The Warm Waters of Home (Day 99)

It felt good to be back home today, swimming at the Albany Bulb. Getting into the water was incredibly easy, like getting into a pool. My thermometer read 19°C (66°F) degrees, which is a giant jump from yesterday’s 12° or the 8° of the day before.

It was a calm, silky swim, rolling ribbons of water in subdued silvery hues. The water here at home is not quite as stunning as the waters of the Georgia Straight, the Puget Sound, or the clear lakes of Northern California and Washington; a murky olive green instead of crystal clear, but I love it. It felt soft and welcoming. 

Because of my Covid exposure, I went at an off-time so I wouldn’t be changing and chatting onshore with the other swimmers. So I was already out in the bay when the 8-o’clock swimmers splashed their way in. I felt a little sad: like a kid in time out watching my friends playing at recess. But I’d feel even worse if I do have Covid and exposed any of them, so I contented myself by watching them swim and trying to pick out who was who. The only one I knew for sure was Kaushik, with his distinctive breaststroke (nearly as distinctive as his usual butterfly, which he wasn’t yet doing when I saw him). They all looked great with their bright caps and buoys, their strong strokes, and splashing joyfulness. 

I didn’t swim especially hard or far, but more than I have on my other swims this last week. Though I was exhilarated to swim in the colder water up North, I do love that our warmer water lately lets me swim longer. My biggest obstacle today was my fear of the seal. Why are things so much more menacing when you are alone? The seal was nowhere to be seen, but I kept sensing its presence and sticking my head up to look around. At one point I talked myself out of the fear and swam for a good distance, but then I stopped, saw a log, and shrieked like a shark was coming for me. Silly, silly me.

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