return to the blue pool
Now my old Grandad is an intrepid adventurer but when he saw this staircase last week, even he had to admit that he was perhaps past climbing 84 steps. Such a shame :-) because at the bottom lies a remarkable treasure – the Blue Pool.
Built in the 1930s – a Great Depression Project that was spearheaded by the enthusiasm and financial support of Mr. Bill Dickinson, a local philanthropist – it is an Olympic size swimming pool created from the naturally formed rock pools that existed at the base of the southern headland at Bermagui.
After Mr. Dickinson stumped up the original funds, the New South Wales government, local community groups and individuals came up with the rest of the funds required, and after a bit of dynamite, concrete and a lot of hard work, Bermagui had two beautiful salt water pools (there’s a wee pool for children as well), refreshed by the tides and proudly maintained for the last 70 0dd years. In fact, the Blue Pool’s water quality regularly tops the state, never receiving less than perfect marks. And such pristine conditions have led to very happy flora and fauna – most of the swimmers had on their masks and snorkels so as to marvel at the wildlife. I can’t wait to go back with ours!
The water temperature was what I’ve come to expect down here in the far south – gaspingly chilly at first touch, but then lovely once your heart has restarted. Abby wondered whether warming her front on the edge would improve things – it didn’t!
It is truly amazing to swim so close to the foaming, wild waves of the ocean and yet be in such a sheltered and safe environment. Long periods were spent, chin resting on folded arms, watching the deep, churning sea throw itself at the rocks. And oh the colours of the sea down here – utterly entrancing.
Just as lovely as the swimming was exploring the rock pools – there were so many and they were rich with life, colour and pattern …
Inspired by Kate Davies’ gorgeous new book, I could see colour combinations for knitting everywhere – and feel quite inspired to try working them into some textured designs – in fact I think Kate’s Betty Mouatt sweater would be a very fine place to start.
As for this massive rock that guards the north end of the pool – I expect to lick it and find it is made of honeycomb! It is so beautiful. And closer to the water’s edge, it has many crevices and small caves that the girls were eager to climb and explore – until they looked closely and realised they would be sharing the spaces with hundreds of little dark blue soldier crabs :-)
After our swim, we headed to the rocks to warm up, doing what we like to do best. Jules read, the girls chattered, and I …
… came well prepared of course! With my Stevenson sweater on the needles, all I needed was to find a sunny spot on the rocks and knit. Wasn’t hard :-)
And look at that – the rich golden bands of the Scottish lighthouses practically matches the flora filling the pools behind me (I’m very ignorant about these things – lichen? seaweed? flora covers it all :-) Lovely.
Honestly, at the risk of boring you, or sounding like an employee of the Sapphire Coast’s Tourism Board, you truly MUST visit the Blue Pool if you are ever in this neck of the woods. It is exquisite! You will spend your entire visit ooohing and ahhhing. As well as marvelling at the hard work and vision this small community had – their determination to create jobs and cheer the town up – over 70 years ago – and in doing so, provide a unique and beautiful environment for those that came after them to enjoy.
Minus the change rooms. They washed away!