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Some are open now. Sutherland pool is open apparently 10 at a time for 30 minutes. Plenty of saltwater options round here too. 

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I've swum the last 2 days.  Got two sessions tomorrow (different pools).  Half hour slots only.  I am not that keen, but better than sitting in the carpark while the daughter swims.  Realise how much I enjoy it actually.

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57 minutes ago, roxii said:

Some are open now. Sutherland pool is open apparently 10 at a time for 30 minutes. Plenty of saltwater options round here too. 

 

6 minutes ago, Diamonds said:

I've swum the last 2 days.  Got two sessions tomorrow (different pools).  Half hour slots only.  I am not that keen, but better than sitting in the carpark while the daughter swims.  Realise how much I enjoy it actually.

What would be the closest pool to the CBD where I might get 30mins done?

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How cold is the water in Sydney at the moment? Or others doing open water swims,? 

Jumped in yesterday and bloody froze. Was 13 when i looked at the river data. 

Just my face was so hard to get in for proper freestyle  . 

25 min was my tjpping point and I got out.  Only had my 1.5mm wetty on. 

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It's about 14.5 in the bay in Melbourne - it's pretty cold getting in but once you're swimming it's fine.  I've only been swimming up to 30 minutes but that's because my training buddy is soft. I would love to go further but don't want to be out there on my own. I am carrying an extra couple of kilos compared to summer as well, which definitely helps 

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2 minutes ago, -H- said:

It's about 14.5 in the bay in Melbourne - it's pretty cold getting in but once you're swimming it's fine.  I've only been swimming up to 30 minutes but that's because my training buddy is soft. I would love to go further but don't want to be out there on my own. I am carrying an extra couple of kilos compared to summer as well, which definitely helps 

Did you swim from summer down to that temp? 

I had trouble getting my face in, but not so much when I swam twice a week from summer through. 

What wetsuit ya reckon? Hood as well? 

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3 minutes ago, Turts said:

What wetsuit ya reckon? Hood as well? 

A neoprene cap makes a huge difference. I swam in Melbourne at the end of July a couple years ago. Just speedos & a neoprene cap, and there's no way I could have done it without the cap.

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2 minutes ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

A neoprene cap makes a huge difference. I swam in Melbourne at the end of July a couple years ago. Just speedos & a neoprene cap, and there's no way I could have done it without the cap.

I had a neoprene one, but not my one from last winter (couldnt find jt). 

Not gonna rock speedos for obvious reasons . But damn, hood and Speedos?  What was the temp? 

I struggled to get my face in. Took 5 min or so. 

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I think it was 9 degrees. I did 1km the first day, then went back & did nearly 2km the next. 

The first day was a real shock. I'd never swum under 15 before, and it was quite rough. The next day I was ready for it and set out to do the full loop. I don't think I could have gone much further because I was starting to get claw in my fingers. I think if I had stayed there another week I could have done an hour though.

As for getting my face in, I just dive straight under & it's done. I sometimes get brain-freeze if I don't wear a cap. but that's about it.

Edited by Ex-Hasbeen
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1 hour ago, Turts said:

How cold is the water in Sydney at the moment? Or others doing open water swims,? 

I'm doing Open water in Sydney every day in speedos and don't feel a thing (got a bit of quarantine blubber though) 

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2 hours ago, ComfortablyNumb said:

Any pools open in Sydney in June?  What about the saltwater pools at the beaches?

Any pools that are seasonal are closed and have decided to remain that way until September. I've checked with most of the councils around me that run year round outdoor pools some are "still thinking" and some are opening up and using a booking system, either by phone or online if you have a membership already.

Water temp at Kurnell according to the web is 20 degrees. 

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54 minutes ago, Turts said:

Did you swim from summer down to that temp? 

I had trouble getting my face in, but not so much when I swam twice a week from summer through. 

What wetsuit ya reckon? Hood as well? 

I've been swimming in the bay regularly, but really noticed the temperature drop in the last couple of weeks.  My face hurts for the first little bit but after about 30 seconds it's fine.  We even stop for a chat at each pole, if I was truly cold I would just keep swimming. I'm just wearing my Roka race wettie, double cap and ear plugs.  I've been looking at getting a thermal cap, gloves and booties but haven't needed them so far.

I just want to swim until the Winter Solstice, then I'll sit on the couch until the pools open again haha

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1 hour ago, ComfortablyNumb said:

 

What would be the closest pool to the CBD where I might get 30mins done?

