The Caroline Bay Swimmers
Here we are pre swim, me and the Caroline Bay swimmers, I am the one in the middle in pink, these welcoming wetsuit clad swimmers are the new freshness of Caroline Bay, we meet a little before 9am Saturday morning for a group swim, Dale introduces himself and gives me the rundown of the swim plan, ” We all swim down the beach, aim for those big trees down there”, I squint to get a glimpse, ” we regroup there, we stick together and watch out for one another, from there we aim for the point, see the building?” I nod Yes, “we regroup and then we swim in, out there is where the dolphins are”, he finishes the briefing and we all stride towards the water, the Caroline Bay Swimmers are chattering about their recent open water race in Lyttleton, it is exciting to hear swimmers pumped up about Open Water swimming.
We wade into the water and are off, immediatlely I am struck at how well these down under swimmers swim, we are off at a good clip, I settle in alongside a sleeveless suit and we thunder our way down to the far end of the bay, I LOVE IT, I sight here and there fixing my gaze on ” The Tree” and enjoy long strong strokes, the water is superb, finally we pull up,my sleeveless suit swimming pal and I realize we have way overshot the meeting place, we turn around and swim back to the group, if I could make dolphin sounds I would, this is FUN!
Heads are counted, all are accounted for and we are off again, this time heading to the building on the point, I swim alongside Dale, he swims at an impressive clip and before we knew it we pull up at the next stop, one by one the other swimmers join us, I notice someone swim up from the opposite direction, he has just come from the beach, I hear a familar accent, ” hmmmm, could that be an Irishman?” I say to Dale, it is indeed, he is living in South Canterbury and immedialtey starts telling tales of swimming in Ireland, ” Where in Ireland?”, I ask, “Sandycove, do you know it, it’s in Cork?” he replies, I smile VERY widely, he goes on chattering a mile a minute of stories Sandycove Island, I can’t understand a bit of what he is saying, smile, nod and then swim on.
We all swim to shore, I dash away to get dressed, tucking behind the car to change, then return to the group with a hot tea, we visit and they start to wander off to a concrete building not far away, then return in a short timne all dressed, ” note to self, there are showers and changing rooms on the beach”, I say to myself sheppishly.
We bid our farewells, time for me to make tracks, I am flying out to to the USA in just a few days, time to pack, hit the 50 meter outdoor pool for a pre flight swim and then settle back into winter in Vermont, and of course that brings us back to the International Ice Swim, on arrival to Vermont, Ice swims are soon to start, and you are one step closer to hearing the story of the 2013 Ice Swim in Lake Champlain, Vermont, 41 degrees or under now that is going to be something new for this New Zealand pengiun.
Do not let a single opportunity or chance that life offers pass you by, get out there and live each day
Hamish- thanks to you… ( me and Hamish at Christchurch airport)