Update on Dawn Fraser Baths

Today the two Mrs Gs and Mrs B became reacquainted with the faboulousness of Sydney Harbour by doing the 1.1 km Dawny to Cockatoo swim.

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It was a great day – water temp 20 degrees and a friendly and fun atmosphere that we so appreciate. No wetsuit required! The conditions were ideal and we did record times while taking in the great vista of Cockatoo Island and passing watercraft. Also said hi to the lovely mermaid  who we are fans of as well – another like minded swimming soul.

No sharks, just clear lovely water and the odd jelly fish. A great ambience and much improved swimming times from the last time we did this race.

After competing in record time, Mrs B and Mrs G ended with a feast at Kazbah. Balmain we are coming back!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South Curl Curl Rockpool

  South Curl Curl Rockpool

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Again the Gs were impressed with the fantastic ocean pools , ease of parking and friendly open folk of the Northern Beaches. No matter where the Gs venture the marvel of Sydney never ceases to amaze.

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South Curl Curl Rockpool was the destination of our Autumn ocean swimming adventure. The water was still warm around 22 degrees and the sun was out too. Good idea to check the cleaning schedule to time your visit appropriately.southcurlcurl1

The beach adjacent is a famous surf beach with a long stretch of white sand that will go well in any holiday destination photo.

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We obtained great parking on the main road and then it was down the stairs . There was also disabled parking and access straight from the car park to the water.

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The Ocean pool at South Curl Curl again, spectacular. The pool consists of 2 pools with a divider down the middle. A 6 lane 50 metre training pool and a 25m x 15m shallow play pool. This way the serious swimmers like the Gs can be separated from the yummy mummies and their offspring. The water was clean and it was a pleasure to do laps and appreciate the scenery.

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We were   struck by the fact that this magnificent Olympic sized pool is free and publicly available for all to enjoy. Lets hope things don’t change in that regard.

We arrived around lunchtime to see a group of children in red sun tshirts coming to enjoy the pool. These children were from Stewart house located across the road. Stewart House was set up in the 1930s and is still in operation today. It was created to give disadvantaged children a seaside holiday experience. Many of these children are from the far west of NSW and have never seen the ocean.

“ The School provides an education program to assist with the development of the emotional, psychological, physical and educational needs of visiting students and an excursion program to enable students to see the tourist sites of Sydney.”

It was heartwarming to see them all having such a lovely time.

The Gs did their laps and chatted to a lady who is a regular swimmer there. She gave us some incite into the increase in the property market and the up coming retirement village to be built. Sounds amazing but we are hopefully years off that. According to swimsallyswim the retires who sunbake along the wall are called “walruses” . This is not a label the svelte Gs wish to acquire too soon

The changerooms were clean and the showers are cold. The open space meant the Gs we able to chat with local ladies on the serious issues such as packing your swimming bag in a logical and prepared manner. There’s nothing like communal nudity to get a conversation going!

The surrounds to this pool include older style houses and a chilled café “ Gusto” on the beach where we were able to have a great coffee and couscous salad afterwards.

We will come back to spend more time here again- part of our continuing love of the North.

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Cronulla

It was a stunning sunshine filled autumn day that saw the Gs venture to the Shire.

We began the day with the St John family at Oak Park Pool .  The St John Family are doing a documentary originally conceived as a tribute to former Olympian Brett Hill who helped Graeme St John rehabilitate from a stroke and heart disease by swimming. Graeme a former rugby player will swim a lap in more than 40 pools across Sydney. Eliza a talented young actress and his daughter is putting together this great project. The Gs were thrilled to meet the family and swim a lap with Graeme in our bright yellow Oceanfit caps as well as do a bit of a whoop and holla as we finished. Graeme is a liked minded soul who shares the Gs love and enthusiasm of the wonderful free outdoor pools that Sydney has to offer.

Oak Park pool is a mini beach with a man made pool on 3 sides. For lap swimmers it is not particularly long but we had a great swim with Graeme who explained it is not so much about the distance but the technique we liked this but we didn’t think he meant bralking was the best technique. There is a grassed area, seating and a playground.  At the beach families with little ones started arriving. It’s a great spot to hang out with the family, take in the view, swim and make a few sandcastles.

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The pool sits just below the Cronulla coastal walk and was pleasantly quiet at the end of a residential street with no parking. This may be why it is like a well kept secret for the locals. There are showers and toilets, but they are not exactly glamorous.