Sorry mate.  I am an hour south of Sydney.  4 council pools I know of in the Illawarra have reopened.  Most of the ocean pools have been usable throughout too.  Not sure what is happening in Sydney itself.

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Silicone earplugs have been a mssive find for me.  Plus 2 caps & the 3/4 20yo Aleda tri  wettie were good for 20-30mins for in the local dam when it was 15.  It's prob more like 10 now, so bugger that.

We are going to Syd to visit the kids for 4 days mid-June, so keen to get a few swims in if I can.

The ocean saltwater pools sound like a possibility.  I recall there were some along the Coogee to Bondi walk.  I'd probably still use a 3/4 wettie, though 20 deg would be ok in Speedos, 2 caps & earplugs.

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2 hours ago, Turts said:

How cold is the water in Sydney at the moment? Or others doing open water swims,?

18.9C at Manly in Sydney this morning according to the B&B attendance page. It rarely drops below 16 over winter. Plenty of B&B swimmers go through winter without a wettie. Then there's the winter solstice swim where even less is worn.

17C at Port Beach this morning according to the Port Beach Polar Bears. I've been slack and haven't swum with them since mid March, though I did go bodysurfing at Trigg Beach last week. I was in for quite a while (making the most of it, waves are usually crap at Perth beaches) and it didn't seem too cold at all.

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Not a single pool open in Canberra yet...

And Sydney is always swimable. Even people who are generally cold can swim with a wettie

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It is 14 degrees at Ocean City Maryland, was thinking of a 3 day break, that would be good for paddling only though

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10 hours ago, ComfortablyNumb said:

 

We are going to Syd to visit the kids for 4 days mid-June, so keen to get a few swims in if I can.

 

Like Paul said above. lots still doing the B&B swim at manly. Most without wetsuits.

IronJimbo and I swam Wedenesday in wetties... did both the 06:30 and 07:00am groups, then a short run to curl curl (10km return).

I reckon water temp was about 19.... not cold, but because I am all skin and bone, I tend to shiver a bit after about 3 minutes of being back on dry land.......hence a quick jog... or rug up with some good clothes.

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47 minutes ago, IronmanFoz said:

I am all skin and bone, I tend to shiver a bit after about 3 minutes of being back on dry land.......hence a quick jog... or rug up with some good clothes.

Or alcohol

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55 minutes ago, IronmanFoz said:

I am all skin and bone, I tend to shiver a bit after about 3 minutes of being back on dry land.......hence a quick jog... or rug up with some good clothes.

They do it right at the Brighton yacht club. Straight from the water into the steam room. Warms you so quick.

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Anyone subscribe to the oceanswims.com  newsletters? They had an interesting article about swimming in cold water. I'll try & post a link

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I might list them here (as people may find it helpful) if anyone wants to sticky this, then go for it.

Canada Bay
Drummoyne - shut until September
Cabarita - shut until September

Parramatta
Epping - Open from the 25th, have to book a lane from the looks - no details
Macarthur Girls - Open from the 25th, have to book a lane from the looks - no details

City of Sydney
Prince Alfred Park - June 1, still working out details
Victoria Park - June 1, still working out details

Inner West
Leichhardt - open and taking bookings over the phone for non members - 45min limit

Canterbury-Bankstown
All pools from May 23 - via an eventbrite booking 1 hour limit

Cumberland
All pools - not opening

Blacktown
Outdoor pools are closed for the season

Penrith
Season pool - so closed for winter

Mountains
Glenbrook - book in
All other outdoor pools are seasonal

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8 minutes ago, Surfer said:

Anyone subscribe to the oceanswims.com  newsletters? They had an interesting article about swimming in cold water. I'll try & post a link

Here it is.

From https://oceanswims.com/what-s-new/latest-newsletter/item/168.html

The Cold Water Issue

It's May, late May, and water is beginning to cool for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere. If you take Donald Trump at his word, we are entering the most dangerous time of year for Covid-19, whilst those in the Northern Hemisphere are looking forward to the pandemic fizzling out, as if by magic, as summer approaches. Never mind. As it seems more and more punters are swimming all year 'round -- we have no data on this; it's just a gut feeling -- it's time for all of us to get smarter about swimming in cooler conditions, and to be more aware of the risks and how to handle them.


