I resolved to be casual about my approach to ticking the Fannie Bay swim off my bucket list.
With no bike or run involved, how hard could it be?
Turns out I should have paid a little more attention. Check in and numbering was taking place between 10:15 and 11:15am ahead of race brief at 11:30 but start was scheduled 12:15pm, so calm, cool, collected and casual me was happy to leave departure from home until last minute.
Mr "Be Prepared for Anything" prevailed and got me on the move and in the car around 10:20am.
We were almost there when a light bulb moment happened! No goggles!
So we turned around and drove all the way home, collected my goggles and started the journey (albeit a short one) all over again.
By this time there was a little stress happening and I gave my Supportive Dude the thumbs down and blamed it all on him.
I mean really, what's the point of supporting someone if you don't ask if they have their goggles before leaving home ...
As it turned out, we arrived at the swim start location with time to spare thanks to ... OK he is forgiven!
Body marking done and race cap collected there was still a wait before the race brief so I was able to check the map again, look at the line of buoys disappearing into the distance and discuss whether or not the tide would play a part with some of the old hands.
Race brief included the gem that there were dugongs in the bay and they had been playing around the buoys.
Yikes, with all the croc sightings happening during the week I'd end up quivering mess if a dugong mistook me for a plaything and gave me a nudge.
I opted to concentrate on the view and how calm the water was and laugh (a lot) at myself for being scared when there were four awesome people that I know well doing the swim for the tenth time. Oh, and did I mention I talked a lot! Anything not to think about what may or may not be in that water.
Pretty soon it was time to make our way down the cliffs and line up in front of Pee Wee's (or Lake Alex gates for those doing the short option) to wait for the 12:15pm start signal.
After waiting, waiting, waiting, suddenly the hooter sounded and we were underway.
Photo: Surf Lifesaving NT
I don't remember any "why am I doing this" moment and instead just concentrated on getting from one buoy to the next and told myself (more than once) to enjoy being able to swim with so many safety craft around for protection.
After the initial start frenzy, I bopped along pretty much in my own little space and only crossed paths with other swimmers as we neared the markers. I attempted to draft feet a few times but opted out when I realised their sense of direction wasn't matching mine.
I did fluff around a little when I reached a pink buoy and had a moment of uncertainty. "Pink is the turn buoy" was firmly etched in the thought bank but turns out there were two pink buoys on the course and the first was where the short course swimmers met up with the long.
After that slight hesitation, reaching the next pink buoy seemed to take longer with the water throwing up some extra chop, though I'm not sure if that was from a passing jet ski or the wind had picked up.
Turning for shore the finish arch was visible (and a welcome sight) and next thing I knew my hands were dragging in the sand.
On standing up I checked my watch and was stoked to see 51:53. Results are yet to be posted so those are eagerly awaited for confirmation.
Post swim opinion has the course measuring 2.3km (200m longer than the advertised 2.1km) so I'm pretty stoked with my time for that and also a 2nd place in F60-69.
I'm very happy that the Fannie Bay Swim is done and dusted and well and truly ticked off my Bucket List for all time (I won't be tempting fate or crocs again anytime soon), but my list size hasn't decreased at all as Run Hackney got added yesterday!