2018 – Part 65 – Who wants to go for a swim?

One thing that I wanted to do while in Sydney was to go for a swim.  I knew the exact location too.  Not in the ocean, but right beside Bondi Beach.

Getting to Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is easy to access through frequent bus service where it passes along the main road right by the beach.  For us, we got off the bus at the start of the beach to walk over to Bondi Icebergs Club.

Sorry, I didn’t take a picture of the passenger with the surfboard

Swimming at Bondi Icebergs Club – a short story

We arrived late in the afternoon and after paying our admission fee I stopped to glance at the club’s noticeboard.  Although the lanes were empty, the one thing that stuck out to me was the pool temperature of 18.7C.  “Sounds chilly!” jumped into my mind.  I remembered back to when I was growing up, one neighbour had a pool where the water felt comfortable only once it was at least 25C.  But the temperature wasn’t going to stop me.  I was here at Bondi Icebergs and I’m going for a swim!

After getting changed we headed down to the pool, and watched the waves crash over the wall and into the pool.  It’s a neat sight, but the waves didn’t spray my body with warm ocean water.  It was probably around 20C, but felt like 2C with the accompanying wind off the ocean.

Perhaps visiting an outdoor pool, shaded, late in the afternoon on a temperate fall day wasn’t the best choice for swimming.  There were people swimming, however the vast majority were kids who were all wearing wetsuits.

At this point, Amber decided to pass on swimming.  To her, she had solved the mystery of an empty pool through keen observations:  a fresh ocean breeze; an 18C pool, and; kids swimming in wetsuits.  Her inner Poirot had deduced that hypothermia awaited her if she got in the pool.

I admit my mind did the same math, but unfortunately I had detective Frank Drebin working instead her inner Poirot.  As I descended the stairs into the main pool a familiar rush came over me.  Memories of swimming where my lips would turn blue instantly and my teeth would chatter instantly sprang forth.

I didn’t even get waist deep before I climbed out of the pool and turned to her.  She instantly said “It’s okay if you don’t go swimming.  It’s cold.”

And magically that’s even when my inner Frank Drebin thought I made a dumb choice.  Stubbornness would rule the day!  I looked around and saw the children’s pool at the end of the main pool.  With the children’s pool being significantly more shallow, I surely won’t freeze of hypothermia and sink to the bottom.  I stormed into the pool to find it barely waist deep, and just as cold as the main pool.  I wondered if the water around the Titanic would have been warmer, but I couldn’t get distracted — there was a task to do.  I was going to swim!

And swam I did.  Navigating the sand and flora deposited by the ocean waves, I swam a full lap (out & back).  She looked on in disbelief or bewilderment.  I’m not sure which as I’m near sighted and left my glasses with my towel.  Her reaction though didn’t matter, for as I exited the pool, I had swam at Bondi Icebergs!  And, as quickly as I had completed my lap I made a dash for the sauna.

Oh super-heated-room, packed full of tourists!  It took only a moment for my chills to be replaced with the comforts of an August heat wave in Toronto (It’s only 32C but with humidity it feels like 42C).  As quickly as I was frozen by the pool, the sauna returned the favour and overheated me.  I left the sauna, and as I stepped out, I thought for a moment, should I jump back in the pool to cool down?

What’s the opposite of brain-freeze, brain-melt?

How could it be, that the best my mind could come up with was to return to the hypothermic puddle?  Fortunately my inner detective Drebin returned to the controls and I headed for the change rooms.

As we left Icebergs, and headed towards dinner on the main street, I smiled and joked “I’m glad we did this.”

“Oh, I’m proud of you.” she remarked and then stared at my lips “Are they still blue?”

I spoke too soon for being glad I went for the swim, as I got an eye infection that night.

I guess, I should have stuck to the main pool.

Read more about our trip by clicking here.

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