But rather than reinvent the wheel, we thought we should reprise two pieces that we ran over two years ago containing advice about how to handle cooler water. The first is by our fave anaesthetist, Snooze Doc Howard Roby, a swimmer in Sydney, who contributed this to us following the 2017 Bondi-Bronte swim, which was run in very cold (for Sydney) conditions. It struck us at the time that there is no body of knowledge available generally to swim awgies on how to manage their events in cooler water. The second piece comes from "The National Centre for Cold Water Safety", which is in the US, hence their copious use of Fahrenheit rather than Celsius. We have changed their use of "acclimation" to "acclimatisation". (We despise the North American abuse of English, but we recognise that we are witnessing the development of a dialect, and we must respect that.)


We reproduce these pieces in full, as they appeared at the time, Dr Roby's piece on April 21, 2018, and the US piece on March 14 the same year.


Here, too, is a guide to swimming in cold water by Charlie Evans, a swim coach and open water swimmer. It was drawn to all our attention by Bellywhackers, an "open water swimming collective" in Melbourne's Bayside area. You can follow Bellywhackers also on Twitter @belloywhackers... Click here 

swimmer sun forster

Hypothermia 101

When is cold too cold?

Early this season, writes Howard Roby, controversy raged after the Bondi to Bronte swim was modified to allow swimmers to use wetsuits. This came about because of unseasonably cold water temperatures and the concerns of the officials about the possibility of some swimmers developing hypothermia. Snooze Doc Howard, an anaesthetist, offers this guide to dealing with hypothermia...


The term hypothermia refers to a core body temperature of below 35 degrees C, whereas normal core body temperature is around 37 degrees C.


Despite the change in the rules at Bondi-Bronte, some swimmers did need to be transported to hospital with hypothermia. I have seen different estimates of the water temp that day and have been told by the officials that the temperature during the swim was actually 13.7C. Due to the interest created by this swim, and as a committed ocean swimmer, I have been asked to write a piece on hypothermia. I am not an expert on hypothermia but I have qualifications in anaesthesia and intensive care where I spend a lot of my time and energy preventing patients from becoming hypothermic. I swam that race without a wetsuit and was very cold but I still felt as though I was functioning normally after it. I had a coffee an hour after the Bondi to Bronte swim with my friend, PJ, who is very fit but doesn’t have much fat. He was still slurring his speech and appeared drunk, although he kept telling me he felt normal.

First, some physiology

The human body functions well only within a narrow temperature range. A core temperature drop of 2 degrees C is dangerous and a 3 degreesC drop can kill you. Every cell in your body is a heat making machine. The act of burning energy creates heat. Even if you sit absolutely still, you are still using energy to keep your body functioning and thus producing some heat. The more exercise you perform, the more heat you produce.


Body temperature depends on a balance between heat production or gain and heat loss. In air, most heat is lost or gained by radiation as in warming from the sun. In water though, heat is lost mostly by conduction to the water. The colder the water, the more rapidly you lose heat and the faster your body temperature falls. In water below 34 C your body temperature will fall. The colder the water, the faster you’ll cool.


The major physiological defence mechanism you have to reduce heat loss is to constrict your surface blood vessels. This is why your skin is white when you’re cold and pink when you’re warm. In the cold, blood is shunted away from the skin and diverted towards your core. This increases blood flow to your kidneys which is one reason why you need to empty your bladder so often when you get cold. Shivering is an attempt by your body to increase heat production. It usually starts at a core temperature of around 34C but beware that it usually stops if your temp falls below 32C. Fat is an insulator, offering some protection against heat loss as well as increasing buoyancy.


Ocean swimmers are at particular risk of hypothermia because they are typically fit and muscled, with large surface veins. These carry blood just below the skin – which increases heat loss. Swimmers also typically have little fat to insulate them, also predisposing to rapid loss of body heat.


Swimming increases heat production in the muscles, but because it also increases blood flow to the muscles, and through the superficial veins, it increases the loss of heat through the skin. Moving the limbs through the water increases the flow of water across the skin, further increasing heat loss. The net effect is that swimming increases heat loss more than heat production; temperature falls faster when swimming than when floating still in the water.


Survival time in water depends on many factors, including water temperature. This makes estimating survival time difficult and often inaccurate. Published “survival tables” refer to specific conditions, but are hard to relate to different conditions of water and air temperature, wind strength, wave speed and height, presence or absence of clothing or wetsuit, flotation, head coverage or lack thereof, degree of physical activity, as well as physical factors such as muscle mass, natural insulation by body fat, natural buoyancy and proportion of the body on or above the surface – all of which affect rate of cooling.


