It was there bobbing in the distance. Not bobbing very much because the sea was so tranquil.
Alluring, enticing, and saying ‘Swim to me.’
But I didn’t. Apart from anything else it was some time since I had been swimming, and although confident enough in a pool, the sea is another matter. The ‘beach’ where we live in Spain is shingly and drops sharply as soon as you enter the sea. One meter knee height, two meters thigh, three waist and four shoulders. After that you can’t put your foot on the bottom.
Personal survival medals, life-saving bronze medallion, long distance certificates mean nothing if you are caught in the sea. Cramp? Heart attack? Stung by one of the summer shoals of Medusa (large jellyfish) ?
So I looked at it longingly. And swam part way out, further than anyone else had gone that morning so that was good enough.
And then, the German (?) couple started to swim. They went as far as I had gone. They went further. They swam to MY buoy. They turned round and swam to the next one. Then they came back.
It was no good, I had to get there too. But not that day. Not even that week.
The water is well warm in August. The next time we went, I swam lazily around enjoying the wonderful waves swooping me up and down, and being able to float on my back without moving a finger.
That yellow buoy was still there. I needed to get a bit nearer. Improve my distance. I swam leisurely towards it. There were people playing around on an inflatable near to me. Suddenly the buoy was nearer. I put on a spurt, but then, he just remained there, laughing and taunting. And receded.
This wasn’t good enough. I could reach him. I wasn’t tired, I was enjoying the swim, and I needed to reach him now. I had to achieve the swim. There was no-one around any more. The inflatables had gone. Partner was a million miles away – or might as well have been – still watching me from the shore. I had no idea how deep the water was – but does that matter?
The yellow buoy smiled at me and then he was within reaching distance. I swam up to him, touched him lightly as though it was the other end of the pool, and turned around to head for shore.
Swimming in a straight line was not an option. Even though the sea was relatively calm, there was still a current. I could have gone with the flow, and ended up walking up the beach. Easier to swim slightly against it and keep focussing on my target. The large volleyball posts just behind Partner.
I tried to ensure I emerged out of the water in a suitable Ursula Undress fashion and wandered nonchalantly back to my towel. Not tired, not anything, apart from pleased and having had the best swim for years.
I didn’t intend to do it again. I was happy enough I had achieved my goal. But the next time I got in the water, the yellow buoy was enticing me again. ‘Come here. Swim to me.’ So I did.
And it was much easier, I wasn’t worried there was no-one around, I hadn’t noticed any jellyfish, and it was such an irresistible experience.
It was a good break and we enjoyed it. As some of you know, the journey back wasn’t quite so good. Maybe I will write about that, but later. For today, the nice things in life.