We don't take you just anywhere.
Lucy in the sky, with diamonds… is what we thought when we saw this image by Glistening Dave, of dawn at Bongin Bongin Bay. (Image by David Helsham (@glistenrr))
Welcome to the oceanswimsafaris.com newsletter…
We warned you, and here it is: our first newsletter under our new guise post-oceanswims.com. We aim to make it similar to our earlier newsletters, but without the detail that we carried about swim calendars, etc. That's not our remit any more.
We will carry pieces about ocean swimming, some reports (when our oceanswimsafaris get going again post-pandemic), contributions from anyone, or other stuff that we spot and we think may be of interest to you. For example, in this edition (see below) we publish a short story by handy ocean swimmer, Susan McCreery, who is an author based in the Illawarra of NSW. Susan deftly tells a story about lap swimming as a metaphor for life. That's culcha, and we're very keen to promote culcha, expecially when it relates to ocean swimming. Or even just swimming.
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Remember… We don't take you just anywhere,
(Image from verywellfit.com)
Into the clear blue
Here, we publish a short story by ocean swimmer Susan McCreery (@SusanMcCreery2), an author based in the Illawarra in NSW. It's two tales intertwined, one a metaphor for the other. The first is about an issue faced by all females who swim laps, particularly handy swimmers, as McCreery is. Boofheads, take note. This story appeared first in Island magazine: oss.c
She’s a beautiful swimmer, powerful and neat, so when she turns at the deep end I hop in her lane. The water’s a sparkle of blue under the early sun. We keep a respectful distance either side of the black line. Our pace is the same, our turns synchronised. After a kay I stop for a sip from my water bottle and soon she pulls up too.
‘Done,’ she says, and shoots me a grin. ‘All yours, honey.’
I watch as she ducks under the lane rope and climbs the steps. She has a back like a washboard and legs as long as forever.
With the lane to myself I return to smooth, to blissed out, thinking of nothing. After three and a half laps a new swimmer passes on his first. His legs are low in the water, creating a drag, so I know I’ll overtake him soon. Sure enough, within a couple of laps I’ve narrowed the gap.
Here’s my theory: you can tell a lot about a man and his opinion of women by his lap-lane etiquette. Men who shift to one side at the wall, nod off you go, are allies. Fast women swimmers are no threat to these men. Then there are those who refuse to give way, no matter how obvious it is they’re being out-swum, who, according to my theory, expect you to do everything except take out the bins, who get the shits when your salary outstrips theirs, and who rage whenever you’re curled up in sorrow about your grandmother, who is interstate and dying.
If Gavin were a swimmer, he’d never
with humility and grace,
let you take the lead.
His feet are in front of me.
If Gavin were a swimmer.
There’s barely room to pass.
I calculate the distance and effort required to make it to the wall before him. It’s doable. I kick harder, pull harder, until I’m alongside. He kicks harder, pulls harder, forces me into the lane rope – slut, bitch, whore.
My rhythm is broken, my heart rate up. I tumble-turn into the clear blue, trying to settle, trying to regain calm, return to bliss, to me. And for two laps I do.
If Gavin were a swimmer.
Take Gavin in bed
I see bubbles.
No etiquette in bed.
His feet are in front of me.
Battle after battle.
We’re almost at the wall.
Not a hope, mate.
He’s not going to stop. He will not give way.
How many times has he backed me into a wall?
I do the unthinkable.
I tap him on the shoulder.
‘Let me go first.’
It’s not a request.
He turns his dripping head to face me. I can’t see his eyes.
His mouth is a bloodless knife.
I don’t wait for a response, just tumble-turn, go. But now I’m kicking too hard, too fast. I am off-balance, off-kilter. The angle’s all wrong and I wince under water as my hand whacks the rope. Only four laps to go but it might as well be forty. My goggles are leaking. All I can picture is his eyeless face. It could be a sham. He could catch me. I want to throw up.
Calm down, calm down.
In the water spitting means nothing.
My mouth is a cave, filling with water.
My mouth is a cave, filling with blood.
Keep your head up.
I am lactic. My legs drag.
I sink to my knees.
He can have it, the lane. He can keep it.
I’m going to black out.
He’s forgotten how to breathe.
I know. I remember.
They can pull through water, these arms. They can move me forward. Once more I am gaining. Two laps and I’ve narrowed the gap. My legs are forever springs. My back is a washboard. I tumble, turn from the wall.
His feet are in front of me. I tap them.
Let me pass.
Let me go.
I am going.
Sigghhh… Forster. Haven't swum since mid-June.
It's a sell-out!
Gogs on sale
A note from Suanne –
Summer is on its way and you’ll soon be digging out last seasons goggles only to discover they have seen a bit of use and you could do with a new pair. Treat yourself!
We have good supplies of all your favourite “View” goggles, including our most popular Selene Swipes and Swipe Wide-Eyes.
We still have some great bargains in our “Sell Out” stock including goggles to suit kids of all ages. Why not stock up for Christmas? They’d make great stocking stuffers! There are a few adult goggles left too. The “Sell Out” goggles range in price from $8 -$20.
To access Sale! gogs, go to our shopping cart and look for Sell-out! You can also order your fave View Swipe gogs… Click here
Swim buddy, Heron Island, June, 2021. (Image by Anne Henshaw @annehenshaw)
Gearing up for post-pandemic
We thought we were through the worst of it…
Early this year, we began planning a new range of oceanswimsafaris to Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef. We were overwhelmed with interest from punters keen for a paddle and, in the end, we had five Heron oceanswimsafaris scheduled for 2021. We got one away, in June, and we had a second one in September of a group of swimmers from Queensland, although we could not attend that one ourselves due to border closures. We also had three more scheduled for October-November, 2021.
But then the pandemic intervened once more.
At this point, in late September, we can't say for sure what will happen with our two Heron oceanswimsafaris planned for November, but we can say with some confidence that our October departure most likely will not proceed.
Anticipating this, we have booked a series of dates with Heron Island Resort for 2022:three sets of dates in March-April 2022, and two sets in October-November 2022. The thinking is that we can switch the three October-November groups to those dates, with punters already booked on them having a choice of which dates they prefer. When we get to the point of making a final call for 2021, we will contact those booked directly and let them know their options. When we have sorted out those three groups, we will let everyone know, and if you'd like to book on one of them, we'd love to have you with us.
We're also hoping to get some oceanswimsafaris restarted in the Pacific in 2022. We have dates booked in Tonga (to swim with humpback whales) August 3-10, 2022, and Mana Island Resort is keen to restart its Mana Fiji SwimFest (September 13-18, 2022). We also have two groups booked to French Polynesia in May, 2022.
As you'd expect, we can't be sure we can go anywhere yet, but we are preparing.
By the way, we have introduced a policy that all those who come with us on an oceanswimsafari from now on must be fully vaccinated.
If you're interested in coming with us on any of those oceanswimsafaris, you can indicate your interest by submitting an Enquiry Form… Click here
Beady-eyed swimmer, Forster.
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