Some say they are mad but this group of ocean swimmers (pictured) meet at 9am on Yamba’s Main Beach daily (except Saturday) and swim to the far side of Convent Beach and back again. They wait for everyone to come in at Convent Beach, check all are accounted for, then commence the return swim.
Last Sunday’s conditions were very good and attracted 19 swimmers including holiday makers. Some look forward to participating when they return for their annual holiday.
On shore is a regular ‘head counter’ who constantly counts heads and arms but as Lyn Eke said “swimmers do so at their own risk and the responsibility is totally theirs”.
People swim for various reasons… to challenge themselves, for fitness, for mental fitness, to improve their breathing, etc.
I asked if they worry about sharks and the response was that this isn’t a bad spot to swim as the Craigmore Rock shelf provides shallow waters and besides, the odds of an incident are higher on land.
Lyn Eke said she constantly listens to the swimmers on their return to Main Beach but never hears any complaints “they are always so happy”. Swimming is known to release the endorphins that create happiness and prevent depression.
Alan Lawrence advised that you see some amazing things out there particularly when the water is beautiful and clear e.g. sting rays, turtles and various fish.
Ocean swimming is not for the backyard pool swimmer. You need to contend with the distance, swell, wash, rips and current. So start with a small distance, maybe with flippers and preferably with a support person on a board.
Always advise someone you are out there. A good source of advice is your local Surf Club member.