Week 38 – over seas

Week 38     Saturday 16 February to Friday Friday 22 February 2013

clear salt water

‘Been swimming in the near-dark these past few weeks, due to starting at six in the morning. ‘Figured a photo of sunlit water would be a nice reminder of days gone by. When daylight saving stops (end of March?) there might be some light for the morning dips for a few weeks.

This week’s swims have been at Williamstown, save for last Sunday when I had a dip at Sunnymeade (Aireys Inlet) before heading off to enjoy the 30th annual Ashes cricket match in Anglesea.

All the best to all the swimmers partaking of the gentle 3.2 kilometre  Big Bay swim from Port Melbourne to Williamstown on Sunday 24 February. (Will there be a snorkelling category next year?)

Men in water

Willy Dolphins chilling out  at Pelican’s Landing after the Big Bay swim.   Image sourced from cathtatecards.com

Next week (or thereabouts): Ahoy from Hanoi (or thereabouts).

Week 37 – Melbourne’s answer to the Gold Coast

Week 37 Saturday 9 February to Friday 15 February 2013

Beacon Cove beach

Melbourne or Queensland?

Gotta say that the swimming weeks are starting to merge together lately, one running into the next and into the next. I do recall though, that on the first day of Week 37, Saturday 9 February, I had an afternoon dip at what was once called Port Melbourne or, at a stretch, Garden City.

Just a little west of Station Pier and the Spirit of Tasmania dock, this area’s now called Beacon Cove. It features, if that’s the right word, high-rise living right on the water.  Well, almost. Right on the sand. Well, sort of.

The water was warm and deep and quite calm, save for the jet-skis – whose drivers (operators? speedsters?) were actually quite civil. Wonders never cease.

There are a handful of small beaches tucked away near Beacon Cove, including Sandridge, which has a life-saving club. If you want to get away from the crowds of the St Kilda and South Melbourne beaches, it’s worth weaving your way through and to Beacon Cove. (Thanks to my daughter Hannah for recommending this beach.)

As for the countdown, the  365 Swims scoreboard now says: 258 down, 107 to go.

Week 36 – Fleming’s pool, Altona

Week 36   Saturday 2 February to Friday 8 February 2013

Fleming pool at Altona

Fleming’s pool is not a pool at all, but that’s okay. This little wading/dipping/snorkelling spot is at the eastern end of Altona beach, pretty much at the end of Millers Road. A 20 minute ride from Williamstown beach.

The historical marker tells us that the Fleming family came to Altona 99 years ago and lived in Blyth St, about 200 yards from the water. The Altona population back then was all of 20. (Plenty of space for a dip, though in those Victorian  days there were rather strict rules about bathing in public.)

The Flemings were quite community minded and judging by the size of the family probably rather bolstered the population.

Fleming family photo

The historical marker suggests the Fleming family home might have been the closest residence to the water.

I went snorkelling at (in?) Fleming’s pool back in mid-January on a 37 degree day. The water was clear and shallow (the water is always shallow at Altona)  but the fish must have been having a nap. As I peeled off my wetsuit and assorted snorkelling paraphernalia a woman in black shorts and pink singlet waded into the water with a German shepherd. Then, as I was packing away my gear another woman in black shorts and pink singlet was walking her German shepherd along the footpath. Is there some Altona by-law about dress-code and owning German shepherds?

Looking east from Fleming's pool

Looking east from Fleming’s pool

Sign about Fleming's pool

Meanwhile, the past week’s swims have all been in Williamstown, as far as I can recall. Dawn, mid-morning, afternoon. And the numbers are now 251 dips, 114 to go. As for the serious swimmers at Willi, they’re getting ready for the Port Melbourne to Williamstown 3.2k swim on Sunday 24 February. I reckon I’d collapse after about the .2 part of the 3.2 kilometres.

Next week: Melbourne’s answer to the Gold Coast.



Week 35 – The Kororoit Creek Swimming Pool

Week 35 – Saturday 26 January to Friday 1 February 2013

Swimming hole in Sunshine

Swimming in sepia and Sunshine

‘Can’t say I’ve ever swum in The Kororoit Creek Swimming Pool in Albion, near Sunshine. Or Kororoit Creek itself, which winds all the way down to Williamstown.  I came across some historical signs a few months back while pedalling along the Kororoit Creek bike path.

The pool was actually a swimming hole in a deep part of the creek and was popular up until the 1940s, by which time drownings and pollution led to the local council building a suburban pool.

Gum trees and creek

Gum tree swimming, anyone?

The signs by the bike path have been vandalised but you can still get a sense of days gone by.

Swimming hole sign

Selwyn Park sign

Close up of history sign

The mouth of Kororoit Creek is about a kilometre west of the Williamstown beach, just past Jawbone Marine Sanctuary.

Mouth of the creek

Monash University researchers at the mouth of the creek.

It’s a curious area – the local council has long been suspicious that the handful of angling club clubrooms are more residential that they should be.  Something fishy going on, perhaps.

Boats and poles

Kororoit Creek, looking east towards Williamstown

Kororit Creek, looking west towards Altona

Kororoit Creek, looking west towards Altona


As for the word ‘kororoit’, I think it means ‘young kangaroo’.

And as for Week 35’s dips, they were in Eastern View (three), Lorne (two), Point Roadknight (one) and Williamstown (three). But not Kororoit Creek.

Next week: Fleming’s Pool at  Altona beach