There are 5 ocean pools in the Cronulla area, Oak Park being the most southern of the Cronulla rock pools. The others are at North Cronulla, South Cronulla, Shelley beach and Gunamatta. Our next stop was Cronulla beach. Visiting Cronulla beach was like stepping into the pages of Puberty Blues for “2 slack moles” like the Mrs Gs who grew up on the beaches in the 1970s. Cronulla was “deadset fab” although we cant say that of the coffee. The café was nice enough and food fine but the coffee just didn’t make the grade. We “bludged” work to hang out in the shire but were a bit disappointed there were no sexy fifty something year olds to “crack on to” us. At least the Gs didn’t have to worry about being “dropped”.

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Cronulla reminded us little of a quiet surfers paradise probably because of the many  units surrounding the beach and Norfolk Pines. As we wandered along to the pools we were happy the see the lap pool at south Cronulla being scrubbed by 2 workers, one in the water.

On a historic note Nana B came here in the 1940s on one of her visits from England before settling in Australia in 1948 and Cronulla was a popular holiday spot at the time. We have also been led to believe it is a popular place for clandestine affairs for Eastern suburbs socialites.

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In Cronulla you can have it all- the splendid isolation of Oak Park or the glitz of Shelley beach with the ocean as well as a number of pools to swim in and lots of places to eat or just soak up the sun. We especially liked the sun-lounges built into the promenade.

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We did not swim in the other Cronulla pools so did not get a proper feel for them. With winter coming our swimming ventures may slow down but watch this space next season as we intend to “nick off” work and have another excursion to the shire.

In an update check out the actions of this brave woman who wrestled a shark out of the pool – just amazing!!

Icebergs at Bondi Beach

The Bondi Icebergs is the only licensed Winter Swimming Club in the world.”  

Location, location, location! Like the piece of prime real estate that it is at Notts Ave, Bondi Beach Icebergs is a gleaming star of a pool. Steeped in history dating back to 1929 with a long tradition of iced water swimming in winter.  This is a multi purpose facility including a bistro, café, gym, yoga on the deck,and massage.  At this pool there is great  merchandise and other facilities  as well as  a Twitter feed and pool camera to keep you updated on changing conditions hourly- how clever!

This is a place to be seen and the cool Mrs G’s  enjoy the fun of gasbagging with the great old blokes who hang out during the week in their saggy speedos and make us feel like eye candy to basking in the sun with  the gorgeous poseurs of the weekend crowd. Like chameleons we fit in everywhere particularly if wearing our new wetsuits which are not just for warmth but also controlling wobbly bits and also a great disguise. Not surprisingly in such a chic environment we often find there are French speakers hanging about, we even caught 2 young French girls copying our swimming stroke – the bralk. Maybe it will take off as an olympic sport.

White is everywhere, we assume replicating icebergs –  the building, the rocks, the pool and of course the teeth of the beautiful people! We did not spot any celebs but we feel this is the place to find them and the website attests to a long association with visiting sporting teams so we will be on the lookout on future visits.

There are 2 pools –  one for laps and a shallow one for children and walkers. The smaller pool is also handy for Mrs G’s exercise regime following a hip injury and faciiltates some “ rehab and talking time” thus allowing her to tell her physio truthful tales of “ hard slog in the pool”.

As a swim, we find its best in the slow lane of the Olympic sized pool where, you can swim  and  of course talk We have perfected the art of chatting to each other as we swim thereby taking up most of the lane. Probably not good form but so far, we have avoided any real pool rage from the others. On our many visits pool is usually clean and a lovely swim giving us the opportunity for some ocean swimming practice without being out in the open.

On a more practical note, the cost is $5.50 for casual swimmer and importantly be aware that the pool is closed on a Thursday for cleaning. Lockers are available and good to use too. Mrs G has perfected the art of hiding her key in tampon container and we did see someone who had ingeniously attached it to the strap of her speedos. You do learn something everyday!  The showers are just the right temperature with no costs for a decent flow of hot water.  There is a small shaded area near the kid’s pool and on the deck and most swimmers hung out on the steps and sunbaked there. There are steps and  ramp to access the main complex and the pool so there is some help for those with mobility challenges.

The café has a limited menu however great coffee, baguettes on the deck and a great view of Bondi and beyond makes for a stunning finish to the swim.