Thursday, May 30, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Four Dams – One Day By Dan Stampa

With the more popular State & National Masters Championship events now in the recent past the club turned its attention to a more challenging and adventurous activity according to some members. A short time ago our secretary insisted we should be enjoying our back yard more and swimming some local waters.
Thus, the “Four Dams in One Day” concept was launched in Summer but actioned on Saturday 25th May with a few short days of our northern autumn remaining. A quick ring around and NQ Truck and Car rentals had a small 12-seater bus for us to hire at a great rate and the road trip was on. Except of course we were oversubscribed with willing guinea pigs for this “Cool” adventure and ended up with a sort of tag along tour as well. As we proceeded deeper into the Pioneer valley all eyes were on the ascent to Eungella which was again shrouded in clouds, mist and drizzle. Eungella delivered its aboriginal meaning “Land of the Cloud” in a true and cruel twist of the weather. None the less we pressed on to the first stop at the top of the range to enjoy the range in what turned into a short comfort stop before we all hastily returned to the warm confines of the vehicles.
With the enthusiasm quickly diminishing we were buoyed by the first rays of sunshine as we crossed the divide into the rain shadow past this escarpment and approached the first swim (of four) in Eungella Dam. Fourteen intrepid swimmers took the first plunge into what turned out to be 21 degrees of “Wake up Wally” water as we set off on a 15 minute out and back swim. The consensus was that the swim was well worth the effort but the team wanted a treat!
Next stop was near water but not in it at the fabulous “Eden Café” on the Digging’s Road. Warm drinks and some treats were enjoyed before we set off for Teemburra Dam and swim #2, in mostly bright sunshine as the weather turned favourable. With more interest and a little practice on rigging for swimming mode we made good time in entering, swimming and getting ready for another move. But as swimmers and Sinkers know not without sustenance as we managed a short break and enjoyed a picnic lunch before someone upset the Pidgeon’s with a “Lets Go” call!
Kinchant Dam was the site for our third swim which proved pleasant enough with swimmers now like a well-oiled machine taking to the water without fear as they followed the bank and dam wall marker buoys in another pleasant swim.
In no time at all we had reboarded and hit the road for the Pioneer River at Balnagowan for our final swim in one of our favourite spots. All bar one re-entered the water and set off for a swim to suit ability before returning to the pontoon for some glam photo opportunities.
We managed some 300km for the day with 14 swimmers that completed a distance and time suitable to ability, our most senior member was 80 and some young guns in the 30 plus area. Some swimmers managed 6km across the 4 swims and others 2- 4km in a unique and interesting format of 4 swims of 30 minutes during a great day out in Pioneer valley.
The event was available to members only but we are happy for guest swimmers to join us for training sessions (up to a calendar month) to get a sense of club activities and vibe.
Our next membership option is the 6-month period from July 1st to December 31st 2024 so now is the perfect time to come and try a session and get back into swimming for fun and fitness, reaching goals or maybe a return to the blocks for that competitive spirit. Regardless of your focus the club will help you reach that small or aspirational goal in a supportive environment.
Sinkers Sessions
Mondays: 515pm for 530-630pm (Millie Monday - coached)
Wednesdays: 515pm- for 530-630pm (Whiteboard Wednesday, led from the pool)
Saturday: 08-0900am (Social Saturday, led from the pool followed by coffee and a treat!)
(for further information visit or phone 0413 805 156)

Swim 1, Swimmers returning to shore at Eungella Dam.
Swim 2. Swimmers after the Teemburra Dam swim, all agreed this was the best of the 4 swims. Images Supplied.

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