Let me take you along on a little adventure with me today.
The winds finally died down and water has been calm in the mornings. Perfect for paddle boarding or swimming. I’ve been wanting to swim from Rasta beach to Baja Joe’s in La Ventana. We’ve done several downwinders kiteboarding this season. That’s always a blast, but intense. I’ve paddle boarded down with my friend Kari a few days ago. Saw lots of fish that way. Never swam though. It’s four miles.
A kiss from my husband, a kiss from my dog, and off I go. I soon get into the rhythm. Two strokes, breath to the right, two strokes, breath to the left. Once I warm up, four strokes deep slow breath in, four stokes, deep slow breath out. Moving meditation. I swim along a long stretch of a sandy beach which is to my right and when I take a breath, I see a row of seagulls lined up perfectly all looking in the same direction as I swim by. Like they are giving me a salute. Sending me on my way. I swim close to shore over coral heads and I see beautiful Angelfish, Cortez Rainbow Wrasse, adorable Sharpnose spotted Puffers, lots of Balloonfish with their tiny little flippers just sitting on the sandy floor. As I swim over a Guineafowl puffer, he balloons up. These fish do that to protect themselves from being eaten, as they are poor swimmers. They can double in size. Once the danger is gone i.e. me swimming away, this black fish dotted with tiny white spots expels the water back out through its mouth and returns to its normal size. I turn around and swim back over him again and puff, he goes and blows himself up again. Ok, ok enough of scaring this poor guy. I continue my swimming. No other form of physical activity can I feel so relaxed. So much a part of the environment. My body feels good. As the matter of fact, swimming was something I could do throughout my chemo treatments. Water is calming. Soothing. I swim over a long section of the sandy bottom. Not to many fish there except for an occasional almost translucent trumpetfish. I turn my head to take a breath, and not a foot away from me the diving duck pops up and scares the shit out of me. It takes me a while to calm my breath again. Back I am, swimming over another coral reef littered with fish of all sizes and colors darting in and out of coral heads. Wait, what’s that sticking out of the cave? Lobster antennas. I dive down, two lobsters in the same hole. Yes, we all think first: “ Man, those would be great on the plate dipped in butter!” But an even better thought is:” Live and let live!” Also, I am pretty sure they were making baby lobsters.
On I swim and get back into my rhythm: four strokes and a breath. Sandy bottom again. Not much there. Until! Water is a bit murky, I slow down and yes, blending perfectly with its environment, a very large Bullseye Stingray. I linger over him. He doesn’t flinch. He’s hoping he’s not noticed. Not a pebble moves. I stop breathing and just float. We play a game of stillness for a few more seconds. He wins. I have to take a breath. Jim and Monty follow along in the van and keep a vigilant eye on my progress. I wave at Jim at Las Palmas. He sticks his hand out of the van and waves back. God, I love that man! My pace quickens after I pass them. I sure am lucky to be doing this. Although I zone out, I have to be vigilant as well. Constantly keeping an eye making sure no boats are around. I am also scanning the shore to monitor my progress. I pass through the village of El Sargento. The shoreline is now dotted with houses and resorts. Not too many empty spaces left in between. It all happened so fast. Ten, fifteen years ago hardly anything was there. I am approaching the village of La Ventana. Few more boats are circling in front of the boat ramp. That makes me nervous. Although I am wearing a yellow swimming cap, I never know if they can see me. The water is murkier here too. Just another half a mile to go. I see my boys on the beach in front of Ventana Wind Sports resort. Now they are swimming toward me to great me. We dance in the water and kiss and we are just happy to be together again. I have a bit of sea legs as I stagger out of the water. And I am starving. Mission accomplished now let’s get some food.
I hope you enjoyed swimming with me.