Swimming in Sydney during COVID Lockdowns Part 3b: Clovelly & beyond

Looking South from Clovelly. Sydney has such a beautiful coastline.

We swam at Clovelly for a month from mid-July to mid-August and in the last couple of weeks when conditions and time permitted we ventured out of Clovelly, at first into Gordons Bay and finally to Coogee and back.

Clovelly to Gordons Bay & return map
Clovelly to Gordons Bay variation
Swimming at Gordons Bay when Clovelly was too rough

Once we were comfortable swimming to and within Gordons Bay we did it whenever sea conditions getting out of Clovelly and around the headland were favourable and once when swimming within Clovelly was just about impossible (and dangerous). I was shredded on the rocks when getting out at Gordons, but the swim itself was fantastic.

You can get a bit of a swell within the bay at Clovelly

At Clovelly we really noticed a fair bit of sea life in the clear waters. There are a few different types of fish in Clovelly itself, including quite a few Blue Gropers and in Gordons Bay we saw a few generally harmless Port Jackson Sharks and probably a couple of small Grey Nurse Sharks too. They did not seem that interested in us. Nevertheless, I usually wore a Sharkbanz anklet.

The view from the Clovelly car park looking North. We’d swim out wide to avoid being washed into these rocks.
I can make it look a bit calmer with some slow shutter work on the camera.
At Clovelly, there is always something to see!
There’s always a chance of a freak wave.

It is pretty open going around the headland and heading south towards Gordons Bay, so there was some risk involved. I think the cold waters probably kept one of our big fears away (the nastier Noahs).

Gordons Bay
Looking across Coogee Bay to South Coogee and on the left you can see Wedding Cake Island and Mahon Point above it.

As COVID cases started to rise we started to wonder whether a tighter restriction would be imposed thus limiting our access to Clovelly and other open water swimming areas. So in our fourth week we began squeezing in more swims and we wondered whether we should push a swim to Coogee Beach and back. On what was to be our final Sunday swim at Clovelly conditions looked great and so off we went. It was truly memorable and really enjoyable.

Looking across Gordons Bay towards Coogee Bay (long exposure)
Coogee
Our route to Coogee and return. Not bad open water navigation!

Sadly, this did prove to be our final Clovelly swim and the last swim of the 10km from home period. On the way to Coogee we encountered a couple of surfers and also a couple of other swimmers doing a similar route. As we approached Coogee Beach we almost ran into a small group coming out. We all stopped and as I had a light blue swim cap on I asked them for their identity documents in my best authoritarian voice. They said they were only swimming in pairs, so I said I would let them off this one time and we swam away laughing our heads off.

Next up: where to swim after the 5km from home restrictions kicked in. Any guesses?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s