I departed work saying I was off swimming, I was asked how long the pool stayed open. Erm, no, in the sea I replied. Shocked response I would say is an understatement! Is that safe?! I was asked? Off back to Awarua bay I went, and today was a calm sunny day so the sea would be much better. This time I decided to tackle the water in a different direction: following the shore rather than out and back into the deeper water. I was hoping this would minimise the chop if I stayed in shallower water. I knew that high tide had been – about an hour ago, so everything should be just fine. What I didn’t consider was the effect of tides on me, the swimmer. I was soon to find out!
I went right, from my view of the car, as the beach runs for a fair way along. I figured if I stayed equal distance to the shore, everything would be fine. When standing on the shore, noticed the waves were equivalent of coming straight towards me if I went this way, but at least I would have them to my back on the return. I think I have been in bigger waves (last time, for example!) but I felt a lot better about the whole thing this time round. After a few freak outs initially, I realised that what I could see below was the sun shining through the water and the shadows it was casting, and the water was not in fact all that deep here. It felt really warm until a certain depth out, where y could tell it cool off, but it was still very pleasant, no ice-cream brain sensation like the last time!
It felt like hard work but I reached my planned turn point, then started on the return. It certainly seemed a whole lot easier this way, and I was even getting the hang of NOT tasting the salt water, that takes some practice when you’re used to fresh water swimming!
I stopped to float around and take in the pleasure of the surroundings. Then it dawned on me. THE TIDE! No wonder it felt hard work, I had been swimming up the bay against the outgoing tide! Doh! I don’t have to worry about tides on a lake, so I hadn’t even thought about that! Phew, I’m doing ok the , I thought!
A much more relaxed and pleasurable 45 minute swim. And I have never been able to say I had a pleasant warm sunny (free!) open water swim on Christmas Eve!