On the weekend I immersed myself in the Palm Beach rock pool. Built in the 1920s, the ocean baths are at the southern end of Sydney's Palm Beach in the area known as Cabbage Tree Boat Harbour and Kiddies Corner. Overlooking the rectangular space are palatial homes, which these days are mainly owned by the rich and famous.
As for us, a group of girls away for the weekend, we swam 'sans' wetsuit. The water was a bit cold at first but completely invigorating once we'd dived under. We had a lovely time lolling about in the water, doing the odd lap but mainly having a chat.
Outside the confines of the pool surfboard riders lay on their boards waiting for the perfect wave. Others rowed by on stand-up boards. On the rocks near the far end of the pool, fishermen cast their rods.
I revelled being in salt water again, which had an almost euphoric effect. As the NSW Ocean Baths website proclaims: "Simply being in the buoyant seawater brings a sense of blissful liberation."