The water temperature in Moreton Bay is now over the 20 degree mark so your tough editor has now shed his wetsuit for the summer. Freedom!
There has been some interest over the past week or two about next year’s European swimming holidays. So it’s high time to get serious about expressions of interest. The trips under consideration so far are:
For information on each trip, please go to the website http://www.otteraquatics.com.au/swim-tours.html. There are links there to all three trips with information relevant for 2018. Details for 2019 trips will be similar but prices will likely do as prices do – increase a little.
Importantly, the trips will only go ahead if each trip has at least six participants.
So between now and early December (that’s not far away), please let me know if you are interested in coming along. In early December, I will issue invoices for deposits which must be received by 31st December 2018 in order for me to make bookings. Balances will be due by the end of May 2019.
The cost of getting to and from Europe is up to you, as is the cost of getting from one trip to another, assuming you want to do more than one. Each trip has its own price structure: all include accommodation, breakfasts and local transport and some, but not all, have lunches included.
I will be able to be more definite about which trips will go ahead and their dates when I have collated responses from you.
From Sunday 2nd September, our Sunday adult learn-to-swim, stroke correction and swimfit sessions will be returning to our summer venue of Murrumba Downs Aquatic Centre. The pool is at the corner of Dohles Rock Road and Ogg Road, Murrumba Downs. We will have three of the pool’s nine lanes reserved for us. Murrumba Downs is a 25 metre nine lane outdoor heated pool set in very attractive grounds. It is a modern, clean, well-maintained public pool with changing rooms, toilets and hot showers. The water temperature is set to 260-270 – perfect for our activities. There is ample car parking with access off Ogg Road.
Murrumba Downs is an outdoor pool and, while there is shade cloth over about half of the pool, we still need to be sun aware, so apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before entering the water, wear a rashie if you wish and wear a swimming cap if you wish (especially for those of us who are getting a little thin on top).
Our usual sessions will operate in one hourly timeslots at 9am, 10am and 11am. Bookings are essential.
We will be back at our winter venue, Redcliffe Aquatic Centre, from May to August 2019.
Also, there will be no swimming on Sunday 23rd September. I have a family commitment on that day.
As for our mid week sessions, we will remain at the Emily Seebohm Aquatic Centre in Fitzgibbon for another month or so as it is heated and our usual summer mid week venue of Deception Bay is not.
If anyone would like an additional mid week session, we have an agreement with Redcliffe Aquatic Centre for Thursday evenings. Please let me know if you would like this.
Don't forget to maintain your swimming fitness over the winter. Or, if you have somehow slackened off over the cooler months, it's time to get swimfit again for summer - remember, it's just around the corner.
Otter Aquatics runs adult learn-to-swim, stroke improvement and swimfit sessions every Sunday at the Redcliffe Aquatic Centre in hour-long sessions at 9am, 10am and 11am. Bookings are essential - phone me on 0438 652 696 or email at email@example.com.
We also have two mid-week stroke improvement and swimfit sessions. The first is on Wednesdays at 8am at the Emily Seebohm Aquatic Centre in Fitzgibbon. And the second is from 6.30pm to 7.30 pm on Thursdays at the Redcliffe Aquatic Centre. Contact me for details for both.
Finally, we continue our open water swims throughout the winter (did you ever doubt it?). We swim at Queens Beach North, Scarborough, at 8am every Saturday and at Scott's Point Beach, Margate, at 8am every Tuesday and Thursday. Just turn up if you want to experience the delight that is cold water swimming. Or contact me if you would like specific open water swimming instruction.
At our weekly Saturday morning open water swim at Queens Beach North, Scarborough, on Saturday 9th June, two of our swimmers had a near miss with a tinny. Both of us had been observing the tinny for some time as it rounded the southern reef and headed towards the boat ramp near Griffith Road. No matter what we did to avoid collision – swim faster, swim more slowly or alter our course – it all seemed to make no difference to the tinny skipper who seemed set on a course to intercept us, presumably unintentionally. His course wavered constantly making it difficult for us to judge his intent, and all the time, he kept closing in directly on us. Just when a collision seemed imminent, one of us shouted out and the other put his arm up to fend off the expected blow from the tinny’s bow. Not only would impact with the bow have been serious enough in itself but the prospect of being in contact with the outboard’s propeller was pretty frightening.
