Hopefully, tomorrow’s swimming expedition will be more successful than our two previous attempts. The first day, I’d noticed that TC was far from horizontal in the water. Despite a balmy sea at this time of year, the man (wimp) still needs a wetsuit but had swapped 5mm Neoprene for a compressed 2mm suit. Six kilos of extra weight meant the distance covered was tripled and, due to more effort and diagonal diver exhaustion, it also meant an early shower. Today’s antics were worrying, too. All the more so because I happen to be a qualified rescue swimmer with CPR to boot.
After an energetic swim out to the reef in swelling waters, at first against and then with the current, we lost each other for half an hour and both of us thought the other had drowned.
Great! What a rescue swimmer! Swimming with the Dane was bad enough - two strokes with those long arms and legs of his and he would be across the bay in a flash. TC is steadier but he never stops to look at the reef or wait while I breathe up and dive down. However, he does stop to bitterly complain - and rightly so - about locals who stand up to fish from the reef, poisoning the coral with their nasty, sweaty feet.
Grouch over, onwards swims TC. I dawdle, showing off dolphin-style along the edge of the bright reef, then dive down again. On surfacing, I have to change gear and do some hardcore crawl to catch up. Spellbound by the shimmering blue, and enchanted by the silvery, dancing shoal of jackfish 10m below, I swim out too far and then realise my buddy is nowhere in sight. The only other swimmers within visible distance aren’t using fins or suits. I tell myself TC knows what he’s doing and swim for shore, ditch my fins and swim out again, following the bay whilst scanning the waters for a fluorescent, orange-tipped snorkel.
No sign. What should I do? Did he go for an early shower again? Should I swim back and look to see if he’s sent me a text? Just as I’m seriously wondering whether or not to panic, I see TC’s now-familiar silhouette standing at the water’s edge. I clamber out some distance away and then have to run along the promenade in my swimsuit, manically calling out to TC who’s striding off in the same, methodical way he swims: unceasingly, ever onwards. Finally, much to the amusement of the sunbed crowd, TC hears my yells. Now, we both can be relieved; we laugh at our rubbish exploits over a glass of ice-cold mineral water.
Sans sorrows to drown, TC nevertheless elaborates his nutrition tip of the day:
“Shouldn’t drink that stuff,” he advises, “Your body loses energy because it has to heat up the cold water in your stomach.” He often counsels along such lines with regard to food and drink. At least we were both still alive to taste it. I’ll say cheers to that.