Dawn. Monday of the June long weekend. A blood red sunrise. I stopped to stare several times on the way to Manly. The Pacific Ocean a somnolent pond burnished gold and red in the pre-dawn stillness. Ripples ruffled the surface. We left Manly at 7.05am just behind the colourful mass of Bold and Beautiful swimmers. At least 250 of them heading for Shelly. We headed north. I’d talked Barry Feyder into a swim over to Freshwater Point and back. He never needs much convincing. We were joined by Duncan Adams, Denise Elder, Jan Davies, Roz Skinner, Gail Kennedy and Alison Maunder. I loafed down to Queenscliff where we had agreed to regroup. I marvelled at the clarity of the water and the lateness of the season for such a long swim. Water at least 18°c. A breathtaking day, with the rippling sand bottom shining all the way along the beach. I arrived last at Queenscliff Point after an almost mystical gig with the Pacific Ocean and all the creatures that, like me, enjoy floating around in it. A flotilla of multi- coloured swimming caps led me to the others who bobbed in the water. Barry, Duncan, Alison and I kept going around the point. The others headed back with a wave and were gone.
I was really into the mystic going around Queenscliff Point. Seagrass beds, coral, fish of every shape and hue. Everywhere the sand bottom rippled like a live thing. The ocean breathed on a gently heaving swell. A minute’s rest before the long journey back to Majnly. Barry and Duncan were soon a long way in front but Alison and I paced along. Four months ago I sat in a wheelchair on the esplanade and watched other swimmers doing this. I yearned to be in the water. I couldn’t even walk, now I’m doing Manly to Freshwater. I’m so lucky that my injuries weren’t worse. Elation at standing up at Manly –a 4 kilometre swim in 75 minutes. Not cold. Hot shower, hearty breakfast with good company at Manly Winebar. I suppose it doesn’t get any better than this during rehab. Don’t know if its doing my leg any good but it’s sure helping my head.