Three milestones in one post. Shake your head in disbelief if you will, but read on. It’s all true. (As always, click on every image to see in full)
Firstly, Pool Of The Year (otherwise known as, POTY).
Pool #446 – QUT, Garden Point
We’re only in September, but I’m sure I’ve already found it. Not only does this aqua-beauty claim that coveted title, but it also wins ‘Best University Pool Ever’ (or, BUPE) – a new accolade I’ve invented just to acknowledge this wonder.
Rarely, when a mere matter of meters away from my target, do I have to ask myself, ‘Where is it?’ Pools are hard to hide and this one is a proper Olympic length at 50m. Yet, as I followed the little blue pulsing dot on GoogleMaps walking through the delightful grounds of the Queensland University of Technology, all I saw were beautifully restored and repurposed Victorian-era buildings, modern architectural wonders and sweeping lawns and gardens. It’s underground you see, but not quite. Two sides open onto a food court and the Brisbane river and as you approach it as I did, from the city, it gradually reveals itself to you. A sparkling blue oasis.
QUT is a very impressive campus right on the edge of the city and abutting the Botanic Gardens. I’ve no idea what the degrees it offers are like, but the pool is gorgeous.
Second accolade: Shortest Pool Ever Conquered (or, SPEC)
Pool #447 – Soda Apartments
I stayed at the Soda Apartments, three blocks south of the Brisbane Convention Centre in the increasingly hip West End district. The place is so new it isn’t on GoogleMaps so you can’t see the pool, but trust me, it’s on the roof with a fab view in all directions of, er, Brisbane.
It’s short; the shortest I’ve swum. I reckon about 11 m which meant doing 100 laps with 99 tumble-turns. Kind of like making your own washing machine.
Thirdly, Last Pool in Sydney Conquered. (LaPiSC – I might be stretching that one)
Pool #449 – Dive In Penrith
This is supremely significant for me as the Quest began here, way back in 1993, when I had hair and no iPhone or children or indeed even the dizzying goal of reaching 1000 pools. (Back then, I was planning on conquering every public pool in Australia) I’ve adopted a suitably arrogant pose in the photo, and rightly so, because Sydney has approximately 145 public pools, more than any other city in the world. However, I know that this title will not remain with Dive In Penrith in pertuity. Why? Well, one of the great things about living in Sydney is they keep building more pools.
But for now, at this time in history, on this day (my day off) when I drove out to the very edge of this city of 5 million, Sydney is conquered.
State of Play
2017 = 26 pools conquered (2 ahead of my annual target)
Total Pools Conquered = 449 (a mere 551 to go. If I hit my target of 24 virgin pools per year, I’ll be done when I’m 70)
Which means, it’s pretty much a 50 year quest.
Swim on. Breathe in the chlorine. Keep chasing the Black Line.
Aquatic Regards, Kenton