SUDDEN IMMERSION in cold water causes marked and dangerous physiological responses. Most obvious is the gasp response: rapid, deep and uncontrollable breathing. Maximum breath hold time is reduced, and coordination between breathing and swimming action is lost. These contribute to a high risk of drowning within a very short period, even before getting to the first turning buoy.


Sudden cooling of the skin causes widespread constriction of the surface vessels, shunting blood to the body core. The sudden increase in blood flow back to the heart can cause a dramatic increase in blood pressure, and an irregular heart beat. There is an increase in production of adrenaline and noradrenaline, pushing the blood pressure and heart rate up even more.


Confusingly, sudden immersion in cold water can also cause the dive reflex, a sudden slowing of the heart, and a rush of cold water up the nose can exacerbate this or even cause the heart to stop. The competing effects of these contradictory drives can cause a dangerous, even lethal, irregular heart rhythm.


All of these responses occur when the body surface is first exposed to cold water; the core temperature has not yet changed at all - the person is not hypothermic.


For these reasons, cold water should be entered slowly. Before a cold swim, wade into the water, or allow water to enter your wetsuit just before you start the swim. This reduces the effects of sudden immersion in cold water.


Do the effects of sudden immersion decrease with repeated exposure? – a little, after a long period. Do not think you are immune!


dumaresq
From the sublime to the ridiculous. Well, not ridiculous, but from one extreme to the other: early morning swimmers from Armidale, on the NSW Northern Tablelands, enter Dumaresq Dam, where mornings a tad cooler than they are on the coast. Pic by Peter Hancock @platocean

Recognition of hypothermia

The initial response to cold water is constriction of the surface blood vessels, reducing heat loss via the skin. The initial feeling of cold on the skin lessens over a few minutes, as the temperature sensors in the skin become accustomed to the stimulus. As the tissues of the body lose heat, the body core temperature starts to fall. By 35oC there is reduced awareness of cold, often a feeling that everything is fine. Muscle strength is reduced. Muscular activity is less efficient, swimming less coordinated and less powerful. There is reduced ability to recognise the deterioration in function. Speech is slurred, reflecting impaired brain function – people like this have been mistakenly assumed to be drunk. Between 34 and 35oC mental acuity is markedly impaired. Judgement and memory are impaired, and with it the ability to remember training, to recognise danger, and to act logically. Swimmers are likely to miss buoys, change direction the wrong way, fail to avoid waves or swell, and are unlikely to signal for assistance. At this stage they may be seen to be swimming, but not making any headway.


Mentally there is a determination to keep swimming, without any understanding of what is happening. There is no awareness of the need for immediate rescue. By 34oC thinking, reason, memory and awareness are very limited. Extreme lethargy gives way to a desire to sleep; this precedes a decrease in conscious level, predisposing to a quiet, un-noticed disappearance below the water and drowning.


Because the hypothermic swimmer does not recognise that they are becoming hypothermic, control of the swimmers must be exercised by people who are not in the water. (Tasmania Police Rescue divers in water of 12 - 13C, wearing two layers of thick wetsuit with hood and boots, are under the control of a diver in the mother boat for this reason.)

What water temperature is safe for swimming?

To a small degree this depends on acclimatisation. People in Canada and Europe tolerate lower water temperatures than we do, but usually for shorter swims. They often have higher body fat content, and may use artificial insulation.


The physiological effects are dramatically increased in water below 15oC so this might be a reasonable absolute minimum. Between 15 and 20oC an acceptable water temperature would depend on the wind, waves, wetsuits and head covering, sunshine, individual physical makeup, the length of the swim, and the other variables mentioned earlier.


Does gender make a difference? Females have a slightly higher total body fat percentage, so a little more insulation, and have a higher surface area to mass ratio. Males typically have a higher muscle mass, so producing more heat. The net effect is probably a small difference between male and female ocean swimmers, with females at slightly more risk.

Prevention of hypothermia

Make assessment of water and weather conditions a formal part of every swim GO or Postpone decision. Ensure you have a club doctor who is well informed on hypothermia, is part of the decision-making process, and listen to his or her advice.


In cold conditions, keep as warm as possible before starting the swim. The warmer you are before you start, the longer it takes to become cold. DO NOT walk around uncovered, thinking you are getting yourself ready / used to the cold.


Make sure you are well hydrated.

