I’ve swum in the sea!

As I lounged by the pool today, feeling the potency of the blazing white sun, I was overcome by the compulsion to report to the sea for duty. It had been since late last November or perhaps early December since I had swum in the sea. I was noticeably feeling the want of salt sea water and the memory of its singular buoyancy. The declining ambient temperature has temporarily estranged me from the sea though in the interim I have regularly contrived the scope of my return. Already the daily temperature has begun to climb. The high today was 74°F; and without any wind it felt warmer.  I am counting upon the sun to warm the sea to its historic tepidness.

No doubt my gusto to return to the sea was prompted by a comment I heard yesterday from a chap whose townhouse overlooks the bay. He enthusiastically remarked how placid the sea struck him. Tranquillity is a primary credential of a warm sea particularly when combined as it has been with the recent warm temperatures. Back in December and the early part of January there were strong northerly winds which routinely intermitted the calmness of the sea and commensurately lowered the temperature of the sea water. I prefer paddling about in the sea and floating on my back when not disturbed by waves. It is a posture quite different from swimming in the ocean.

So it was that early this afternoon I withdrew from my chaise longue by the pool and directed my tricycle to the sea on the western side of the island. It is but a short journey along the laneway to the entrance to the sea. Two others were stationed there upon my arrival.

I parked myself upon the picnic table beneath the knotted tree, removed my shoes and linen shirt, stowed my house key, watch and spectacles in one shoe, my iPhone and lip balm in the other, propped my stick against the table, then set off into the sea.

Because I hadn’t anticipated the occasion, I wasn’t wearing my new aquatic shoes. I therefore obliged myself carefully to maneuver through the coral bits on the shoreline before gaining the smooth sandy bottom. The water was the temperature of a glass of cold tap water.  It certainly wasn’t icy but I could sense its soothing effect upon my lower limbs. When at last I succeeded to my waist in the water I plunged beneath the surface.

As I swam under water with my eyes open I felt the calming bliss of the sea. I had fulfilled my goal! It was an achievement I relished with zeal. It constitutes an accomplishment of what is for me the essential element of the Florida Keys; and that is its magnificent turquoise water.