Finally! Yes, finally summer seems to have fully arrived at last. The sun is strong, the skies are blue and the water is almost tepid… well it’s allegedly almost 20C (Bramblenet suggests). There are lots of people from elsewhere coming to enjoy the local beauty and getting into the sea. Plus we have regular sightings of the seal off Gurnard and Cowes and the pod of some 20 dolphins is regularly joining small boats around the shores. It’s all rather wonderful.
Karen and I have been choosing to swim first thing in the morning when possible now that we have both the sunshine and warmth to make it so stunning, plus it’s quieter and definitely more peaceful. There really isn’t anything quite so beautiful just now as getting your head down and swimming to a chosen point and then floating back, buoyant in the salty water, the sound of your breathing filling your submerged ears and the warmth of the sun on your face. We often joke that we’re like sea otters, floating on our backs with the tide, just bobbing along. The glint of the summer light bouncing off the water is as sparkly here as it is anywhere and the sense of peace and contentment fills the soul. Swimming head under, shards of sunlight darting in and total immersive absorption in swimming is quite magical.
It’s then that you realise that your swim buddy is once again steering out to sea, ploughing forwards with a real determination, heading away from the shore line and parallel swim track. Karen has been using her snorkel to help concentrate on her stroke so doesn’t then need to lift her head out of the water. Whilst a useful tool it does mean she can swim on for quite a bit before realising she’s way off course! I swim on in a vaguely straight line glancing up between strokes to check that she’s not too far out and waiting for the head up moment and right angle change of direction for her to come back in line with the shore. The result of these random zig zag projections means that quite often Karen will have swum further …. but that I will hopefully have improved my breathing technique. It’s an easy pattern of activity that we engage in – sharing the experience; looking out for one another; exchanging thoughts and ideas. When the water is smooth, the sun is shining and it’s early morning, the world really does feel better.
Swimming further and for longer feels like a daily adventure, and the water and weather at the moment feels wonderfully adventurous. Here’s hoping the summer warmth continues.