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Day 5

The wind came on last night full of itself, all bluster and big talk. Pretty incredible, considering we haven’t even sailed up till this point for lack of wind. Luckily we were holed up in White Bay, Peter Island, out of the direct blow.

Will lead our guests on an early morning 3 mile run of Sunset Loop on Peter Island. They returned invigorated and ready to jump in the water, in spite of the gusts.

We enjoyed a spectacular morning in White Bay – Will led our swimmers through an ab workout in the water, which lead to beach starts and finishes, which lead to buoy turns, which lead to general frolic and play in the waves. I happily had my cameras going the whole time.

We spent much of the day sailing around, coming up with plans A, B, and C and looking for cover from this warm and relentless wind. We scratched our plan to snorkel the Indians and swim around Pelican Island, opting instead for a 2.5 mile course off of Norman Island in the lee of the wind. This took us from the NW bay into and completely circumnavigating the Bight to the point on the other side.

The wind was doing all sorts of crazy things in the Bight, seemingly against us no matter which way we turned. Our fast group was out in front and reached the point in record time, in spite of the conditions. Lisa patrolled our line of swimmers the whole time. She picked up Will, Jamie and Alison when they reached the point in a froth of swell and wind. They raced back to let the rest of us know what lay ahead. I asked my group what they wanted to do – get in the dinghy, or continue on to the point. Bob answered with an emphatic “Let’s finish this thing”. And so we did. We kept on through big busy, powerful water, heads down and strokes deliberate. Our swimmers never balked.

Lisa was there to meet us at the end of the point. We gathered everyone up and headed back to the boat – jumping back in to swim the last quarter mile. Another inspiring swim full of turtles and silversides and rays and push and challenge. Our guests are gobbling it all up.

Records exploding left and right: this afternoon’s swim brings us to nearly 17 miles so far this week, and we still have two swims tomorrow (do I hear 20?!). At dinner, Jamie revealed that today’s swim brought him to his 600 mile mark this year. Judy has increased her pace by nearly 5 minutes per mile. Megan has probably covered more distance in the water this week than she has in her 2 years of swimming. Bob has changed his stroke to be more efficient (“You have to anchor!”). Alison is enjoying the push to keep up with Jamie and Ken is much faster and more confident than he was when he was here last March. Paul found a whole new gear this afternoon. Everyone is driving this week home with new marks on the life list. Raise a glass to that.

I think what I have loved most about this group is the easy cohesion they found almost immediately. Hard to believe that it was just 5 days ago that seven strangers sat waiting at the marina. Seven friends have cheered for one another and celebrated each other’s accomplishments, finding inspiration to dig a little deeper in one another’s wake. If you stepped onto this boat tonight, you’d think we’d all been swimming and laughing together for years.

Sometimes the wind brings with it the opportunity to try something new. Tonight we’re in the protection of a bay next door to White Bay on Peter Island. We’ve never anchored here before. In the morning we’ll make a new swim from here into White Bay. We asked our swimmers if they were up for the adventure of unchartered waters. Without hesitation, every one of them cheered.

Blow all you want, wind. You’ll need more than that to keep us out of the sea.

Let’s finish this thing!

 

– Heather

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Friends at VA says:

    Hi Jamie! Looks like you are having spectacular time!
    Hint. Keep swimming with the fishes and don’t come back.
    The turtles and rays don’t complain.
    You are missed.
    Your buddies @ the VA

  2. Jan Shumaker says:

    So much fun to read this blog and know what a wonderful time Jamie is having. As his Mom, his happiness is my happiness and I LOVE to read of his enjoyment there with his ove of swimming and his new found friends! Bet he will be back at some point!

  3. Chris says:

    Your pics and blog remind me of how amazing my experience was- it was truly the vacation of a lifetime! Swim, relax and soak it all in SwimVacationers. Oh yeah, and come to Maine this summer and experience the Maine Lakes version.

  4. Alison says:

    So many accomplishments in one little week. So many miles, too!! Liked your comment about cohesion – we really came together with such ease, all wanting a challenging, healthy, active week. Certainly a group that knew how to embrace and appreciate life. I hope I have the opportunity to swim with everyone again – miss you already, Heather and Will, Megan, Bob and Judy, Jamie, and Paul!

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