  • In cold water, below about 20C, always wear at least one swim cap. In lower temperatures, wear two.
  • When to wear a wetsuit depends on water temperature, degree of warmth from the sun, wind strength, wave height and velocity, and how far the swim is, as well as your physical characteristics. Some examples -
  • a swim of 1.5 km in water 0f 17C, without a wetsuit, is likely to leave a swimmer mildly hypothermic, looking pale, shivering, and feeling cold;
  • a swim of 5 km in water of 20C, by a swimmer with a little body fat, no wetsuit, is likely to leave him or her mildly hypothermic, looking pale, shivering, and feeling cold;
  • the same 5 km swim, but in water of 21C, by a thin muscular swimmer with large surface veins, without wetsuit, is likely to leave the swimmer very cold, visibly affected and under-performing;
  • an 8 km swim in water of 20C, without wetsuit, is likely to cause moderate, and dangerous hypothermia in many of the swimmers;
  • a 10 km swim in water under 20oC is likely to leave most swimmers moderately hypothermic, and some in hospital.

So, there are no good rules, but it would seem sensible to consider wearing a wetsuit in any swim under 17C, or any swim over 5 km.


Ocean swimming is meant to fun, not a trial of survival!


wave forster
Forster, last week.

Management of hypothermic swimmers

  • Recognise that their performance is impaired;
  • Understand that they may not realise this, and argue with you;
  • Get them out of the water;
  • Shelter them from wind;
  • Dry them, cover the whole body in dry clothing / blankets, particularly the head. If they are conscious, keep them wrapped up, and allow them to warm themselves by their own heat production. They must be carefully observed, as their core temperature may continue to drop and they may lose consciousness;
  • Give them warm, not hot, sweet drinks. Warmed blankets are useful, as is body-to-body contact;
  • The ubiquitous space blanket that looks like a giant piece of aluminium foil may not be all that good for treating hypothermia. If you’re warm, they are good at keeping you warm. They won’t rapidly warm up someone who is cold;
  • Active heating with a specially designed forced air warming blanket is preferable to a space blanket;
  • DO NOT leave them alone;
  • DO NOT use hot water bottles or chemical heating packs, as these are likely to result in burns;
  • DO NOT put them in a hot shower or bath; rapid warming causes the superficial vessels to dilate rapidly; blood pressure falls dangerously, cold blood trapped in the periphery is suddenly released, and a bolus of cold blood returning to the heart can cause a fatal irregular heart beat.

Once they are rewarmed, their swim for the day is over. Do not allow them to re-enter the water.


Unconscious or semi-conscious people should be treated as above, on their side in the coma position with airway support, and transported by ambulance to hospital for more intensive management.

Should Bondi-Bronte have been cancelled?

I’m not smart enough to know the answer to that but I hope the organisers understood the dangers. Swimmers may rapidly get hypothermic and have breathing and heart difficulties before they even get to the first buoy (as happened to one of my colleagues) or they may start to act irrationally midway through the swim. They may turn out to sea and start swimming away from then land or they may drown.


In summary, if you are thinking of swimming in cold water -

  1. Consider how long you’ll be in the water for;
  2. Consider the weather conditions;
  3. Wear at least one bathing cap;
  4. Consider wearing a wetsuit;
  5. Keep yourself warm leading up to the swim but make sure you’ve entered the water slowly when you do get in;
  6. Make sure someone who is not in the water is keeping an eye on you.


Howard Roby is an anaesthetist at St Vincents Hospital in Sydney, a former water poloist, and a regular ocean swimmer. Dr Roby has two Cole Classic plates.

divider

forster feet
We all have our own styles. 

What is cold water?

From the National Center for Cold Water Safety (US)


Cold water can kill you in less than a minute. It's actually so dangerous that it kills a lot of people within seconds. Thousands of people have drowned after falling into cold water and a lot of them died before they even had a chance to reach the surface.


That's a scientific and medical fact that most people have trouble understanding - because they have no personal experience actually being in cold water. When they hear or think about 50F (10C) water, it doesn't sound particularly cold - or dangerous - because they're mentally comparing it to 50F (10C) air. It's a big mistake that gets a lot of people killed each year. This is explained in much greater detail in the section Why Cold Water is Dangerous.


You should treat any water temperature below 70F (21C) with caution.

Water Temperature Safety Guide
Below 77F (25C)
Breathing begins to be affected.

This is why the official water temperature required for Olympic swimming competition is 77-82F (25-28C).

