The Auckland Harbour bridge is only ever closed once a year to run over. With that ticked off, it was time to do the other once-a-year phenomenon – swim next to the bridge across the harbour. The 2.7km route (if you follow a straight line, that is) of the Harbour Crossing swim took over a thousand crazy souls from the heart of Auckland’s central business district across to Bayswater along a route normally reserved for America’s Cup yachts, cruise liners and tankers.
Oh, and sharks. Yeah, found that out after! Turns out there have been multiple great white shark sightings in the harbour.
To quote a marine biologist – “The shark will be swimming on the edges of deep channels in the harbour but will come into shallow water near the shore if it thinks there’s something to eat,” says Mr Duffy. “It’s not an area where people usually swim and we advise people that they should not swim there.”
I’ve seen enough of Shark Week to know that they’re not vicious creatures, attracted only to what they think is food. Good job my wetsuit doesn’t make me look eerily similar to a seal. Oh, wait…
The day itself was glorious. Blue skies, glorious sun shining. Honestly, getting used to this summer in December thing is tough. Although the sun did cause a few problems. We were swimming into the sun, meaning the buoys laid out to guide us home became silhouettes, and against a busy background were really tough to make out. This meant having to stop on multiple occasions to make sure I didn’t end up heading out to sea! Taking the wiggly route meant I covered 200m more than I needed to.
Now, the countdown is on to next Saturday’s marathon. The weather report is saying 22 but raining. Fingers crossed it ain’t too rough!