On hearing our shout, the skipper of the tinny cut his engine, looked over the side and apologised. One of us (the one who is well known for losing his cool on occasions such as this) let fly with a few choice expletives which translated to something like ‘would you please be so kind as to keep a better lookout in future’. The skipper was alone in his tinny so the bow was thrust up in the air making keeping a lookout ahead of him difficult; but he should have altered course decisively and frequently (not the erratic behaviour he did display) in order to see ahead of his boat.
There are probably two take-aways from this harrowing experience. The first is a suggestion to erect a notice at the boat ramp along the lines of ‘We frequently swim in these waters. While we always try to keep a lookout for tinnies, jetskies, kayaks, SUPs, etc, we would be grateful if you could also keep a lookout for us’. The other suggestion is that we always bring a tow float with us. Although our hi-vis swimming caps are not bad, because of the low profile of a swimmer’s head in the water, they are probably not enough. Inflatable tow floats attach to the waist, bob along behind the swimmer and cause negligible drag. They can also carry goodies for longer swims such as money, phone, car keys, food, water, jelly beans, a change of clothes, a car for the return trip (well …!), etc. Experience has shown that they are very visible from a distance, even when swimming caps are not. Three of us in the OWS group already have them and, if more would like to purchase one, I can make a bulk order with wiggle.com and so avoid shipping costs. The cost price is $54. Please let me know if you would like one or more.
And, on the subject of buying stuff, if anyone would like a neoprene cap, please let me know. The cost price is $37. Remember that the head is the most important part of the body to project from the cold. While you might look like a bit of a dill, it will certainly keep your head warm. Just remember the old adage ‘any fool can be uncomfortable’. A yellow swimming cap over the top disguises the dorkiness a bit. And if more people wear them, I won’t feel quite so bad.
Click here to see the June 2018 Otter Aquatics newsletter.
Otter Aquatics is now offering mid-week swimfit training. Location: Redcliffe pool. Time: 6.30pm to 7.30pm on Thursdays commencing on 14 June. Cost: $20. Contact me on 0438 652 696 to book your place.
On 1 May 2018, I addressed a regular meeting of the Moreton Bay Regional Council on the subject of our opposition to the trial dog off-leash area at Queens Beach North.
Here is my submission to Council:
Community Consultation Session, Council Meeting 1 May 2018:
Trial Dog Off-Leash Area, Queens Beach North, Scarborough
I would like to make an input to Council’s consideration of the above trial dog off-leash area.
I am an open water swimmer and. for the past six years or so, together with a group of friends, I have swum at Queens Beach North, Scarborough, on two or three days per week for fitness and enjoyment. We have done so without incident and in full cooperation with other users of the beach and adjacent waters, headlands and parkland including other exercise groups, fishers, boat, kayak and paddleboard users, as well as other swimmers and family groups. We are a very responsible group and take our own safety and enjoyment of the beach and that of others very seriously.
I have consulted my friends and we believe that a dog off-leash area at Queens Beach North is not in the best interests of the majority of beach users for the following reasons:
I do not wish to suggest that all dogs are untrained or that all owners are irresponsible, but the clear fact is that many are, and they make life hard for the rest.
Some people have suggested that I am a dog hater. I am absolutely not. I have had dogs myself for most of my life.
It would appear that Queens Beach North is to be either a people’s beach or a dogs’ beach. It cannot be both.
I have encouraged input by others to Council’s deliberations by mail, on-line and phone. I have also instigated a petition through change.org which has, in itself, elicited more than 30 responses to date.
I hope that Council will prohibit off-leash dogs from Queens Beach North.
Murrumba Downs Aquatic Centre is now closed for the winter with our last Sunday there being last Sunday, 29 April. From next Sunday, 6 May, we will return to our winter venue of Redcliffe Aquatic Centre, which is on the corner of Oxley Avenue and Sydney Street. It is a 50 metre indoor heated pool. We have lanes 1 and 2 reserved for us on Sunday mornings which we may divide into four 25m lanes from time–to-time. There is ample parking on site with car park entrances off both Sydney Street and Oxley Avenue. The same entry procedure as at present will apply: just tick your name off on the list kept at reception as you enter and place your fees into the box on the pool deck.
We will return to Murrumba Downs Aquatic Centre on Sunday 2 September 2018. There’s a diary note for you.