70-60F (21-15C) Dangerous

Controlling your breathing and holding your breath becomes progressively more difficult as water temperature falls as water temperature falls from 70°F to 60°F (21°C to 15°C).

True or False: You don't need thermal protection when the water temperature is above 60F (15C). False. You should certainly be wearing a wetsuit or drysuit below 60F, however, 60F (15C) is not the temperature at which most people should start wearing thermal protection.

60-50F (15-10C) Very Dangerous/Immediately Life-threatening

Total loss of breathing control. Maximum intensity cold shock. Unable to control gasping and hyperventilation.


Fact: Cold shock is as extreme between 50-60F (10-15C) as it is at 35F (2C).
Most people who are unaccustomed to cold water will experience a maximum cold shock response somewhere between 50-60F (10-15C). For some individuals, this happens at 57F (14C), for others, the peak occurs at 52F (11C) and so on.


This means that an unprotected immersion in this temperature range will cause most people to completely lose control of their breathing – they will be gasping and hyperventilating as hard and fast as they can.


Since cold shock reaches its maximum intensity between 50-60F (10-15C), it can’t get any more intense at lower water temperatures. In other words, breathing control, once completely lost, cannot be lost to a greater degree.

Below 40F (5C) Very Dangerous/Immediately Life-threatening

Total loss of breathing control. Unable to control gasping and hyperventilation. Water feels painfully cold.


Below 40F (4.5C), water is so painfully cold that it often feels like it’s burning your skin. For many people, the notorious “ice cream headache” can be triggered simply by water touching your face. Even though cold shock is no more intense than it was between 50-60F (10-15C), the severe pain makes a desperate situation even worse because it greatly increases your psychological stress. Clear thinking becomes almost impossible.


forster ken cops it
Ken cops it: Ken Maytom, in just the right spot to absorb the dump. Forster.

See for Yourself

If you're in good physical shape and feeling adventurous, a very memorable way to find out about cold water is by conducting a personal experiment. First, make sure the tap water is as cold as it will get by running the faucet for a minute or two, then fill a glass and measure the temperature.


When you're feeling brave, get in the shower and turn it on full blast. No shower? No problem. Have a friend spray you with cold water from a garden hose while you're wearing a bathing suit.


Warning:Don't try this unless you're completely healthy because the shock of cold water hitting your skin will cause an immediate, and often dramatic, increase in your blood pressure and heart rate. If there's any doubt in your mind, check with your doctor

Interesting Temperatures

  • 98.6F(37C) Normal body temperature measured with an oral thermometer.
  • 99.6F(37.5C) Deep body or core temperature measured with a rectal thermometer.
  • 95F(35C) For medical purposes, this is the clinical point at whichh hypothermia begins.
  • 91F(32.7C) The temperature of your skin.
  • 85F(29.4C) Water feels pleasantly cool rather than warm.
  • 77-82F(25-28C) Swimming pool temperature range for Olympic competition.
  • 70F(21C) Water feels quite cold to most people. Treat any water temperature below 70F (21C) with caution.
  • 40F(4.4C) or lower Water is painfully cold.


kilponen avalon
Not strictly ocean swimming, but a glorious autumn image from Avalon, on Sydney's Northern Beaches, by (Sydney Morning Herald and freelance) photographer Dallas Kilponen, himself a swimmer and a surfer from Sydney's Eastern Suburbs @dallaskilponen

Different Strokes

Most people unfamiliar with cold water find 70F (21C) to be quite cold. On the other hand, a competitive open-water swimmer who is used to swimming in 55F (13C) water will probably think that 70F (21C) doesn’t feel very cold at all. What’s important to your safety is how you personally respond to cold water.


Acclimatisation and body fat can make a significant difference in how someone responds to cold water.


Acclimatisation is a process by which your body gradually adapts itself to cold water through repeated exposure. Through acclimation, it’s possible to improve circulation to the hands during cold water immersion, and to greatly reduce or eliminate cold shock.


Body fat is an excellent insulator. Seals, whales, and other warm-blooded aquatic mammals have a lot of this insulating fat - called blubber - which enables them to keep warm while swimming in cold oceans.


Because fat provides insulation from the cold, it can delay incapacitation and hypothermia and also improve physical stamina in the water. Repeated exposure to even cool water increases the layer of fat directly under the skin surface (subcutaneous fat).


You can easily see this body fat difference by comparing the physical appearance of Olympic swimmers and runners. Swimmers have a lot of subcutaneous fat and a sleek, streamlined look. Runners have very little fat and more obvious muscle definition.


