp Dawny Cockatoo Island Challenge

On November 17 I did the Dawn Fraser Cockatoo Island Challenge, a 2.4 km swim around Cockatoo Island. The island serves as an industrial museum and swimmers were treated to visions of cranes and warehouses en route.  Many in Sydney won’t swim in the harbour believing it dirty and full of dead things. Not true! It may be a bit murky but the water quality is good. Definitely no corpse encounters. Today it was warmer in than out with the water temperature at 20 degrees. We had a rain squall on the way around. What fun! 

This is my third Dawny swim and I am afraid my last. We are heading back to the North of England next year. I guess next summer will also see me swimming in squally rain (but very cold water) in the Lake District in Cumbria.

This is my first swim of the season and it was great to see my ocean swimming chums again. I have missed them over the winter.  This swim was also special because husband Sid participated in the 1km event. But he was still there at the end to cheers us in.

As usual the swim started in the water. The waves of swimmers were large and close together as the swim needs to be completed before the Sydney Harbour ferries start. We sighted on a “bloody big crane” as the course marshal described it, to take us around to the back of the island, then swam single file under a bridge at the ferry landing and along the back of the island. As we came around the other side the squall descended upon us. The sea got choppy and visibility was poor. As usual I lost my bearings swimming back from the island. Added to this there was a pull from the tide which added a bit of distance to my swim. Arriving at the jetty there were plenty on hand to help us out of the water. Then it was a quick massage from one of the sponsors and some fruit before heading off to a cafĂ© for breakfast number two. Coffee and a doughnut, a right nice treat!

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