On the balcony at Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre I watch the bodies lapping up and down and observe the different swimming styles. That girl’s head is too high and that man’s is way too low. If only the woman in the pink cap would reach out further and if she straightened her legs she’d glide[…]Read More
As I crawled up the Pacific Highway on Saturday morning, I wondered if I was going to make it to the West Pymble Pool. But after Chatswood the traffic began to flow and it wasn’t long before I reached Gordon where my friend Margie B was waiting for me. For more than a year Marg and[…]Read More
Dawn Fraser Baths became an outdoor gallery this weekend showing paintings by Ian Chapman, the pool’s artist in residence last winter. Mr Chapman’s paintings captured the colours, characters, architecture and mood of the historic baths that first opened back in the early 1880s. The exhibition was part of Leichhardt Council’s annual LOST (Leichhardt Open Studio Trail) which this year featured nearly 60 galleries, studios and events across Balmain, Rozelle, Lilyfield and Camperdown.
The first time I went to Greenwich Baths I wasn’t very impressed. I was only about 6 or 7 and they seemed makeshift compared to the solid structures at my local tidal pool, Northbridge Baths. The low tide also coloured my view as its never the best time to swim at a harbour pool. When we[…]Read More
With the tide almost reaching the two metre mark, yesterday Bruce and I and my sister and her kids went for a swim at Woolwich Baths. The simple baths on the Lane Cove River used to be known as ‘Mooney’s mud hole’ after the chap who lived behind the ticket booth and shop (no longer there) in a large canvas tent with wooden floor.
In the 1950s and 60s Mr Mooney looked after the pool and taught some of the locals to swim among the jelly blubbers and occasional blue swimmer crabs. For my sister and I, products of Northbridge Baths, another Sydney harbour pool, swimming in the high tide, salt water was bliss, and Bruce, Will, Rosie and Mary thought it was pretty good too!
A dip in the crystal clear water at Wylie’s Baths was a great way to cool off on a warm Sydney Sunday today. The lane ropes were up for the Coogee Diggers Swimming Club races but there was still room to do a few slow laps and spot a fish or two in the underwater[…]Read More
Every January when my family holidayed on the NSW north or south coast we didn’t travel far enough to stop overnight so we never got the chance to stay in a motel, like the El Dorado at Surfers Paradise where my parents spent their honeymoon. That is, until 1975, when for the first time we[…]Read More
When I heard on Sunday that author and neurologist Oliver Sacks had died, I rummaged through my files for a letter I’d received from him more than 15 years ago. At the time I was writing a story about my love of swimming and had contacted him via his publisher when I discovered he had a[…]Read More
On the 23rd anniversary of my mother’s death I’d like to pay tribute to her for passing on the swimming gene to my sister and brother and me. Mum’s love of water started on Maroubra Beach where her father Austin swam every morning before work and where he taught her to body surf. When the seas[…]Read More