But in 40C heat in the coastal town of Mandurah yesterday, Mr Mallard was too busy to indulge in the simple pleasure and had to settle for dangling his feet in the river estuary south of Perth.
Unexpectedly released from maximum-security Casuarina jail on Monday after prosecutors withdrew a murder charge, Mr Mallard - who was awaiting a retrial after his conviction was quashed by the High Court in November - vowed he would not rest until the case was solved.
"The family of the victim need proper closure - they need to know that I am innocent and get this perpetrator behind bars," the 43-year-old said. "(But) I have learnt to be patient."
Mr Mallard told The Australian he was angry Director of Public Prosecutions Robert Cock QC had maintained he was still the prime suspect for the brutal bashing death of Pamela Lawrence in 1994. "I expected something like this and I expected them to try and still keep it pinned on me," he said.
But Mr Mallard's defence lawyer, Malcolm McCusker QC, was less diplomatic, labelling Mr Cock's statement "quite extraordinary" and beyond the proper function of the DPP. "It really was contemptuous disregard for the fundamental principle of justice, that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty after a fair trial," Mr McCusker said. "They have by this statement blackened this man's name."
Mr Cock yesterday said he was duty bound to disclose to the court and the accused the intention of the DPP to prosecute Mr Mallard in the future if additional evidence was available.
"I entirely agree that this is a most unsatisfactory set of events," Mr Cock said. "It is fully unacceptable that Mr Mallard has had to remain in custody for so long in circumstances under which he is now released."
State Attorney-General Jim McGinty yesterday conceded the case had revealed an "untidy and unfortunate" series of events, saying it was up to the state's corruption watchdog to continue its investigations into the handling of the police inquiries and prosecution.
"Nobody can feel satisfied with the way in which the Mallard case has unfolded," Mr McGinty said. "It was an horrendous murder. Nobody has been brought to justice for it and now we have got allegations of improper or corrupt behaviour by police and DPP prosecutors.
"I think there is no doubt that this particular case casts a shadow over the way in which the police conducted the investigation and perhaps the way in which the DPP prosecuted this case." Mr McGinty urged police to vigorously investigate any further information that became available.
Police Deputy Commissioner Chris Dawson was quick to defend his officers yesterday, saying it was important the case did not become a measure of police competence in homicide investigations. Contradicting his statement on Monday evening that police had no intention of re-opening the case, Mr Dawson said unsolved murder cases were never closed.