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What’s Happened to Our Baths?

19 Apr

Just this morning, I took a stroll to my local swimming baths: the place I’ve chalked up about six thousand kilometres of freestyle in the past thirty years.

I can’t claim surprise at what I found; after all, yesterday’s rain pelted down hard on our rooftop, and we’re less than two kilometres away.

It was, in a word, disgusting. Sad to say, I’ve seen it even worse, but….

Instead of that strangely indescribable colour of clean river water, I saw dense, brownish stuff, splattered with debris.

The ‘Baths Closed Due to Health Risk’ sign was still in force, and to my knowledge, this is for a record period. Our Club last raced here in late February: every subsequent meeting had to be cancelled. What a disaster for our morale!

When will it ever return to normal? Will we swimmers ever think of it in the same way as B. F.: Before Flood?

Yes, it all went awry following the torrential rains that saw dams overflow! To think, it’s just a few years back that water restrictions were in force, and a desalination plant was constructed!

Clearly, things haven’t changed too much  from the days of poet Dorothea Mackellar, who wrote of ‘droughts and flooding rains’ in our country, Australia.

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After the Rain, the Flood…..

9 Mar

Yesterday, the rain….Today, the flood!

A bright sunny Sydney day; not a cloud in the sky. That’s what we awakened to this morning! So off we head to the local river baths.

But, alas, history repeats itself: the river is in flood. The turbid water creates a diminishing visibility of about two inches; after that, you can’t see anything save the brownness. I know: I poked a stick in to see.

Debris: mainly leaf litter, though interspersed with filthy scum, floats in clusters near the promenade. At high tide, the water level is about one foot above that predicted for normal conditions, and the temperature’s about four degrees lower.

So, I’ll be saying good-bye to swimming there for a week or more, until Mother Nature sanctions the clean-up. With dams now full to overflowing, we can only wonder when….

Yet, casting our minds back a few short years, we wondered when, and if, the heavy rains would ever come…..That’s nature for you, isn’t it?

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