In our everyday lives, we are surrounded by man-made objects and systems, where people are behind the circumstances that impact us. Traffic, meetings, grocery shopping, and hundreds of other occurrences are the things we feel like we have some control over. When the shortcut we try actually takes longer, or the power point projector won’t work, or there’s no more organic eggplant at the grocery store, we blame ourselves or others. By the end of the day these stresses show on our faces, our words and actions.
There’s a simplicity in the way the ocean treats us. Currents, waves, wind, and wildlife are elements we can’t control, and there’s a relief in that knowledge. During an ocean swim, the wind or a current can increase, decrease, or change direction. I’ve seen a 6-foot swell come out of nowhere. I’ve seen a tide turn an hour before it was predicted to. It’s not my fault, nor the fault of the people that made the chart. The decision process in the ocean is simplified: turn back, forge ahead, change course, speed up, slow down. Work with what is. Faith in the process. After a week of reacting to these basic elements on SwimVacation, I go back home with a different perspective on decision making and giving over to circumstances.
Our morning swim in Muskmelon Bay was delightful. The water was clear and the fish and coral plentiful. We could feel the 3 miles we swam yesterday in our muscles and joints. Toward the end of the swim, the wind started gusting from 3 directions all at once, it seemed, and the water got just the tiniest bit sting-y. Muskmelon had given us enough, was telling us it was time to go. I fell off the SUP a couple of times, laughing at myself. I hope I can laugh at a traffic jam in the same manner next week.
Listening to the push to be done, we climbed back aboard Promenade, still sitting alone in this wild bay. Biscuits and gravy with eggs might be the perfect post-swim breakfast aboard a yacht in the breezy Caribbean. They were followed by a long sail to Norman Island, where we toured the caves and enjoyed the abundant wildlife here. Squid, tarpon, reef fish working together in cleaning stations. Heather was ecstatic about a rare sighting of the juvenile spotted drum. A hawskbill turtle hung around, unafraid. Janine spied an octopus. We kept that theme going through dinner: squid ink pasta with shrimp and mussels. A brief and boisterous trip to the infamous Willy T’s. Stars. Moon. More breezes, gentle waves.