Week 52 – King tide? What king tide?

Week 52    Saturday 25 May to Friday 31 May 2013

Williamstown beach

King tide? What king tide?

There was due to be a king tide at Williamstown on Sunday 25 May.  4.15pm apparently. The local paper mentioned it. The local council mentioned it. I mentioned it on last week’s blog.

I thought, This is good timing as 365 Swims heads into its last days. At about 3.45pm I pedal down to witness this twice yearly event. Camera at the ready. Expectations high. Too high, as it turns out.  I’m not expecting the water to be heading up Victoria Street, or even lapping the Esplanade, but I was expecting something a little more interesting than what appeared to be not much more than a regular high tide. Still, I had a little dip, my second for the day. And another bloke plunged in too. (A mate of Tom’s, from the Bristol.)

Deep water sign

The only sign of deep water last Sunday

The 365 Swims scoreboard now reads: 364 swims down, one to go. That’s tomorrow, Saturday 1 June. Start of winter.  I’ll do one final blog post to mark the occasion. See you then.


Week 51 – a second snorkeller

Week 51 – Saturday 18 May to Friday 24 May 2013

rocks and snorkelling gear

Jawbone Reserve last summer.

On Thursday 23 May (day 356 of the 365 Swims) I opted for a midday spot of swimmng-with-the-snorkel. Lo and behold, there was another midday snorkeller at Williamstown, keeping the head down and gliding across to Sirens. And back. The second snorkeller had flippers and a wetsuit, so was in the cold water for quite a while. We didn’t quite cross paths but it was reassuring to know someone else dons the snorkel for their swimming. Who knows, maybe it’ll catch on. Maybe there’ll be snorkelling categories at the next Olympics. Maybe not.

Meanwhile there will apparently be a king tide in Williamstown on Sunday 26 May. 4.15pm  Could be worth a look, even a dip in the deep. More details at Green Cross Australia.

Scoreboard: 357 swims down, 8 to go.


Week 50 – bound for Byron Bay

Week 50    Saturday 11 May to Friday 17 May

Byron Bay beach

Life’s hard. Byron Bay beach. May 2013. Photos by Dan Wade

While Willy Dolphin die-hards were getting used to early wintry weather, Willy Dolphin triathletes Andrew Featherstone and Dan Wade headed north to Byron Bay for a short-course triathlon:

1.5k swim 40k ride 10k run

“Heavy rain didn’t stop competitors swimming in the warm waters of Byron”, reported Feathers.  “Riding  to Lennox Heads with fantastic rain forest in the background, and finishing off with a run in ankle deep mud.”

Life changes. Byron Bay. May 2013.

Life changes. Byron Bay. May 2013.

Snake on tree

Life’s slippery.

Party time

Life’s a party. Feather’s gives the thumbs up.

Recovery was at the Beach Hotel where all injuries were forgotten and many stories told!

365 Swims scoreboard: 350 down, 15  to go (with some very high tides on the way.)

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 The Willy Dolphins send their best wishes to the bronzed Adonis Lester Oldham, whose health has taken a hammering lately.



Week 49 – May there be summer

Week 49 – Saturday 4 May to Friday 10 May 2013

May. There be summer.

Or so it seemed on some unseasonally warm days this past week. Well, maybe not summer. But some mild mornings and a few afternoons of almost 25 degrees is nothing to be sneezed at. Especially when you’re trying to swim.

The past week, and one morning in particular, found my friend Walter praying for warmer water, though. He hadn’t had a dip for a few weeks and pronounced as we waded in last Monday: “Jesus! Mary and Joseph!”

I laughed so much I could hardly swim (which is nothing new). The next day Walter donned his wetsuit and stopped praying to Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

The 365 Swims Scoreboard now reads 343 swims down, with 22 to go. Three weeks and one day.

Crowd at beach

A real summer’s day. 39 Degrees. 5pm, 29 November 2o12. Several hundred reasons for swimming at 6am.


Next week: Andy and Dan and the  Byron Bay Triathlon.

Week 48 – the foil of memories

Week 48 – Saturday 27 April to Friday 3 May 2013

This week, a poem from Willy Dolphin Tom Cannon – not about swimming but about life and loss and the like.


Sodden ground beneath my feet the sweet smell of wet grass baked by intermittent sunlight

Huge curtains of fat black clouds moving across the sky the hills painted shiny green with eucalypts

The green running to waters edge which like a child’s mood changes frequently

My innocent self painted childhood experiences in this place of beauty the seabirds watching

Family friends spending time as often the clouds would send the rain to freshen the landscape fatten the lake

In the background the radio broadcast of a suburban game as we waited for the weather

To chase a bloated footy slippery sodden like the ground as we danced the Easter dance

Anticipating shiny bundles of sweetness amongst the warm murmurings of family and place

The foil of memories ripped but shiny warm tastes of yesteryear hinting at the world adults forget

Let us all smell wet earth and praise the moment, for some sorrow too great to overcome

In seconds of madness that take our innocent wrap their memory in the glitter of sweet moments


Tom Cannon 20 March 2013





Scoreboard: 336 swims down, 29 to go.