I'm sure most of us were tempted to stay tucked in bed as the alarm sounded this morning. And certainly many did. With the rain falling heavily and no sign or hint of daybreak I found it a challenge to get down to Manly. But as soon as I saw the first smiling face down here all my hesitations evaporated.
When I arrived about 6.15 it was still completely dark. I looked towards the black ocean with a sense of foreboding. The lights shining through the mist on the distant shore were the only definition between land and sea. The tide was out but the swell looked unpredictable. I could see the silhouette of seaweed clumps and various flotsam and jetsam that had been washed ashore during the high tide. Inviting? Certainly not but as I farewelled the 6.30's into their morning adventure, I knew that by 7am the morning light would have eased away the darkness and made the ocean appear less formidable.
How do the 6.30's do it?
As the Drinkwater Express swam towards Shelly, it did seem that the morning light was melting the darkness
Sarah, Henrietta and Gayle have such delightful beaming smiles which light up the gloomy morning
A relatively small group prepare to set out for their 7am swim
Rainer is still celebrating his new Aussi citizenship. On ya mate!
It was so considerate of Shelley to wear her fluoro orange costume today as she lit the way across the bay through the gloomy waters and guided everyone to safety!
Jemma and Greg excited for their swim
Having navigated our way through the minefield of seaweed, everyone was happy to reach Shelly. The water clarity was pretty poor and the shades of murky green suggested it was of dubious quality. There were reports of all sorts of floating nasties that swimmers came across, including a large dead puffer fish, and what one swimmer thought was a shark and another a dead body. Luckily it was neither, yet still remains unidentified.
Janet and Anne
Inga Sue and friend
Harry and Allen
Michelle, Gayle, Shelley and Brian
David, Holly and Mel
It felt like a 'Day of the Triffids" moment as we swam through the massive tangled seaweed forest
Having braved the seaweed battalion on the return journey, I was able to stop and just enjoy the moment. The water was a warm 23 degrees, the developing light enhanced the grey colours of the deeper water and there was a sense of calm and peacefulness being able to just float out in the middle of the bay by myself for a short time
I bumped into the courageous doublers at the point. I am amazed they were willing to take on the seaweed again!
One of the casualties of our rough, stormy weather
Justus, Ian, Allen, Edwina and Roger
The light seemed to be ever-changing this morning
Richard and Danny
David really enjoyed his swim today as it helped to relieve his aching muscles. On the weekend he competed in and completed his 6th Six Foot Track Marathon. Six Foot Track is a 45 km foot race commencing at Explorers Tree - Katoomba and finishing at Caves House - Jenolan Caves. First run in 1984 it is now an iconic annual Ultra Marathon event in the Trail Running Calendar. Our David ran it in 6 hours, 38 minutes, 35 seconds. Amazing achievement!!
Northside Running Group based at Crows Nest have provided and continue to provide a tailored training programme to get runners match fit for the 45 km event, yet more importantly bring together an awesome group of people to train, run, laugh, cry and enjoy every step of the six foot training programme, event and after party. Go to Northside Running Group for more info or just hit me up at BnB or check out these links
(By the way Paul Every of BnB, I believe is the oracle on this event and many other ultra marathon trail running events)
David with his fans, Mel, Holly and Anne
IMPORTANT NOTICE : CAKE STALL
This Saturday 18/3/17, I am running a cake stall outside the surf club to help kids in The Gambia, West Africa, with basic supplies for their kindy education. Most families are trying to survive on $1.00 a day. You can help me to help them by making a slice, cup cakes, buying baked goods or a small donation. All money raised goes directly to the kindy. Ian and I visited the Kindy last year and were touched by their need for basic supplies and their enthusiasm for schooling.
I hope you all enjoy the rest of your day!
Swimmers: Between 50-80
Newbies: I don't think any!!
Water temp: 23 degrees