It was Two Mile Tuesday with Pelicans for Colleen and me today. Also the Summer Solstice! (Too many possible blog titles today). Earlier in the week, Colleen and I declared our intention to swim two miles today and I was excited about it (so excited that I slept terribly). We met early and even as I was driving toward the Albany Bulb I could see hundreds of pelicans.
I rushed out of my car to observe the spectacle. A riot of birds was swooping and circling, amassing out on the glassy waters of the bay. Colleen pointed out that hundreds of them seemed to be circling Kaushik who was out there swimming, following him along as he went. She took this video.
Our plan was to swim hard out to the point of Cesar Chavez Park. I wanted to know how long it would take me to swim a mile and Colleen suggested this swim, which is almost exactly a mile depending on how you weave and veer.
The conditions were perfect; the water incredibly calm and serene, soft and inviting. It was also warm (too warm after a while) and the sun was shining. It was as if the first day of summer knew what its job was and executed it to a T. We put our heads down and swam steadily toward the distant point of Cesar Chavez Park.
Soon, I realized the pelicans who had been circling Kaushik were now circling us. Each time I lifted my head to breathe, I saw them swooping beside me; flying in the air and skimming the water; individuals, pairs, dozens sometimes. It was magical and it took all of my willpower not to stop and marvel at them. A few times I flipped over and did the backstroke so I could soak in their sheer numbers.
I arrived at the point in about 38 minutes, Colleen a few minutes before that. It felt great. We meandered our way back, appreciating the gorgeous solstice day.
Sadly, the Pelicans had lost interest in us by then and I kicked myself for not giving into temptation and stopping for them when they were swarming us. At the same time, I’m glad I felt what it was to swim a mile without stopping.