Crazy day. First, more sunshine. I think we own it now. We all had a lot of fun dancing the night a way at Willy T’s in The Bight of Norman Island last night, so we got off to a bit of a slow start this morning. We decided to do a shortish swim to the beach and do a clinic on beach starts and finishes, which is always a lot of fun.
Hopper was demonstrating a good beach start and I was recording it when I felt a searing pain to the back of my arm. it was a Box Jellyfish, which are extremely uncommon in these waters this time of year, but we’d heard a few reports of them in the area, so I knew instantly what it was. The sting was stunningly acute, and within a few minutes i was very uncomfortable. Everyone stayed calm and responded perfectly to the situation. After a few very uncomfortable hours and a lot of benedryl and some other smelly substances, i was feeling much better.
The great news here is that our team was tested in a concerning situation and everyone did everything right, and with a cool head. It’s good to know that our crew is so efficient and level headed in an emergency. Swift action by Hopper, Fitzy, Lisa and Rich made a difference. Thanks also to Neil, the guy on the beach with a big jug of vinegar!
Here’s the thing: The sea is a wild place, and it doesn’t belong to us. We visit, but we always remember that this place is home to other species, and we are subject to their rules. Considering the number of people who go in the oceans of the world every year, the odds of something bad happening are pretty low. The sea that gave me a box jellyfish today is the same sea that gave me two spotted eagle rays yesterday, and a Manta ray the day before.
We’re all here because we’re passionate about swimming, and about swimming in the open water. The challenges that come with that - surge, current, distance, and yes, the occasional jellyfish - are the means by which we push ourselves. We trust in our abilities and fitness that we can make it from point A to point B even though we may never have done that before and may have natural or psychological hurdles before us. And when we arrive, we are better than we were before. This thing we do builds confidence and trust within each of us, while honing our fitness and body awareness. And all the while, the sea treats us to dynamic sights and experiences. How can we be anything other than grateful for our time here?
We sailed from Norman across the way to Salt Island, where our swimmers had a snorkel on the wreck of the Rhone. We lunched on burritos and salad, before which i think i saw a guest abs workout lead by Emma! How they have any more energy for exercise I’ll never know. Perhaps we should work them harder! Later, while some rested on the boat, others went to shore for some hiking, running and beach combing. We planned a short but ambitious island to island swim - from Cooper to Salt. Rich dinghied us to Cooper and we all swam back to the Promenade anchored at Salt. It was good to get back on the horse for me, and everyone proved to themselves, yet again, that they have embraced the challenge of swimming open water.
Cocktails- the bushwacker. It has too many ingredients to mention but they sure do go down nice and easy. Fantastic steak dinner with potatoes and gravy (thank you Lisa!) and into the boat salon for our stroke clinic. Hopper did an expert job discussing our digitally recorded strokes, and the process was really collaborative, with everyone contributing to the discussion. There is nothing like seeing yourself swim from underwater to help you make adjustments to be more efficient.
Hard to believe we’re on the back half of our week. It’s been another special SwimVacation day - I think our guests and crew all feel like a family tonight. We are bonded by this thing we love to do and all that the sea has to give us in the process.