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The game: Volleyball on Tavewa, in Fiji's Yasawas.

Business end here

This is when it starts. The ocean swimming season of formal events in the great metropoli of NSW and Sou'-East Queensland kicks off with Forresters Beach on Sat'dee and Burleigh Heads on Sundee. In NZ, there's a lake swim at Hamilton, also on Sundee.

Two swims on spectacular beaches, and in water that seems to be uncharacteristically warm. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, water temp off Sydney right now is around 20C, and off the Gold Coast it's a couple of degrees higher. We're not there right now, so we don't know personally, but there you go. Where we are, in Fiji, it's around 25-26C. That'll do us.

Other states are a little behind on the calendar. There's a bush swim at Yarrawonga on the Murray River on Saturday, and the following Saturday, there's a "Cold Water Classic" at North Cottesloe in Perth. According to the BoM, water there is just under 20C. Some would say that's not so cold.

Is this global warming? The water in Sydney generally is a few degrees lower in October than it is this year, and in Queensland it's also generally cooler than now, even much farther up the coast. Around Sydney, there've also been bluey sightings, not uncommon for Sydney over the last couple of years. Let's hope they're otherwise engaged this weekend.


The Forresters Beach Swim is on the NSW Central Coast, a beach between Terrigal and The Entrance, so it's easily accessible from the Sydney-Newcastle Expressway for big city swimmers. Two distances – 3km and 1.5km. This is, as we say, one of the most spectacular beaches on the coast: a bit wild at times with a side sweep, a reef just offshore, and glorious water.

Online entries close at 3pm on Friday, October 16. Find out more and enter online... Click here


Burleigh Heads is a national icon, particularly for board riders. It's an open beach often with a couple of banks and also a northerly sweep when the water is moving about. It's a glorious wave when there's swell running. Also two distances: 1km and 2km. And be aware, it's a very early start from 7am.

Online entries close at noon on Sat'dee. Find out more and enter online... Click here

Then follows...

Other events coming up over the next few weeks –

  • Oct 18 - Hamilton (NZ)
  • Oct 24 - Mooloolaba (Qld), North Cottesloe (WA)
  • Oct 29-Nov 2 - Heron Island (Qld)
  • Oct 31 - Narrabeen (NSW), Cottesloe (WA)

Right now, we have 11 new season events open for online entry, with more coming over the next couple of weeks.

More info on oceanswims.com

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Can anyone tell us what these fish are? Spotted on Nanuya reef in Fiji's Yasawas. We've never seen them before.

fos tallies go back to basics

Thanks to all those who responded to our "essay" a couple of newsletters back about the future of the fine ocean swimmers' tallies, even those whose feedback tended towards the heated and, in one memorable case, personal abuse.

As a result, we're here to tell you that we will be keeping the tallies but we will take them back to their original purpose: to record and recognise the efforts of each and every individual swimmer. There will be no prizes, thus we ourselves will not be exposed to allegations of inciting crazy competition to see who can swim the greatest cumulative distance in a season.

We started the tallies over ten years ago as a way of recognising the efforts of rank and file swimmers, most of whom – the vast majority of whom – never see a winner's dais and never get to whinge about a winning margin or the quality of a prize. And that's what it will be again in future.

We laud the efforts of swimmers such as Mike Cochrane, who found himself with spare time on his hands last season and racked up over 300km in formal events while spending thousands on travel and entry fees. But we don't wish the tallies to become the focus of disproportionate excess year after year. Not everyone can do what Mike did, and so many of you could never aspire to win a contest that was never intended to be a contest.

So, do your best. You can DYB, DYB, DYB, and we'll DOB, DOB, DOB, DOB.

If you have a comment on this, please send it to us and we'll post it here under "Controversy Corner"... Click here

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The glorious Bronte Beach, from our friends at Sculptures by the Sea

Bondi to Bronte entries open

Organisers say...

The iconic journey swim of the eastern beaches returns on Sunday 6th December along with the shorter Bronte Bay 800m Swim and the Banana Boat Junior Ocean Swims.

The Bondi to Bronte is a truly wonderful 2.2km journey swim that attracts swimmers from all over Australia each year. This swim never disappoints with many of the 2000+ swimmers returning each year as the course always throws up something a little different.