Acclimatisation reduces the intensity of cold shock


Acclimatisation does not protect you against incapacitation, swimming failure and hypothermia.


Body fat does not reduce the intensity of cold shock.


Body fat provides insulation, slows heat loss, and delays incapacitation and hypothermia.

A Very Remarkable Swim

An excellent example of how body fat can prolong cold water survival is the remarkable case of Icelandic fisherman Gudlaugur Fridthorsson. On a cold night in March, 1984, Fridthorsson was working on a 75 foot (23m) commercial fishing vessel when the nets snagged on the ocean bottom and she capsized three miles off the rugged coast of Heimaey Island.


Although he wasn't a particularly good swimmer, Fridthorsson swam for six hours in 41-43F (5-6C) water before reaching shore. He was the sole survivor of the five-man crew. How in the world did he do it? In a word, he was obese. At 6'4" and 125kgs, he had a chart-busting BMI in excess of 30. His physique was similar to a seal’s.

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5 hours ago, roxii said:

When you're feeling brave, get in the shower and turn it on full blast. No shower? No problem. Have a friend spray you with cold water from a garden hose while you're wearing a bathing suit.

I do this every day. It's been especially beneficial since not being able to swim. I've been able to jump back into cold water (relatively) without the issues I did a couple years ago when first adapting to the cold. 

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6 hours ago, MissJess said:

I might list them here (as people may find it helpful) if anyone wants to sticky this, then go for it.

Ryde and Maquarie Uni both closed too.

Edited by toolex

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Any heated pools open in Brisbane. Private pools. 
not keen on going to enogera dam 

Edited by Prince

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6 minutes ago, Prince said:

Any heated pools open in Brisbane. Private pools. 
not keen on going to enogera dam 

Prince, not sure which area you are in, but Albany Creek pool opens from this Saturday. Not sure how they will manage bookings etc, but if close enough for you would be worth contacting them.

https://albanycreeklc.com.au/

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14 minutes ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

Prince, not sure which area you are in, but Albany Creek pool opens from this Saturday. Not sure how they will manage bookings etc, but if close enough for you would be worth contacting them.

https://albanycreeklc.com.au/

excellent. I am at Aspley. 

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City of Sydney - both Victoria Park and Prince Alfred Park pools from June 1, and will be via a booking system. Get onto the newsletter, I assume the booking link will be there soon.

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12 hours ago, IronmanFoz said:

Like Paul said above. lots still doing the B&B swim at manly. Most without wetsuits.

IronJimbo and I swam Wedenesday in wetties... did both the 06:30 and 07:00am groups, then a short run to curl curl (10km return).

I reckon water temp was about 19.... not cold, but because I am all skin and bone, I tend to shiver a bit after about 3 minutes of being back on dry land.......hence a quick jog... or rug up with some good clothes.

If you're swimming at Manly, the outdoor shower always feels warmer than the showers in the gents. I'm yet unable to provide a comparison with the ladies' change rooms.

It's also good to have 2 or 3 litres of hot water to poor over yourself after the shower. If you wrap your shirt and jumper around your hot water bottle before your swim, they'll then feel warm when you pull them on afterwards.

Winter swimming is pretty cool down at Manly in many ways. The visibility is often excellent, and the cuttlefish, Port Jackson sharks and crested-horn sharks have arrived with the lower water temperatures.

Don't be put off by the warnings you may hear on the radio for dangerous surf conditions, Manly is relatively well protected and once you round the point and turn toward Shelly, even more so. On the rare occasions when it is a bit rough, some swimmers may opt not to enter the water at Manly, but walk to Shelly and swim 500 metres to the point off Manly before turning around. Even so, I've never headed down to Manly and not felt comfortable swimming out through the break.

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20 hours ago, roxii said:

dumaresq
From the sublime to the ridiculous. Well, not ridiculous, but from one extreme to the other: early morning swimmers from Armidale, on the NSW Northern Tablelands, enter Dumaresq Dam, where mornings a tad cooler than they are on the coast. Pic by Peter Hancock @platocean

 

That's my local dam.  Did a few swims there in a wettie up till a month ago.  Below 19/20, I start looking for a wetsuit.  It's probably less than 15 in there now.

Peter Hancock who took that pic is a famously mad swimming local, who once swam 1000 days in a row, including in the snow in that dam!

