Shelly Beach is protected from the ocean swell by the reef that lies on the right hand side of the beach (when facing the ocean) and faces west. Facilities include 2 free electric barbecues, showers, toilets and a kiosk selling meals, drinks and ice cream. There is a restaurant on the beach called Le Kiosk. There is a bush track around the headland offering spectacular views of the Northern Beaches and North Head. The facilities also include parking at the rate of $8.00 an hour.
It was another rainy Saturday but the water temperature was a relatively balmy 17C this week in the North Sydney location of Manly. Local swim guru Cae had prepared great surf condition for us with a large swell but safe enough to swim from Shelly beach to Kingscliff and back.
On the first loop, Vlad was paddling and monitored all the swimmers – the main group of Dean, Anna, Ross, Cae and Rachael who all swam in unison at the same pace, with Marty and Anna just in front. It was great to welcome Jim and Jack after the first lap who swam the second loop with the main pack of 5.
Out in front, and swimming a longer route to Freshwater beach and back were Justin and Matt. They completed 2 return laps in 45 minutes followed by a shorter 30min loop from Shelly to South Manly. This was Matt’s last swim with us as he flies to Europe in 10 days ready for his English Channel tide from 13 July to 20 July. So good luck Matt and keep smiling
On the second swim to Kingscliff, Evan took over from Vlad as the support paddler, a role he took seriously. Evan had his eyes on all the swimmers, particularly Marty who had a tendency to alter his swim direction. As the swim progressed, the surf conditions started to change, becoming rougher, which made for a more challenging and interesting experience.
Once they’d completed the second loop, the guys remained in the area close to Shelly Beach - Cabbage Tree Bay – for another 30-40mins. All up, everyone was in the water for more than 3 hours and it took a while to warm up in the cold and rain once out of the water – getting dressed was quite hard with numb, shaking fingers! But after a warming and reviving coffee, everyone was ready to drive home safely and enjoy the rest of the day in the dry indoors.
Lessons learnt this week: it’s great to swim in the rain and with a cold air temperature if the water temperature is warm. Also rough surf conditions can be fun, as long as you ensure you’re swimming with friends – safety in numbers as you can keep an eye on each other to ensure you’re swimming at the same pace and in the same direction with no-one getting lost or cold.
Great job guys! And finally sunshine….
What to bring: Vladswim club togs (if you have one), goggles and cap, nutrition, drink and smile
Waiver form: No waiver no swim!
Swim Duration: 1-3 hours