Friday, April 13, 2012

Harbour Swim

 Stormboy's first open water race was around a few buoys and back. On Easter Saturday he swam the whole harbour; four kilometres from the Boatshed to the yacht club. That's him up the front, head bowed, skateboard scar on his shoulderblade. He's fourteen.

The night before while he was freaking out, I told him that Doust, Haimona and a dozen others would be right with him in canoes.  "Someone will be there to reef you out of the water if you get tired. Don't worry if you can't swim the whole way."
"I'm not getting reefed out!" He said.

 It was quite a strange experience as a mother, watching him take to the water and swim around the heads of the marina, heading for the open sea. I couldn't walk along the shore and watch him. He just swam straight out to sea.

I drove to our new home which is half way around the harbour, thinking I had another hour before I met my son on the other side. It was about nine and I made myself a leisurely cup of coffee. Mum rang. "He's come in. You'd better get here. He needs you."
"Shit! What time is it? What? How the hell did he get there so fast?"
"An hour and seven minutes," she said.

Stormboy was quite blue when he got out of the water. He said that five hundred metres before the yacht club, the swimmers hit a cold current that felt like a brick wall. His hands hurt and he was shivering uncontrollably. He was wobbly when I got there ten minutes later and he didn't want me to touch him. (I remember the same feeling after finishing the Avon Descent but, being a teenage girl, I was allowed to burst into tears.)


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  2. Aw - proud Mum. What a thing to do, watching your baby swim out into the great, wide ocean.

  3. Wow, quite an experience. Good on Stormboy.

  4. It was pretty wild feeling, Tom. Talk about living vicariously through your kids!
    When he got in he said he never wanted to do that again but once he thawed out he began to change his mind. I think by next year he will have forgotten the pain enough to do it all over again.
    Yes,Robin and Michelle, I'm a proud Mum, of both Stormboy and Pearlie.

  5. I felt for you as he disappeared towards the horizon(You have sharks down that way don't you?. Why weren't you swimming? Maybe to save your mother the same anxiety? Ahhh. Ocean swimming - there's nothing like it. I will hit the water to do a short 1km at Byron Bay in May. My second proper ocean swim as an adult.My first was quite anxiety inducing (perhaps my age)even though I've spent all my life body surfing in the same waters.

  6. I have a feeling that this won't be the last time your son achieves something which impresses the heck out of us. You have every reason to be proud, Sarah.

  7. Swimming in the sea, out where its dark and deep and the temperature changes like that, not for me. Never for me. Brave kid.

  8. Heaps of swimmers said the same thing about that cold current, so I know he wasn't complaining (Well I just had to look at his hue, to understand.)

    Good luck Mr Hat.
    I was going to swim but was too busy.
    Ha ha. Yes. Piker.

    Sharks Ciaran? Think of the law of averages. 180 swimmers.
    They are great white tagging at the moment, out by the islands. Hopefully there was not enough berley that day!

    Yes, Barbara, it won't be the first time, but my! Don't your heart swell.