My excited anticipation to see Eliza today was only a little bit marred by my worry about having to swim at some point. I left Portland early with the idea that I would swim in the afternoon in Victoria. I didn’t really start worrying about this plan until I was on the ferry to Victoria from Port Angeles; the wind was howling and the waves were tossing the giant ferry around like it was a rubber boat. Cold wind continued to send chills into my bones as I drove to Eliza’s house and I wondered if this would be the day I finally failed in my year of swimming.
But after a joyful reunion, she joined me down at Willow’s Beach where I did my first Vancouver Island swim back in January, and which is only a few blocks from our rental house (I planned it that way).
It was spectacular down at the beach. Cold, but the sky was clear except for some clouds on the horizon that were turning ever pinker as sunset neared. The moon was nearly full just above the horizon. And the water was stunningly beautiful: impossibly clear and fresh.
I forgot my neoprene socks and when I first stepped into the water, I thought it didn’t seem too cold, not so different from the bay. But soon, an aching cold gripped my legs and then they went numb. I looked at my thermometer: 49! Wow. I was grateful for my couple of days of colder water in the bay to help me acclimate because soon I was swimming along, full of tingly goodness.