So many shades of green, impossible pinks, and one naughty word.
"What the f*ck" said Hugh Jr.
Hugh Jr! The most PO-lite human being I think I have ever met!
Let me back up.
When I posted last night's blog this morning, I believe I wrote "...I'm waking to calm seas...". Well. We pulled anchor at 7am and headed to the North sound of Nunjack Cay, where I was excited to mount a 1 - 3 mile swim in the "calm" seas. Oh silly, silly girl. Sure, the wind died. But the swell was kicking out of the north and pushing right into our bay. But I promised Janine a big swim, and a big water swim. A "Dave Barra Slog" as she called it. O.K.
I plotted two options for a 3 mile Janine and Heather swim. One took us outside to the Atlantic. The other took us inside to the Sea of Abaco. The swell looked to be impacting both zones, so I knew she'd get her slog either way. Simon gathered Myssie, Hugh and Hugh and planned a 25 minute swim out to the wild Atlantic and then turn around and head back. Everyone was game. We all jumped in and made for the outer corner of the bay. In spite of the significant swell, we all noticed the warm temperature of the big water. Ok. I can stay in this all day. We made our clunky way stroke by stroke, 6 bits of flotsam. Tossed, we made our way almost to the outer corner. One at a time I noticed some comb jellies - harmless, but an indicator. One thing I have enjoyed about the cooler temps of the Abacos in December is a complete lack of anything remotely close to a jellyfish, which prefer warmer waters. Incredible that where there is warmth, so there are jellies. The passed harmlessly beneath me, one three, seven, more. Then I felt it: the tell tale mild stinging of sea lice. Ok. Ok. I'm still warm, I'm still enjoying this challenge. A few more zaps and I know this isn't going to get any better. I call it. Janine looks secretly relieved as we turn around in the huge seas and head back the way we came.
Simon led his group back into the bay, where by all accounts they bobbed around and looked for wildlife and had a typically good time before climbing back aboard. True to my word, I followed through on my commitment to swim Janine big. We crossed the mouth of the bay, still in the big water, to the inside point. When we reached it, the thermocline was stunning. A sharp, invisible line in the water. Like walking through a door, the water temperature dropped a full 5 or 6 degrees. Maybe 7. You could see the temperature waves underwater. The jellies seemed quite unwilling to walk through the same door we passed through, so I knew there would be no more of that. Out of the Atlantic, into the shallow Sea of Abaco. Out of the warm, into the cold. Deep green to turquoise green.
Our turn around the point was a commitment. We had found the place of swell against tide. No matter how many strokes we took, we made no progress. I'd take a breath and look back at Janine, put my head down and swim a little harder. No progress. Staring at the same coral head beneath me, I saw little fish darting about. Swimming wherever the hell they wanted to! Just like that! No effort at all. Jealous! We kept at it and eventually we progressed passed the point. With every yard, the sea calmed until we were gliding effortlessly in the shallows, over green grasses glimmering with light. We continued on for about a mile, stopping to chat occasionally, until she told me she'd had enough. We turned around, hit the beach for a short cut back to the bay, walked a bit, then swam the last stretch back to the boat. Total was 2 linear miles, but we decided to give ourselves credit for the many minutes we swam in place against the power of water. Big, rough, calm, warm, cold, stinging, clear, even a walk. This swim had it all. Thanks J9, that was fun.
Our boat needed a water top off, so we headed back down to Green Turtle Cay for a quick stop. We are down one engine so Zack the Wonder Kid hopped into the dingy to push this big tug around while Simeon expertly parallel parked at the dock. Cheffy produced a fantastic and hearty lunch of the most indulgent mac and cheese, southern fried chicken and left over lobster tail. Ridiculous. We nudged back out of the provisions port and headed straight to the beautiful white crescent beach of Treasure Cay.
Like marines on a combat mission, our swimmers prepared for the swim before we even stopped the boat, and hit the water the moment we anchored and the engine shut off. The bright sunshine and the tropical, turquoise, calm (Calm!!) water punked us all. If it's possible, the sea was even a little colder here.
Enter Hugh Jr.
"What the f*ck", he said, quite plainly, without drama. Which at once made everyone burst into laughter, and made me really think twice before jumping in. But I did! Now free to exclaim whatever would make it feel better, one at a time we splashed and cursed, laughing all the while. It's really such a pretty spot, and now we all feel like family. It was hard to not love it.
Another big swim for Janine, this time with Simon, a great kick and swim for me and Myssie, and a relaxing meander for Hugh and Hugh, who looked like they were catching up with each other after a long time apart. They mostly dog paddled and chatted away, cold be damned, happy as two dog paddlers. They stormed the beach, walked along, then returned to the boat. They had the perfect swim. We ran into Kid Swim Zack on our way back, who bounced and sprinted and ran on the beach like a puppy before splashing back in. That's how a young man responds to an unexpectedly cold sea. Ah youth!
Myssie delighted with our swim. Zack howling at the cold.
We all climbed aboard, dried off, warmed up and set up with cocktails and snacks. Myssie, who at this point has so thoroughly given over to her aquatic self, refused to change out of her bathing suit. She brought out a beautiful silk scarf, more greens, and we had an impromptu photo shoot on the bow. I think she really loves it here. I think it really shows.
Cheffy whipped up some filet mignons with blue cheese butter compound (WHAT?!?!), yes, that's what I said, and we dined and laughed at the notion of a night swim. Simon dipped his feet into the water to satisfy our itch for bioluminescence, which mirrored the Gemenid show we've been enjoying each night. Stars below, stars above. Stars. Each of these swimmers. Stars.
I think we'll swim here again in the morning, and if everyone can stand to be in the water a little longer, I'll make some fun photos of them frolicking in these waters they've enjoyed so much this week. That's my plan anyway.
One more day. I know these four will make the most of it.
Myssie and Janine enjoy more impossible pinks. The impossible pinks of Abaco.