Dawn dip with the Aquanuts

Aquanuts Frog Peck, Jessie Boylan and Ellen Doyle prepare to take a bracing dawn dip in Expedition Pass Reservoir just out of Chewton last Tuesday morning. Photo: Eve Lamb

As the temperature hovered around two degrees on Tuesday, 7am, and many were still beneath the doona, some hardy souls were instead getting set to swim in Chewton’s Expedition Pass Reservoir.
Enter – the Aquanuts.
This small group of locals – about six in all – have been meeting around dawn a couple of days each week to cut brisk laps in the glistening, beautiful and b….. freezing waters of the local res.
“Our full title is the Chewton and Affiliated Suburbs Aquanauts,” explains one of them, local swimming instructor, Frog Peck.
The Aquanuts began taking their bracing early morning swims months ago with a couple of friends just getting together to enjoy a swim.
But as things got cooler – and even after Covid-19 hit – the Aquanuts knew they didn’t want to stop – while always taking care to adhere to the changing pandemic restrictions.
“We love swimming here and once Covid started we needed to keep some connection to each other and the res,” Frog says.
Tuesday this week was forecast to be cold and come 7am at Expedition Pass Reservoir, it was.
But that didn’t stop the ‘nuts donning wetsuits and splashing forth to greet the day with a degree of chilled excitement many could not embrace – whether “warmer in than out” or not.
“It’s two degrees out and about 9.5 in,” Frog said.
“We do between two to four laps, so between one and two kilometres.”

Eve Lamb
Journalist and photographer Eve Lamb has a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) degree from Deakin University and a Master of Arts (Professional Writing) from Deakin University. She has worked for many regional newspapers including the Hamilton Spectator and the Warrnambool Standard, and has also worked for metro daily, The Hobart Mercury, and The Sunday Tasmanian. Eve has also contributed to various magazines including Australian Cyclist.