My physiological fear initiated, I could not ‘tread water’ and even understanding the physics of buoyancy and staying afloat I lacked, the inherent advantage of being able to rely on my 6”2 height in shallower water had been vanquished- FIGHT OR FLIGHT MODE ACTIVATED. I WAS OFF, sprinting Michael Phelps style to the other beach (in truth far more of a frenetic front crawl than a majestic butterfly motion). I ploughed unapologetically between a cuddling couple- they were less than pleased but hey! What did they expect?
Amidst the severity of this life and death situation my girlfriend was crying of laughter as she swam steadily behind me… yes very supportive indeed.
I couldn’t be more relieved reaching the other beach but the effort it took left me exasperated, little time I had to recover before it dawned on me I would have to do this insurmountable task all over again- our valuables were left on the other beach. After repeated failures in plucking the up courage to swim back and even suggesting the idea that we hike back to the other beach. I decide to brave my way back to the other beach…. clinging on to the bottom of rugged limestone cliff as my girlfriend swam ahead inspecting appropriate places for me to plant my hands and feet.
There I was planted in fear against cliff – as if a poison dart frog, static on the stem of a tree before it’s next leap for safety. It must have been a sight for the many and this was me as I navigated further into the deep water.
High tide was imminent, and my body was coercively swayed along the rocks by the flow and ebb of water- unforeseeably I reached near that old friend of mine- the limestone stack in the middle of the two beaches and at this point- frankly I had enough of the torment, palms scarred from clasping for dear life, I let go of the cliff bottom, summoned upper inner divine courage and I swam back to the first beach. ORDEAL OVER – next time inflatable vest!