Piha 6 April 2014, Pt Chev today, google translate

Looks like this was my last swim in the 2013 / 2014 summer. It was at Piha, with friends. The photos aren’t great, which can be what happens when beer is consumed. Probably shouldn’t have gone swimming but there was a group of us (safety in numbers) and we didn’t go out too deep. And the Piha surf has a sobering effect.

Early evening at Piha in April : Aprilis in prima vesperi ad Piha : νωρίς το απόγευμα στο Piha τον Απρίλιο.

The rough and tumble of a west coast beach swim is awesome, but these days I seem to prefer the restrained inner harbour experience at Pt Chevalier. This afternoon the water was particularly calm, which gave it a noticeable temperature gradient. The top 10 to 15 cm were lovely as this top layer had been warmed by the intermittent sunshine, but just beneath that it was increasingly chilly as the depth increased. Definitely refreshing. Definitely thinking about the advantages of a wetsuit. Apparently they can make you more buoyant so swimming requires less effort.

Mid afternoon high tide on a calm day at Point Chevalier beach. Mid síðdegis háflæði á rólegu degi á Point Chevalier ströndinni.

Mid afternoon high tide on a calm day at Point Chevalier beach : Mid síðdegis háflæði á rólegu degi á Point Chevalier ströndinni.

Speaking of effort, I’m still reading the Odyssey. It’s taking me a while but I like it a lot. There are words and phrases that jump out – like this:

‘For as I detest the doorways of Death I detest that man who under constraint of poverty babbles beguiling falsehoods.’ Book XIV

These are the words of ‘long-suffering great Odysseus’ who is disguised as a tramp, talking to his swineherd Eumaios who doesn’t know whether Odysseus is dead or alive and has talked at length about how he misses his much-loved master dearly. The bit about a poor man babbling isn’t particularly interesting, but the phrase ‘doorways of Death’ mixes the everyday (doorways) with the tragic (Death), and also serves as a reminder about how ever-present death was for people ‘back then’. Telecommunications and modern medical practices hadn’t yet arrived. If someone went away, there was no knowing whether they would come back. There is still an element of this these days – which is why airports have that eerie feeling of melancholia mixed with hope – but we are permitted a great many more fulfilled hopes than the ancient Greeks were.

I absolutely adore what Brian Eno – the inventor of ‘ambient’ music – says about his Music for Airports.

“… Whenever you go into an airport or an airplane, they always play this very happy music, which is sort of saying: ‘You’re not going to die, there’s not going to be an accident, don’t worry!’ And, I thought, that was really the wrong way around, I thought that it would be much better to have music that said: ‘Well, if you die, it doesn’t really matter.’ You know. So I wanted to create a different feeling, that you were sort of suspended in the Universe and your life or death wasn’t so important. …”  Part of an interview that can be found about halfway down this page

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Ambient photography : Ambient consequat. Interesting that there is a Latin word for photography.

Reading the Odyssey is like swimming freestyle along Pt Chevalier beach. Each little piece of effort is added to the next little piece of effort and before long you get there.

Each little piece of effort is added to the next little piece of effort and before long you get there – Nummum singula opera addantur quae paulo post modicum labore perveneris – Works apiece added that shortly after arriving a little effort – Works addidit singula , ut paulo post cum venisset a labore – Works added by one, that a little later, when he was come from the labor – Opera additum est, qui paulo post, cum venisset a labore – Was added to the Opera , who, a little later, when he was come out of the labor – Additum Opera, qui paulo post, cum venisset a labore – Be added , who, a little later, when he was come out of the labor – Accedit, qui paulo post, cum venisset a labore – Add to this, that thought a little later, when he was come out of the labor – Accedit, quod paulo post, cum venisset a labore – Add to this, that a little later, when he was come out of the labor – Accedit, quod paulo post, cum venisset a labore – Add to this, that a little later, when he was come out of the labor.

Not sure how accurate these mechanical google translations are but have reached a stasis after going backwards and forwards translating the same (but transforming) phrase into Latin, then into English, then Latin, English… Digital bilingual chinese whispers. Looks a bit like Language Poetry.

Why the languages? They give an illusion of movement to stasis. My ambient staycation involves escape to foreign countries of the mind.

Each little piece of effort is added to the next little piece of effort and before long you get there – Κάθε μικρό κομμάτι της προσπάθειας προστίθεται στο επόμενο μικρό κομμάτι της προσπάθειας και πριν από καιρό φτάσετε εκεί – Every little bit of effort added to the next little bit of effort and time before you get there – Κάθε μικρό κομμάτι της προσπάθειας προστίθενται στην επόμενη λίγη προσπάθεια και χρόνο, πριν φτάσετε εκεί – Every little bit of effort added to the next bit of effort and time before you get there – Κάθε μικρό κομμάτι της προσπάθειας προστεθούν στην επόμενη κομμάτι της προσπάθειας και του χρόνου πριν φτάσετε εκεί – Every little bit of effort added to the next bit of effort and time before you get there.

The google translation relationship between English and Greek appears to be more accurate (or consistent) than that between English and Latin.

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A few more beaches, a few more days

Many beaches, many photos, many days but hardly any writing. I still haven’t resolved the problem of what to do with all the photos. They were going to accompany blogs, and be arranged chronologically. Perhaps I can still do that, in several multiple blogs, until things are completely up-to-date, for all you readers out there. Lol. That would mean organising the photos. And remembering when these things happened. And what time the tide is high each day. Luckily there are such things as tide tables.

But of course, our memories aren’t necessarily chronological, they slip and slide all over the place. Particularly when the memories are traumatic, these can take on a life of their own, warping, twisting and amplifying.

But here we’re all about swimming. Chronological swimming and high tides. A beach a day.

My first swim of the season was early evening on Saturday 14th December at Pt Chevalier beach. High tide was 6.08pm. Pt Chevalier is a gentle and very popular beach in the upper reaches of the Waitemata Harbour. It was sunny and the beach was crowded. I didn’t take any photos because this blog had not been thought of, let alone constructed. As Laurie Anderson once said, it wasn’t even a Hershey bar, in my father’s back pocket.

The second swim was a very refreshing Sunday evening experience at about 8pm with a group of friends at Piha. South Piha to be precise. Piha is surf beach on the west coast, with big waves and distinctive black sand. Once again I didn’t take any photos, but plenty of other people have.

We are lucky in Auckland as there are two tidal cycles (one on the east coast and one on the west) and each tidal cycle is diurnal, so has two high tides a day, meaning that there are usually four high tides each day around Auckland. So, on Monday I really had two swims, one in each harbour. The first one was during high tide (10.51am) at French Bay, a small beach on the Titirangi edge of the Manukau Harbour. And the second one was in the evening at Pt Chevalier beach on the Waitemata. High tide there was at 7.48pm.

Monday was the day I decided to create a blog, so, here are a couple of photos from the second swim! And by the way, my camera is not that flash.

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Evening at Pt Chev beach looking north

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Evening at Pt Chev beach looking west