Week 30 – on the road

Week 30 Saturday 22 December to Friday 28 December 2012

Queenscliff beach

Queenscliff beach. Saturday 22 December.  

After pedalling the 30 kilometre rail-trail from Geelong to Queenscliff I was glad to have a dip. The water revived me, but not quite enough: halfway on the return journey, I was done. Tuckered out.

Queenscliff beach

Queenscliff beach.

Jawbone Marine Sanctuary, Williamstown

Sunday 23 December. Jawbone Marine Sanctuary, Williamstown

Sunday 23 December was going to be a scorcher. Thirty-nine degrees. Back in Williamstown after the Queenscliff ride, I headed to Jawbone at first light. The water was sparkling clear, the fish were awake. I had the place to myself. As I headed home for breakfast I saw a boat creasing the water in the distance and an aeroplane overhead.

I swam at Williamstown beach on 24, 25 and 26 December, including two dips on Christmas Day.

Hang glider at Moggs Creek

Moggs Creek. Photo by Reuben Maskell

On Boxing Day afternoon I had a dip at Moggs Creek, where we were staying for a few days. There were plenty of hang-gliders landing on the beach.

Eastern View beach

Thursday 27 December, 8am. Eastern View, just down from Moggs Creek.

Lorne surfboat

Thursday 27 December, 4pm. Lorne.

Lorne beach

Lorne beach

The water was lovely at Lorne on Thursday 27 December. A few people seemed to be practising for the Pier to Pub swim. Meanwhile, there was tragedy at my ‘home-beach’ in Williamstown: a 74 year old man from Footscray drowned while swimming with his family.

Sunnymeade beach cricket

Friday 28 December Sunnymeade beach cricket

Sunnymeade beach, near Aireys Inlet

Sunnymeade beach, near Aireys Inlet

The week’s dips concluded with two swims  – 7.30am and 4.30pm – at Sunnymeade beach, near Aireys Inlet.

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Week 17 – bluffing

Week 17 – Saturday 22 September to Friday 28 September 2012

You’re bluffing if you think you can take on the ocean.

You’re kidding yourself if you think you can conquer the sea.

You’re in no-man’s land if you don’t know what you’re doing.

About eight years ago I took my sons, then about 11 and 7, to Urquhart Bluff, between Anglesea and Aireys Inlet. We tried snorkelling in rock pools between two bluffs. We mis-read the tide. We were lucky two fishermen were nearby. The five of us clambered around and over rocks to safety as the tide came in. Safe on the sand of the main beach we relieved the tension by going for a swim. A careful swim, as all swims should be.

It was rather more peaceful this week, when I visited on the Tuesday. (Other swims this week were at Williamstown, Eastern View and Breamlea.)

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Week 11 – a fair haven

Week 11 – Saturday 11 August to Friday 17 August

Photo courtesy of Flickr & Creative Commons

‘Had a quick dip at Fairhaven this week, and another at Eastern View, just down the road. Usually my daily dips are in suburban Williamstown, but I had a chance to get down to the coast for a few days.

Fairhaven beach was pretty much deserted when I popped by on my bike, on my way to buy the morning paper from Skinny Legs Cafe in Aireys Inlet. The picture above (courtesy of Flickr) is from sunnier, warmer, busier days.

Fairhaven was the (un-named) setting for a story I wrote about 12 months ago, about an old man caring for his frail wife. I called the story Erosion. The editor gave it a slightly  different name.

Week 6 – to the west coast

Week 6 – Saturday 7 July to Friday 13 July

Eastern View beach, looking north towards Moggs Creek.

I headed down to the coast for much of week 6, staying at Moggs Creek. I’ve been visiting Moggs for 40 years, ever since my parents bought land there. Moggs Creek is halfway between Anglesea and Lorne. Blink and  you’ll miss it, though blinking isn’t advised when driving along the Great Ocean Road.

I swam at Eastern View, a kilometre from Moggs Creek, for three mornings. ‘Also had a dip another morning at Urquarts Bluff, about eight kilometres back towards Anglesea.

The ocean is never as calm as it looks, so you’ve always go to be careful.

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More about Moggs Creek