Winter swimming in the glorious light at the Werri Beach ocean pool

At the beginning of winter we drove south to spend the weekend with friends at Trudy’s Werri Beach house. On the Saturday morning we went for a walk, bought a coffee from the man with the van near the surf club, then back home for Stephen’s leftover ragu. After lunch we retired to the lounges, read the papers, did the word target, the quiz in The Good Weekend and flipped through Trudy’s millions of magazines.

Werri Beach, Gerringong, NSW South Coast, June 2017

About three, Bruce headed out for a run and I decided it was time for a swim at the Werri Beach ocean pool. The grey skies from the morning had turned to blue and when I walked on to the beach, surfers in black wetsuits dotted the waves and the afternoon light cast a soft glow over the water.

Werri Beach, Gerringong, NSW South Coast

Far out to sea, a faint rainbow coloured the sky and close to the shore white water gushed over the sand in patterns like lace.

Werri Beach, Gerringong, NSW South Coast, Australia

Near the southern corner of the beach, surfers tiptoed over the rock platform and launched themselves into the sea.

Rock platform at the southern end of Werri Beach, Gerringong, NSW South Coast, Australia

The high tide poured out of the pool.

Werri Beach Rock Pool, Gerringong, NSW South Coast, Australia

“Going in,” I said to a young woman by the side of the pool. “Yes, but just for a second.”

Werri Beach Rock Pool, Gerringong, NSW South Coast, Australia

She walked down the steps, paused and then ducked under quickly, and then under again. Less than 20 seconds later she was out, drying off and walking away from the pool.

Werri Beach Rock Pool, Gerringong, NSW South Coast, Australia

And then it was just me and the pool. I stood on a raised block of concrete to protect my gear from the in-coming tide and gradually stripped off and then stepped into the pool.

Werri Beach Rock Pool, Gerringong, NSW South Coast, Australia

I paused for longer than the young woman, letting each part of my body adjust to the cold water. Eventually I ducked under and swam frantically to the deep end and after a couple of laps I felt warmer than before I’d got in.

Werri Beach Rock Pool, Gerringong, NSW South Coast, Australia

Occasionally people appeared at the shallow end and dipped their hands in the water. One woman told me she would have joined me but she’d already swum in the Bondi Icebergs that morning and how she used to swim in much colder temperatures when she lived in the UK. We kept chatting for a bit but when I started to get cold, she said: “Quick, get back to your swimming.”

Werri Beach Rock Pool, Gerringong, NSW South Coast, Australia

I swam up and down for about 20 laps, stopping every now and again to watch the light and the changing colours over the pool. When I got out I felt fantastic and as I dried off, the colours became more intense.

Werri Beach Rock Pool, Gerringong, NSW South Coast, Australia

Feeling euphoric after my cold water swim, and warm as toast with my fleece and trackies on, I stayed by the pool watching the light cast hues of pink, orange, gold and blue.

Werri Beach Rock Pool, Gerringong, NSW South Coast, Australia

Eventually I drew myself away and walked over the flooded rock platform where the grey and pale pink clouds reflected in the round children’s pool.

Children's pool, Werri Beach, Gerringong, NSW South Coast, Australia

‘Sensational,’ I said out loud to myself, and ‘glorious’ and ‘magnificent’ too!

Werri Beach Rock Pool, Gerringong, NSW South Coast, Australia

When I finally trudged up the hill and on to the path, gentle rain started to fall. I wrapped my beach towel around my shoulders and over my head and hurried back to the gang and the warmth of Trudy’s house.

Werri Beach Rock Pool, Gerringong, NSW South Coast, Australia

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12 Comments

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  • You really captured how good it feels when you go swimming in winter. The cold water makes you feel buzzy all over. Love the photos as well. Well done Therese. 🏊

  • Therese it is lovely. Reminds me of all the weekend we used to spend at Coalcliff. Fantastic light and colours. Best wishes, Mary

    • Thanks Mary. I dropped into the Coalcliff Pool in late winter or early spring last year and had a dip and was remembering your family’s house there. I had a look for it but I think a new house stands where it was. Is that right? Beautiful spot! All the best to you too!

  • Therese what a lovely story. We certainty had a great weekend. You make me want to swim. From Trudy @ Trudy’s house. Xxxxxxx

    • Thanks for having us Trude. It’s because of you I have got to know the Werri Beach Ocean Pool plus the Ladies Pool and Campbell’s Hole which I will have to write about in other stories. Look forward to having a swim with you in the warmer weather!

  • So glad you write so well about swimming at this time of year I feel I have been for a dip. HaHa. Loved the photos and the story.

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