Morning Swim at Apollo Bay

I start most days with a swim in the ocean at Apollo Bay. On this day there was small clean swell and an offshore wind. Both were welcome after a week or more of easterlies and no real swell. I decided to play in the shorebreak this morning rather than swim my usual 1-1.5kms.

I swam about 300m from the southern end of the beach near the harbour wall to where the green lines of swell were breaking over the sandbar. I body surfed some waves, duck-dived under others, took a few photos and generally floated around feeling as happy as a seal.

Ocean at Apollo Bay
The view out to sea to the east. Marriners Lookout and Wild Dog Creek valley can be seen on the left, and the harbour wall can just be seen on the right. My swimming friends and I generally have the bay entirely to ourselves for our morning swim. This morning was no exception.
Photo of wave at Apollo Bay, taken from in the water
The view to the north from the area where the waves were breaking on the sandbar just north of the SLSC.
Photo of breaking wave at Apollo Bay, taken from in the water
Photo from behind breaking wave at Apollo Bay, taken from in the water
White water and bubbles in the surf
Breaking waves aerate the water for a short time.
Part underwater part above water photo of wave rising and about to break at Apollo Bay
View to the south of a wave rising and about to break over the sandbar.
Underwater photo of breaking wave
The breaking wave as seen from the inside.
Underwater photo of breaking wave
That long horizontal column of tightly swirling water is the wave closing out ie breaking along its length all at once. Surfers look for a wave that breaks left or right, with a green wall of water ahead of the white water.
Apollo Bay shore photographed from 150m out to sea
I knew a few swimming friends would be swimming south past where I was but further offshore, so I swam out a bit to see them.
The building in the centre is the surf life saving club. I was floating on my back enjoying the view as I waited for them, while green waves regularly rolled through, momentarily blocking my view of the shore.
Apollo Bay shore photographed from 150m out to sea
The temporarily obscured view of shore from the back of a wave. I was wearing fins (which I don’t do on my typical daily swims) as I needed one arm free to hold the waterproof camera housing. Duck-diving under breaking waves without two free arms is most efficiently done with fins. But even with fins on, when swimming a distance, I let my legs trail without kicking.

Danni detoured via the shorebreak on the return leg of her swim.

Woman duck diving under breaking wave. Underwater photo.
Danni duck-diving cleanly and effortlessly under one of the slightly bigger breaking waves. The underwater visibility was not very good on this swim but I have included this photo because it conveys so much better than words the joy of diving under a breaking wave.
Swimmer in morning sun at Apollo Bay
After a short play in the surf Danni swam back to the southern end of the beach to complete her swim (where the line of vegetation on the dunes intersects in the photo with the surface of the sea).
White water under breaking wave.
One of the fleeting kaleidoscopic flashes to be enjoyed while diving under a breaking wave.
Sky and underwater photo
Water flowing over the curved dome port on my camera housing when taking an over and under shot like this can produce wondrous distortions of form while capturing the vivid colours of sea and sky. The darker colours on the left are fragments of the beach and dunes.
Patterns of sky and water and clouds, taken with underwater camera in the surf at Apollo Bay.
I wonder if Van Gogh would have approved of this unintended rendering of breaking waves on the surface of the ocean with white clouds overhead.

3 thoughts on “Morning Swim at Apollo Bay

  1. Love reading of your experiences swimming at Apollo Bay. I’m an ocean swimmer on the NSW far south coast and visit Apollo Bay every now and again. Are there swimmers who swim through winter at the Bay? I’d love to join. We have a Facebook Page called: Merimbula Merpeople. Drop a comment and link via messenger.


  2. Yes, there are a couple of groups of swimmers who swim right through the year at Apollo Bay Russell. The crew I swim with meet at 9am every week day and you would be most welcome to swim with us. We meet just before 9 in the car park near where the harbour rock wall meets the Apollo Bay beach. We also swim at weekends but the times vary. Another group swims from the SLSC around dawn, and in winter, before dawn. Thanks for pointing me to your group’s Facebook page.


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