In the final days before Petersham Pool, aka Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre, closes for the colder months I have been taking photos below the surface where the light creates beautiful shapes, refractions and reflections. As I swim along it’s as if I am looking through a kaleidoscope!
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
Recently we spent three weeks in Darwin, Kakadu, Katherine and Litchfield National Park where we swam in some amazing water holes, wave pools, hot springs and lap pools. When we returned I wrote about these fabulous swimming spots in a story published in The Weekend Australian last Saturday, 4 July. You can read the story,[…]Read More
There’s no swimmers around when I arrive at Parsley Bay, just trim women jogging with their mobiles and doing boxing in the park. But when I walk around the path that leads to the deep end of the bay, I spot a man in blue trunks, or rather he spots me. “If you want a[…]Read More