Harbour

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A new perspective on the Dawny Swim
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A night of spinning swimming yarns
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Meditating on lines and stripes at the pool
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Another day in paradise at Balmain’s Dawn Fraser Baths
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Underwater with Narelle Autio, Persephone and me
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Swimming with seahorses at Watson’s Bay Baths
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Swim into history at Australia’s heritage pools
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Wonderful watery words
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The swimming club at Northbridge Baths
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Hobart’s old and new pools

A new perspective on the Dawny Swim

Last Sunday I got a different perspective on the Dawny Swim watching it from Cockatoo Island. In 2011 and 2012 I took part in the 2.4 km swim from Balmain’s Dawn Fraser Baths and around Cockatoo, and I was going to enter again this year.  But when I was deliberating about whether my head was in the[…]

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A night of spinning swimming yarns

Last night I was part of an evening of ocean swimming yarns held at the Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel. It was a great night of story-telling loosely based around the theme of ‘my first time’ with no two stories the same. We heard about facing fears and making it out past the waves at Bondi, the art[…]

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Meditating on lines and stripes at the pool

Looking at an exhibition of contemporary textiles at the Sturt Gallery in Mittagong recently made me think of lines and stripes at pools. Called Parallels, artist Barbara Rogers explored the “diversity and language of the stripe; the simplest of all patterns…” Some of her silk textiles reminded me of particular pools especially ones she created in shades of green and blue. When[…]

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Another day in paradise at Balmain’s Dawn Fraser Baths

When I was swimming around Cockatoo Island on Sunday morning, the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt was on my mind. Captain Thunderbolt aka Fred Ward was imprisoned on the island for stealing horses. In 1863 he escaped by swimming the 600 metres or so to shore. He emerged from the water at a place in Balmain that became[…]

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Underwater with Narelle Autio, Persephone and me

A favourite game among my friends back in the 1970s at Northbridge Baths was to dare each other to dive under the suspended starting blocks and come up the other side. The bottom of the blocks was often covered in moss, so it was bit like venturing into a dark, slightly disorientating world. I was always[…]

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Swimming with seahorses at Watson’s Bay Baths

Seahorses like hanging out at Watson’s Bay Baths.  Their natural home is seagrass but over the years they have taken a liking to the pool’s shark nets. Scuba diver Dave Thomas says they prefer them because it gets them off the ground and away from predators. “And they can’t chase things down, so they rely[…]

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Swim into history at Australia’s heritage pools

A story I wrote on some of Australia’s heritage pools entitled ‘Treasured pearls of the past’ is in the travel section of The Weekend Australian, 26-27 March, 2011. The featured pools are Manuka Pool, Canberra, Spring Hill Baths, Brisbane, Tobruk Memorial Baths, Townsville, Wylie’s Baths, Coogee, Newcastle Ocean Baths, Dawn Fraser Baths, Balmain, North Sydney[…]

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Wonderful watery words

When I was reading Kate Grenville’s novel The Lieutenant on Hamilton Island I was struck by her beautiful descriptions of water. So I thought I would share some of those passages. The Lieutenant is the story of Daniel Rooke, a young soldier and astronomer who arrives in NSW on the First Fleet in 1788. It’s the[…]

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The swimming club at Northbridge Baths

A couple of Saturdays ago I ventured back to Northbridge Baths, where I spent a signficant part of my childhood. I arrived around 8am in time to experience the joys of the Saturday morning swimming club. From the late 1960s to the very early 80s I was a member of the swimming club. Every Saturday[…]

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Hobart’s old and new pools

While we were in Tasmania for a wedding last week, I went to the Hobart Aquatic Centre for a swim. Hobart City Council advertises this complex as an escape to a sub-tropical summer’s day even during the city’s coldest weather. Well it was certainly warm inside the indoor centre – a bit too warm. But[…]

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