I thought I'd share this immediately as I'm sure my memory will fade and it will hone in on the good points rather than a balanced view.
You might remember last year I talked about the Bold and Beautiful group that swim each morning in Manly from South Sterne to Shelly Beach (1.3km ocean swim). One of my sisters Annette regularly swims and has been gently encouraging me to come along and join them. If you know me you'll know that I'm a bit of a scardie cat and worry about what 'could happen', so to swim this morning was quiet a challenge.
I arrived around 6.40am for the 7 o'clock start, by 6.50am I was hoping Annette wouldn't arrive and I could enjoy a leisurely paddle instead, but alas Annette arrived and before I knew it I was being introduced to Julie who is the organiser, given a pink cap and then started to chat with other swimmers. One lovely lady, who probably didn't realise it was my first swim, proudly boasted that she saw 2 sharks yesterday. My thoughts went immediately to the dreadful events in WA where many people have lost their lives to sharks.
Annette and others tried to reassure me that they were only baby sharks and they won't hurt us as there's so many fish down there for them to eat and besides with so many swimmers we scare the sharks away. I kept thinking if there are baby sharks then mother shark must be close by but before I knew it I was wadding out into the water with 50 other pink capped people trying to manoeuvre our way around the seaweed.
Maybe I'm lucky, maybe I'm not but my eye sight isn't that sharp and so I did see lots of dark objects and I thought a couple of 'baby' sharks (if I did they were small) and beautiful blue fish. My imagination was going wild, thinking that the 'mother' shark will pick me out of the crowd and gobble me up and each time a piece of seaweed touched me I leaped out of the water. I was determined that once we arrived at Shelly Beach I'd be out of that water so fast and I wouldn't be back in, I'd walk back to Manly. But when we arrived I felt a sense of achievement and decided to swim back, this time I would count each stroke and stop my imagination misbehaving.
It was a relaxing swim back until we were about 100 metres or so off shore; there was a rip and it was two strokes forward and one back. Thank goodness Annette and Maureen stayed with me as I did start to panic a bit mostly because my arms were getting weary and when I caught a wave I unfortunately got a cramp in my leg. Finally we arrived and it was with such relieve I could have kissed the sand but as well I had a great sense of achievement.
I'll be back next Friday but I'll be only swimming to Shelley Beach and not the return, I need to get used to this type of swimming plus I need some enjoyment for this challenge.
PS Afterwards everyone said "Did you see the sharks?"
|Photo from last year|