Albeit a winter’s day – several HOFFs swimmers gathered for a journey swim from Nobbys to Merewether – a fair distance (4.5km) to swim in the Winter waters. The swim developed from a Tweet, as many do for the HOFFs who use Twitter as their prime tribal drum to announce plans.
And on this day, the HOFFs were blessed with a visitation from the Siderney Big Smoke in the form of @oceanswims and @sparkleocean. Several souls gathered on the sands of Nobbys, some in neoprene, others newd. Jenni was there with camera taking the images that will immortalise the HOFFs adventures in the Hunter Ocean FF Swimming Hall of Fame. So the start consisted of Steve, Liz , Michael, Simon, Paul and Suanne, and Damien, who planned to join in at Bar Beach.
John (ie moi) paddled up from Merewether to escort the crew back. Air temp was slightly cool, but water was a pleasant 17-18 degrees. Nobbys is renowned for shallow reefs and rock ledges, which makes for an interesting swim. The swimmers casually took off from outside the iconic surf club – no rush here, no sound of the hooter, no argy bargy, just a bunch of ocean loving swimmers out for a winter’s stroll. Past the reef, we turned south around the rocky maze of reefs. It’s not a direct course, yet for some, who thought they were on a trans Tasman crossing to New Zealand, most stayed together, waiting for the slower swimmers to regroup. A small swell was running, but making it bouncy enough for a bit of entertainment and the odd bit of queeziness.
Around from Newcastle Baths, Simon departed, and we were left with five. Past the Bogey Hole, time to regroup and Paul educated us on interview etiquette and a brief history of WWII fortifications. Stinky has announced on 1233 that there was good fishing, so many tinnies were out and about presenting a hazard for swimmers. However, it was not only fisherman after a feed. Off Susan Gilmore, squeals of delight were heard as a pod of dolphins, on cue, swam past the HOFFs. The HOFFS and dolphins have a very special connection and through means of a services supply contract, will make a guest appearance when the HOFFs introduce special guests to their waters.
So for the last stretch, Damien joined the group and they trailed in towards the Swell Café. Another section of coast “ticked”. What a winter wonderland.. see the link below to view HOFFs and dolphins