Great Scot!

16 Dec

I’ve been singing Blondie to my Can Too mentees this week.  Trying to get them to hang on despite the tide being high.  It was certainly a manlychallenge at ocean squad yesterday.  Small children and animals ran the risk of being swept from the walkway on the way round to Shelly.  The shear volume of water (notwithstanding the amount that we all swallowed and took home sloshing in our salty bellies) was astounding.   Now I know what my knickers go through on spin cycle in the machine.

So, we felt somewhat intrepid returning to Manly this morning to take part in the Manly LSC Blue Dolphins Ocean Swim.

This was to be James’ first ocean swim.  On arrival, this sign greeted him.


He looked pale.  But he’s Scottish.  He always looks pale.

The organisers looked pale too.  A closed beach, the wrong hats (they said they got sent  Bondi to Bronte ones but word is, theirs were stolen), a revised course (in and out of Shelly for both swims) and a queue of late entry mugs to process before the start time.

A quick warm up dip confirmed, as we suspected, that conditions were actually markedly, even drastically, improved on yesterday’s.  We’re talking more Dhobi Wallah than Bosch spin cycle.  Yes, James was going to be my No. 1 today.

I watched as my laydees’ wave ran down in to the very tiny Shelly break.  What a great perspective me ‘n’ the boyz got.  Was that the interesting (marine) bottom(s) that Os.c promised?  We watched the laydees’ peloton wiggle its way too far right and then get swept back left by the break off the Bower and after what seemed like an age, it was finally our turn.

I counseled James to think about Popov (don’t fight the water) but instead, he told me that he was thinking more Dory (just keep swimming).  And keep swimming he did.  Albeit I thought he was going to vomit at one point.  He doggedly allowed Gill and I to herd him, cajole him and maybe inspire him and 42 minutes (yes, even though their time was 45 something so I agree that I think there was some 4 minutes handicap on the boyz swim), we arrived back at Shelly with a beaming shell shocked Scot.  Incredulous James could not believe:

(a)  how far he swam – especially when he heard anecdotally that it was more like 1.4km;

(b)  that he was congratulated at the end by Annie (Can Too founder), Leanne (CEO of Cure Cancer Australia), an Os.c salty superhero (Mrs Sparkle) and an Olympian (Graeme Brewer) who were all delighted to welcome another punter into our amazing sport.

He’s got the bug now.  Though interestingly, he’s keen on this swim next.

Maybe he misunderstood when I was explaining the debate about newd versus wetsuit swimming.  I suppose he can still write Can Too in orange zinc across his lovely (marine) bottom.

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