Into the void

On swimming with sharks and dolphins

Featured in

  • Published 20231107
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-89-4
  • Extent: 207pp
  • Paperback, ePub, PDF, Kindle compatible

THE SUN HAS just peeked above the cloudless horizon, but its golden light holds little warmth at this hour, at this time of year.

Overlooking the beckoning ocean in front of the South Maroubra Surf Club, I brace myself for the slap of wintry air on my bare skin as I remove my warm, woolly clothing. Goosebumps appear immediately over my body; my nipples contract and harden. The concrete, which holds the deep cold of night, numbs my feet. I pull on my wetsuit, bright-green rubber swimming cap, clean my goggles and briskly rub the palms of my hands together for warmth. Around me on this July morning are fifteen or so members of an ocean-swimming group based here at Maroubra and nearby Coogee on Bidjigal country in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. ‘The Coobras’ meet most days of the week, year-round – provided the water conditions are fit for swimming. The group’s lighthearted name reflects its general attitude: free of pretentiousness or smugness, it welcomes people of all swimming abilities. The slowest among the group proudly refer to themselves as ‘the turtles’.

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