Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fear of the Ocean

Pocket of Bolts and I are in Miami for the weekend: a college friend of his is getting married. The wedding wasn't until three, and being on our customary schedule, we had time to kill. Although I have a bad cold just now, around noon or so I finally decided that, what with the place we're staying being steps away from Miami Beach, it would be silly not to go swimming. I mean, how often do you get to swim outside in November!? Well, maybe very often if you actually *live* in Miami, or Hawaii... but for me it's a rare experience.

Interesting to say, I find swimming in the ocean very terrifying. When I was a little kid, we went to Huntington Beach in California, and somehow I didn't get properly instructed as to how to deal with breakers. Somehow or other, I got tossed around by a rough wave, and have been a bit phobic about them ever since. This, although I know *now* how to duck under waves if they are too big. And besides, this was an Atlantic Beach and the waves were fairly modest. No ocean features named after Satan, as Pocket of Bolts would say (unlike in Oregon).

Pocket of Bolts plunges into the ocean. He loves swimming in it. He is so strong, and it is so strong against him; it's like clashing of titans. I went in more cautiously, catching my breath whenever a big wave seemed to be forming. But--it is so no difficult to grab a breath and slip under. The roar of the water is instantly muted into a sandy trickling noise, and the threatening white thundercloud of wave disappears into mild bubbly swaying feeling that just passes over your body and then leaves you behind.

Not mind you that I am the picture of elegance diving under wave or anything. I tend to plug my nose and leave my ankles up in the air. Pocket of Bolts said, If you don't plug your nose, it's like saline nasal rinse. Good point!