Sunshine on my shoulder at the North Curly Rock Pool

The sign on North Curl Curl Beach yesterday said it all: ‘Best day in weeks. Enjoy.” Finally the endless rain had stopped in Sydney, the sun was out and I was walking across the yellow sand towards the North Curl Curl Rock Pool.

The only problem was that I hadn’t left myself much time as I’d spent the morning at an art exhibition called Water at the Northern Beaches Creative Space, followed by coffee and lots of chat with my friend Kath.

Detail of Ocean Walk by Deirdre Hart

I only had about 20 minutes before I had to get back to the inner west, but there was no way I was going miss out on a salt water swim.

So I hurried across the sand, past beach umbrellas, sun-bakers and moss-covered rocks till I reached the pool.

The North Curly Pool is distinctive in a number of ways. It’s half naturally formed and half man-made with a rock in the middle that from one angle looks like a manta ray and from the side, more like a whale.

Above is a huge overhanging sandstone cliff that casts a shadow on one side and near the entrance there’s a number of brightly coloured signs. One is in Chinese warning of slippery rocks and big waves and another alerts swimmers that dangerous creatures may share ocean pools.

I didn’t meet any sharks when I slipped into the water for my very quick dip, just some seaweed and a few small fish.

I skimmed along the sandy bottom and swam towards the edge where the waves were rising up.

And climbed on to the boulder in the middle and watched families look for marine life in the rock pools beyond the fence.

When I climbed to the top of the steep stairs and looked back, I kept wishing I wasn’t in a hurry and could linger long in this lovely ocean pool.

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