If your swim fitness is not quite up for the B2B swim, why not get some friends and dive in for the Bronte Bay 800m Swim, open for anyone 13yrs+. This swim, now in it's 3rd year, is from Bronte Beach, round the buoy off Tamarama, then back to Bronte Beach allowing swimmers to swim with friends or family (not age groups) and then run through the big finish arch on Bronte Beach to celebrate a great swim.

The Banana Boat Junior Ocean Swims are for Under 9's+ Nippers (from any SLSC) with two distances of either 400m or 800m. Every entrant goes in the lucky draw to win a Bennett Nipper Board valued at $975. Go to the JOS pages for more information on the swims and categories.

The Training Groups return for those who want to hone their ocean swimming skills for the 2015 ocean swimming season. The Training Groups run each weekend in November – go to the Training page for more details & to sign up.

Bronte Surf Life Saving Club is proud to once again partner with The Kids' Cancer Project, a charity dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancers. Every swimmer who raises $250 or more for The Kids' Cancer Project will get their swim fee refunded, and the fundraising period goes till 1/1/16 giving every swimmer the opportunity to fundraise before and after their amazing swim! It's easy to start your fundraising thanks to Everyday hero go to: http://curekidscancer.org.au/event/BonditoBronte2015

We could not put on this swim without our wonderful sponsors Macquarie, Banana Boat & Speedo who help us keep the entry price for B2B just $40. Plus this year, the swimmer gifts include a great swim bag thanks to Macquarie and a range of lucky draw prizes at the presentations.

Download the event flyer... Click here

Entries are open on the event website now – go to www.bonditobronte.com.au

Old caps

We've run from time to time drives to collect old swim caps for charity. This time, we've received an email from "Brian", who appears to be in the US, appealing for old caps... "I collect old race caps. I would be happy to receive some of the over abundance", he says. You can contact Brian... Click here

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Yes. It is.

The operators of Heron Island Resort are offering deals to swimmers who'd like to spend a few more days on the island than just the weekend of the Great Barrier Reef Swim. Come up early, or stay on a bit. Talk to the resort and find out your options... Check the link below.

Punters ask us often about Heron Island... What's it like? What's the sea life like? Is it as good as people suggest it is? Of course it is. But now we've put together a photo gallery of our favourite pics from the Great Barrier Reef Swim at Heron Island over the past couple of years to give you a better idea of the event... Click here

The Heron Island weekend is much more than a swim. It's a long weekend, with swim activities scheduled on each day from Friday through Sunday. On Friday, there's the open water swim clinics, with sessions in the hall and in the water, run by Coach and Olympian Graeme Brewer, as well as a course tour and "Swim Back" to give you a feel for the water, which is very different from the break on your local beach. On Saturday, we have the 1km swim around the wreck in the Heron Island harbour. Then, on Sunday, it's the 2.9km swim around the island. There's lots of party-like activity surrounding all the swimming and plenty of time to swim and mooch over the reef, and to explore Heron island, which is a national park. It's also turtle laying season, so there's a pretty good chance the waters around the island -- and its beaches -- will be active with turtles laying or preparing to lay. It's a privilege to be amongst this.

Swimming around Heron Island is very different from other swims in Queensland, because the island is right on the Great Barrier Reef. The water is so much better, so much more interesting than swimming inside the reef. It's clearer and cleaner, and teeming with life. It's a cathartic experience.

Travel days are Thursday and Monday, with the weekend running from October 29 through November 2.

Rooms are filling on Heron Island. More info and to book... Click here

tonga whale beach resort
Our brushes with royalty...

Our Tonga oceanswimsafari dates in 2016 will be August 10-18. We've posted our report on our first inaugural oceanswimsafari to Tonga -- Our adventures swimming with whales... Check it out now... Click here

Swims open to online entry on oceanswims.com...

Forresters Beach (Sat, Oct 17)... Click here
Burleigh Heads (Sun, Oct 18)... Click here
Narrabeen (Sat, Oct 31)... Click here
Collaroy (Sun, Nov 8)... Click here
Balmain (Dawny) (Sun, Nov 22).... Click here
Cronulla (Sun, Nov 22)... Click here
Toowoon Bay (Sat, Nov 28)... Click here
Coogee (Sun, Nov 29)... Click here
Murwillumbah (Tweed River, Sun, Nov 29... Click here
North Curl Curl (Sat, Dec 5)... Click here
Malabar (Sun, Feb 21)... Click here
Coogee (Sun, Apr 10)... Click here

Coming soon - The Big Swim (Palm-Whale, Jan 31)


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