The Abacos

Treasure Cay Swim - December 8, 2017

 
 

The Morning

This morning I heard Dave, Heather and Hopper (of SwimVacation) say that was a two-mile swim to the point. In my least obvious yet assertive tone I informed them that would be doing the swim and that if it made them comfortable I would even wear water wings. I was going to do the swim….despite the possibility of foul weather.

To my delight, they had already lined up Hopper and Dave to swim with me and then Hopper gave me a huge birthday hug. That’s right! Today is my birthday and what a fitting way for me to spend it —in my home away from home….in the water. My morning was already made with this delightful news. I was looking forward to the challenge.


The Swim

Resolved to swim the four miles, I was content to do it at a reasonable pace and that was our approach at the outset. Turbidity was high and, therefore, visibility was low—the waves were high and the wind was kicking. I quickly fell into a comfortable but challenging rhythm and focused on staying relaxed and calm despite the chaos surrounding us. This is what I wanted—to connect to this challenge and become part of it and have my own swim. I was aware of my other two companions and was grateful they were there even as I felt very independent in my own aquatic world. I felt free to “follow my line” and was (mostly) confident that I should. Garmin recorded us, at one point, hanging a right angle turn and I stopped and commented to the guides — “Hey…we’re off course!! You should give me a green cap!” The green cap is one of the tools used to keep track of swimmers during group swims. I was joking then but it became a bit more serious later when, on our return, we found ourselves in a squall complete with raindrop white-out. It was one of those moments that are at once terrifying and amazingly cool. Swimming with these world-class, accomplished swimmers in these extraordinarily challenging conditions gave me a whole new sense of accomplishment. I was in absolutely awe of the power and machinery of Dave and Hopper. Relentlessly, they pounded through the tumultuous ocean. For some reason, I was reminded of Mickey as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Fantasia when he is faced but unrelenting, endless force of water which carries him away in organized chaos. I suppose somewhere in the middle of our return through the squall, I felt a bit like Apprentice Mickey and perhaps by the time we climbed back aboard the Promenade, I felt a bit like the Sorcerer himself.

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SwimVacation

In the beginning, I visited SwimVacation as an experiment—a bit of risk. Traveling across the world to climb aboard an isolated catamaran destined for remote cays and swim spots was a bit outside my wheelhouse. But I couldn’t have been more fortunate in the outcome. I have made new friends and shared some of the most memorable swims of my life. SwimVacation has become a defacto outpost for my open water swim explorations and brings new challenges to me with every new location they explore.

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