He's also a mad fly-fisherman like me, was once telling me how he drove to one of the Mavora Lakes in NZ, stashed his fly-fishing gear, drove upstream, swam back down the river between the 2 lakes to his fly-fishing gear, spent the day fishing back up to his car.

Off to Copeton Dam with a mate today to try and catch a big cod.  It is bloody freezing here!  Not sure how long we will last out there on his boat.

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17 hours ago, Prince said:

Any heated pools open in Brisbane. Private pools. 
not keen on going to enogera dam 

What side of town are you on?

All the Ipswich City council pools are open and the Moreton Bay Council pools are opening from Saturday. Pretty sure you have to ring to book a time and swims are 45mins.

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I've taken the work-from-home opportunity to move up to our family holiday unit at Bribie Island (1hr north of Brisbane). We're just across the road from the beach. Swimming every day in the ocean. Definitely noticed the water cooling down now, but still haven't had the wettie on.

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On 20/05/2020 at 7:33 PM, -H- said:

It's about 14.5 in the bay in Melbourne - it's pretty cold getting in but once you're swimming it's fine.  I've only been swimming up to 30 minutes but that's because my training buddy is soft. I would love to go further but don't want to be out there on my own. I am carrying an extra couple of kilos compared to summer as well, which definitely helps 

I think it's a bit cooler than that, the chart I looked at shows it at about 13.5 currently.

I swam 6 days straight up until Tuesday this week. Yep, it's the first 30 seconds on the face that is tough, but after that it actually feels pretty normal. I did up to 55 mins before starting to feel it on the head (2 thin race caps...no neoprene hat unfortunately).

Psychologically, getting in when it is cool and cloudy is much much harder. I stood waist deep for about 10 minutes one day last week before yelling "I am soft!!!" at myself, and then started to swim... because people were watching me :)

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By the way, every day that I was swimming, there was a guy jumping in without a wetsuit. He was doing around 1100m... pretty tough.

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23 hours ago, MissJess said:

City of Sydney - both Victoria Park and Prince Alfred Park pools from June 1, and will be via a booking system. Get onto the newsletter, I assume the booking link will be there soon.

We'll be staying in the CBD mid-June, so will look to get a couple of swims in at Prince Alfred.  

That will make 4 swims in about 3 months 😥.   Be interesting to see how much I've lost.  Been doing more cycling & running though.

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7 hours ago, Nick777 said:

I think it's a bit cooler than that, the chart I looked at shows it at about 13.5 currently.

Don't tell me that!   I swam again today, only 1km but that was because it was a bit rough, not because of the cold.  Plus, work haha

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33 minutes ago, -H- said:

Don't tell me that!   I swam again today, only 1km but that was because it was a bit rough, not because of the cold.  Plus, work haha

Roughly where do you swim?

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Olivers Hill mainly, sometimes at Mornington or Mt Martha

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Ross river with fresh water crocs for me . 2-3 times a week. still kind of Stinger season here at the moment...😁

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17 hours ago, AA7 said:

What side of town are you on?

All the Ipswich City council pools are open and the Moreton Bay Council pools are opening from Saturday. Pretty sure you have to ring to book a time and swims are 45mins.

Cheers.  Thanks. I am Northside but willing to travel for the right person, I mean pool.  

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2 hours ago, Nick777 said:

You would want to get in quick - I reckon the pools will be bursting with people trying to get in

Yeah may 31st. 
 

i think I can wait a bit longer. 

0F5117E2-A402-4352-B44C-0A024A09F673.jpeg

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3 hours ago, Nick777 said:

You would want to get in quick - I reckon the pools will be bursting with people trying to get in

It was quiet at Birrong (Canterbury area, Sydney) but apparently the 6.30am session on Saturday was full. I have 5 in mine. Western and North Western Sydney have issues as most of the pools are still shut and will be until spring, as they are all operated by Belgravia Leisure and are now seasonal, some used to operate year round.

Canterbury Bankstown has the best booking system, members and non-members are treated equally and can all book online. Inner West requires you to have an account, otherwise you need to call. So much easier to just click a few times on eventbrite.

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Been back at Malabar Pool since they re filled it last week.. not too busy either and feels about 17 deg.. A few swimming in and across the bay but had reports of a few sharks from local Fishos.. 5ft Mako hangs there.. so pool is fine for me..

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With our pools opening (sort of) next week, it's going to become harder mentally to keep swimming in the bay.  But on a day like today, I'm looking forward to it ☀️

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