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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.