I woke up early this morning so that I could get out when the sun was rising, whilst the Rainbow Lorikeets are still asleep in the trees and before the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos wake to pirouette on telephone wires as if they have discovered them for the first time.
I walk from Cremorne, a place that’s surrounded by sea on three sides, almost an island, bays like fingers dipping into the sea, gorgeous houses that tip to the sky, so many stories, history.
The plants and animals are simply magnificent, from the blue tongued lizards, King Parrots, the praying mantis, stony creek frogs, the blue flower wasps, or the handsome bower bird that builds wonderful blue structures for their brides. The palms rise up to the light, where the sky is brighter than anywhere I have seen at sea level. There is salt, sea and scent everywhere.
I get to the North Sydney pool early, it sits below the Sydney Harbour Bridge which is magnificent as it reaches out over the harbour. In the early morning the swimmers are fast, which inspires me to glide into the water, to feel water sooth my skin and the rhythm of swimming help with the movement forward. It’s salt water so we are more buoyant, the tastes of salt on my mouth is all part of the flavour of one of my favourite pools in the world, all nestling in Sydney harbour where people travel on the water, live by the water and they swim in the water.
After a swim I pop up one of the bridge towers to look over the City where I could see the day getting busier; boats criss-crossing the harbour, the light changing colour whilst reflecting on the shell-like structure of Sydney Opera House, millions of dreams weaving like the warp and weft of this city carpet, life in motion.
My next port of call was to be Bondi Beach. I’m making a video of some of the sea pools of Sydney, hence I started up by Willy Weekes pool at the north end of Bondi where the sea waves crash over the shallow walls of the pool. Then around to the Iceberg winter swimming Club that’s probably the most high class pool around the coast, around the bay to Bronte Baths that’s good for a late night skinny dip, then Clovelly Beach set in a thin cove where the wild water of the sea meets the calm of the bay, so I swim out to the point where the waves tumble in, tossed about in the froth like in a washing machine.
There are more ocean pools, but I end up at one of my favourites, at Wylie’s Baths where there is everything to be loved about a community that adores the sea, where there are octopus living amongst the rocks, where fish move about amongst the swimmers, all amongst blue and white structures that are over 100 years old, where you can sit and have a cup of tea on decking that’s fifty feet above the water, talking with others who share the love or water who know how it is to soothe oneself in the sea.