Sunday, November 13, 2022

North Head


The perpetual forward grind of life has once again swept me into the eddy of adventure. The feeling of being pulled in every direction all at once reminds me to relax, breathe and loosen the grip just a little as the current of change takes hold.

Another Winter had passed me by without so much as a whisper from friends roaming through the mountains....still madly searching for that feeling we have all spent a lifetime chasing. The social media juggernaut had supplied a steady stream of cold, windy places, backcountry trips and sailing adventures in beautiful warm waters.

I needed to feel the biting wind of a blizzard, the freezing water of a cold dark canyon, or peer into the murky green depths of the ocean while swimming along the coast.......

A few short messages were sent and a plan was hatched to scramble and swim around North Head. A circumnavigation if you like from Manly to Manly. I had done the trip a number of years prior with mates and had a great day out so after having a swim around Middle Head a week or two earlier, Pat and I were good to go.

A mix of scrambling along seacliffs and swimming was a perfect way to spend the day and as always being flexible was key. With a multitude of swimming and triathalon events in the area we had to bypass the first leg of the swim which had us climbing up a down the cliffline for a while to access our start point.

Pat has the ability to manage his fear climbing through years of experience doing just that. The way he moves smoothly through any landscape with ease goes unoticed by many. I wondered about our route choice....

Sure enough without time to think we were scrambling up and down the rocks making good time. I didn't have time to be terrified as we made our way along the coast. It was a pleasant change to swimming this section.

I was relieved to finally get into the water after some mild arrhythmia and there was plenty to be distracted by, stopping along the way to check out some incredible rockpools. The marine life was once again a highlight along with the old feeling of working the body hard for hours on end.

Another highlight was swimming up to a beautiful seal sunbaking on the rocks. We clambered out of the water to take a photo before jumping back in and grinding out the last kilometre or two. Swimming across from Quarantine beach back to Manly was slightly nerve racking with so many boats racing around the inner harbour.

We arrived back in Manly knowing that the day had been a success on many levels......looking forward to more......

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