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Archive for May 18th, 2012

Still Swimming

I may have mentioned before that autumn is my favourite season in Sydney and has been for many years. The first two weeks of March are often quite hot, with temperatures still averaging close to twenty-seven degrees celsius, but towards the end of the month the air loses much of its moisture and the nights become cooler. April, far from being the cruellest month, is perhaps the most beautiful month in Sydney, characterised by dry, clear, crisp days and cool, mild evenings. It is only when the first south-westerlies begin to blow, bringing colder air from the Snowy Mountains and tablelands, that the temperature dips significantly. As May progresses the air becomes a good deal cooler, yet temperatures still regularly reach the low twenties. With a winter average in Sydney of around fifteen degrees, there isn’t a long way to go down.

Another great advantage of autumn is that the ocean temperature remains high along the coast. Whereas swimming in the hotter weather of November involves the shock of 16 and 17 degree water, the average water temperature by the end of summer is around 22 degrees. This often persists right through to the end of April, and sometimes well into May. This has certainly been the case this year, and last weekend I went swimming both mornings at Bronte beach, where, sure enough, the water was still a lovely, silken 22 degrees. It was, admittedly, a chilly 14 degrees outside at nine in the morning, but it was very well worth going in.

This autumn has seemed all the more beautiful on account of having such a wet and cool summer. This last summer was much to my taste in not being so hot, yet the constant rain – the tail end of two consecutive La Ninas in the western Pacific -whilst beautiful and refreshing in itself, became somewhat annoying after several months. Its tendency to wash out most weekends, meant that I only first ventured to the beach in February, since when I have not looked back. This autumn has been one of the most beautiful I recall and V and I have tried to milk it as much as possible by going to Bronte beach whenever possible – usually Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. The place has become increasingly deserted as the sunny days cool down, yet this only makes it more inviting.

It may seem odd, therefore, considering such frequent visits to Bronte, that I have no photos to show for it. This is a consequence of taking little more than myself, a towel and ten dollars in the car. Indeed, the only beach shots included here are from a long weekend at Culburra Beach on the coast south of Wollongong. The rest are the process of a very slow accumulation, for I’ve been working a lot more recently and have had little time for prowling the streets with my camera. Hopefully I’ll have more time in the near future, but for the moment, here’s a bunch of recent stuff.

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