This Gyro is a Wrap.
I’m tucked into my tiny little bunk for the last time.
When I move into these boats, I really move in. I set myself up. My space is usually pretty small, but still I make it mine. I unpack clothes and put them on shelves if I have them, or stack them neatly on the foot of my bed if I don’t. This week I’ve had Everything stacked at my feet, and I hung a scarf for decoration - just to soften things up a bit. I have a bottle of water in here and some lip balm and a hat handy. When I first moved in, it felt a little cramped and spare, but now it actually feels like mine. So I’m a little wistful bedding down tonight.
I’m wistful about it all, actually. It’s hard to believe this SwimVacation is a wrap.
We had a full, final day.
I woke to my coffee from Lulu - angel that she is. She woke me from a funny dream, in which I had won the silver medal at the olympics in the 100 freestyle. Several things are pretty comical about this. If you know me at all, you’d know that if I ever won anything, the 100 free would be the last event I’d win. It’s also funny that I didn’t dream about winning gold - apparently that would be unrealistic. And finally, in the dream I was curious about whether I was the shortest swimmer to ever win an Olympic medal. I was googling it in the dream, but Lulu came with the coffee before I got my answer…..Let’s assume yes, and let me say again how much I love Lulu and her cups of coffee.
We jumped in early this morning - at 805 am. It was a little cool, and the sun had barely risen. The water was a little choppy from wind, but the bay was calm with everyone else still a asleep. It was a simple, lovely swim. Katharine and Simon made a break for a little island he highly recommends. Natalie, Susie and I crossed two little bays within the harbour. Susie and I worked on our body position and Natalie just swam and eyed walls for climbing along the way. Marina, Kerry and Mark had a second cup of coffee and stayed bundled up on board - no judgments here. This is a vacation after all.
When we climbed aboard we moved to our final swim spot which was a south facing harbour on Meganisi island. We picked it because it should have been fairly protected, but as is sometimes the case, wind whips around in these harbors and we sometimes get it from all directions. Today’s afternoon swim was one of those. All 8 of us got in at the same time - I think for the first time all trip - and we posed for a picture, with Kerry at our center on the SUP. It felt special to all be in together, we’ve covered a lot of new territory together this week and I think we were all happy to cap the trip with one another. Susie and Mark dropped off after hitting and knowing their limits. Kerry piloted the SUV like a champ, and Simon, Katharine, Marina, Natalie and I made our way along the white cliffy shoreline for our final time. We didn’t go fast or slow, we let the rough water bump us around without much concern. I free dove a bunch of times to investigate small fish, a shell, an abandoned anchor. Back on board we pulled away from Meganisi and headed north for Lefkada.
The sun was out - we dodged a weather bullet we were expecting. Thank you Gods and Goddesses of Greece.
Lunch was all of our Mediterranean leftovers. There were lots of dips - I think I could live on dips. The rest of the day was mostly about wrapping it all up - a stop for gas, docking, a trip to town, I ran some laundry - I had to speak very sweetly to an elderly Greek woman who runs the marina laundry but had been turning people away due to a broken machine. She heard my tone and agreed, reluctantly. Now my clothes are clean and folded to absolute perfection. I also rinsed all of our gear, dinner, slideshow, packing, mingling, hanging out, more packing. So much packing.
I always get a little choked up doing the slideshow. It becomes clear how much we do in a week. It also becomes clear how much people trust us with their vacation. They show up as strangers, unsure of what to expect. They end as friends, who’ll jump in and swim just about anything with us by their sides. It’s transformative, and I feel so lucky to be a part of it.
I have to say how grateful I am to Richie and Lisa for their contributions on this trip. They piloted, fed, cleaned, assisted, cared for and all around spoiled us all week. They solved problems our guests didn’t even know about and never had to feel. They went above and beyond their duties and made Simon and I feel totally supported. Without them, we never would have attempted an un-scouted trip in the Med. Beyond that, they kept me in laughter and love all week. Gelos. The Greek God of Laughter. That’s who they’ve been to me. I’m glad I’ve got one more night with these two and I will hate to say goodbye. I’ll do everything I can to convince them to do this again next year (spoiler: I am pretty sure they will).
And then of course there is my trusty co-guide Simon. Reliable, thoughtful, kind and a true cave pointer, this guy also kept me giggling and light. He’s fantastic with the guests and he loves to plot swims. Simon is worth much more than his weight in Euros, baklava, and red sea stars. Thank you Simon, for guiding our guests not only to a magnificent cave, but also in a fantastic week of swimming.
A special mention for Kerry Hucul and Stephanie Lowry at H2OTrips for their expertise and assistance as we put all of this together. Kerry knows none of this would be possible without her.
Thanks, Hopper, for this crazy, audacious idea. I’m so glad I get to take people swimming in warm seas.
Thanks especially to our guests this week. They were game and they jumped in with gusto, courage and aplomb - they stayed flexible and enthusiastic as we made our way in this wonderful place.
To Poseidon and Cassiopeia, thank you for the inspiration and I hope you two have finally buried the hatchet. To all of the Gods and Goddesses who smiled down on us here, thank you. Greece casts a spell with its waters, its food, its islands and its culture, as it has done for thousands of years. We will return.
Efcharisto and Kalinychta. I’m better for having jumped in for a Mediterranean swim.