Former Canberran Kenton Webb was back in his home town this week, edging ever closer to his ambitious aim to swim 1000 metres in 1000 pools around the world.
The 49-year-old ex-Canberra Grammar student knocked off pool number 521 at the Australian National University on Thursday. Just 479 pools to go.
For his 50th birthday next year, he wants to swim 50 new pools across 12 months. It sounds manageable, but is becoming increasingly difficult as he tries to find uncharted territory. The pools must be publicly accessible and have two solid ends.
"It's getting harder and harder," he said. But he has set himself 50 years to achieve the complete 1000, having started 24 years ago.
A publisher with an education company in Sydney, Kenton has just a bit of the larrikin about him. His quest is about indulging his love of swimming and visiting beautiful pools as well as satisfying his competitive drive, having set a target that is at once measurable and difficult to achieve.
"Plus I have three children, and with your head under water, you can't hear them screaming anymore," he said, with characteristic humour.
His love of swimming and competition started as a student at Hughes Primary.
"We had our swimming carnivals at the Phillip pool and my nemesis was John Waters, he would always beat me," Kenton said.
"With a name like that, I was never going to knock him off. He was more aquatic than me."
Kenton grew up training in a basic above-ground pool at the family home in Hughes, where his parents Ken and Bethel still live.
After uni and a stint overseas in England, he returned to Australia in 1995 at the height of summer. The ocean baths were calling him, and he swam a kilometre in a different one each time.
"Further and further up the northern beaches I travelled until, one fine morning, I hit Palm Beach and I was done. No pools left," he said, on his website 1000pools.com.
"It was then that something inside me clicked. Something told me I couldn't be beaten (or succeed, rather) that easily.
"I turned inland; my gaze now focused on the 110, thereabouts, pools spread across Sydney from Palm Beach to Cronulla and west to Penrith. They would all be mine. And, by golly, they were. Each one is now a pool scalp hanging from the waist of my Speedos."
A stint working in New York saw him add 70 pools to the tally.
Manuka Pool is his second favourite pool, after the Narrabeen ocean pool.
"Manuka is one of my favourite in the whole country," he said. "It's very old, it's been preserved and it's like you're going back in time. They're very, very rare."
His other top pools are the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre and Balmoral Baths in Sydney and Eriksdalsbadet in Sweden, as much for its post-swim sauna as anything else.
Kenton hopes his quest inspires people to just enjoy their local pool.
"I think everyone, deep down, wants to get back to the water. You have a party, that's one thing. You have a party with a pool, that's another thing altogether. Everyone wants to go," he said.
"We spend our first nine months floating and we seem to never get it out of our system."