Palm to wail

30 Jan

Saturday dawned.  A bran nue dae.  At least it seemed that way, when I looked in the mirror at Friday’s spray tan and wondered whether to break out into ‘There’s nothing I would rather be than to be an aborigine’.  Although I have contemplated an all over tan as an effective shark deterrent (sharks are attracted to contrast – see Noahs), this virginal experience was not in preparation for the Big Swim but the Big Nups.

Following the example of our pod captain who prepared for the Big Swim by attending a 2 day bucks’ party, I was honoured to be a pixie (aka bridesmaid) at a good friend’s wedding the day before.  Good luck Tina and Bunny!

So, I turned up feeling somewhat exhausted to Palm Beach on Sunday and definitely questioning that I could, even with Can Too.

Tony Abbot (leader of the opposition for readers in the UK) who also did the Big Swim did not appear to have gotten a spray tan or be interested in singing.  Clearly it was not a day of aTONEment in that regard (yes, very bad; sorry).

But it was a day of salvation.  And for me, it came in the form of Gill Shearman, a fellow Can Tooer and purple hat who waited for me out back and then swam stroke for stroke with me to Whale Beach.

The surf was minimal but it was bumpy outback.  Consistent with the presence of my heaven sent heroine, there were shafts of sunlight penetrating the cloudy water which combined with the chop to produce a mesmeric, almost hallucinogenic experience.  The current at the headland into Whale was as strong as ever and we swam there for a good 10 minutes going absolutely nowhere.  Other nasty rips at Whale dictated that the race was considerably longer than last year’s as we swam to the south end of Whale before turning for home.  Not to mention the wiggly route we took across Whale as we echoed the wail of many a laydee Sydney sider, because we simply couldn’t find the last boy.  Sorry, buoy.

Talking of which, the start order at Palmie always perplexes me.  Why is it a good idea to put the 12-19 year old boys/men after the 40 plus laydees’ wave?  We had 4 strapping 19 year olds from Babewatch directly behind us.  It should have been Cougarwatch.

Anyway, courtesy of my divine Canadian salvation, the result was that I made it to Whale in about an hour and a quarter – almost the same time as 2010 but longer of course (on account of the course) than 2011.  Please note, Gill would have been much quicker if she hadn’t been mollycoddling me.

Mind you, I am more in awe of John Thakker who came last and made it in just under an hour and three quarters.  In my view, his achievement eclipses that of Josh Beard who won and was in the water for less than 31 minutes.

And for those who know him, my partner also showed that he Can Too.  He’s adopted and was originally christened David Whitehead.  Weirdly, a David Whitehead swam yesterday too.  Mark wanted to be him as David was quicker.  Instead, Mark was stuck almost on a par time with the leader of the opposition around 1.04.

That’s Mark aka Gill (from Nemo).  As distinct from Gill Shearman (my saviour and potentially related to Pete Shearman from Nemo).  All these gills, it’s getting a bit fishy.  But this is an ocean swimming blog.

One Response to “Palm to wail”

  1. Liz vv January 30, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    Well done champ! Been dying to hear how you went….congrats to both you and mark:)

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