I’m a woman in my mid 60s and, as I freely tell those who ask, I’m short, round and I float well.
I’ve been swimming in our bay for six months of the year for over 30 years, during which time I’ve enjoyed a few interesting experiences when interacting with the local wildlife from seals to the odd whale.
However, the most dangerous threat, as usual, is human.
Saturday, I was having a peaceful swim at noon, high tide. I was a fair way out when two idiots in a boat roared toward me at high speed.
I splashed as much as I could to show them I was there, but they were oblivious. Shouting at them to “slow down” didn’t help, as their engine was deafening.
They missed me by a body-length, sending up a huge wave-wake that also had some paddle boarders struggling for balance – and there was no excuse for not seeing them.
They were laughing and yelling, sounding like drunken maniacs.
They swept in close to shore – lucky it was high tide or they’d have run aground two sandbanks out.
I was most relieved when they sped westwards going out, until they looped around and headed back. Fortunately, they were further away this time so I was no longer in danger of being mowed down.
I still have a few weeks left before I give up for the year. Hopefully my swims will be without further threat from irresponsible louts in high-speed boats, bullying their way through swimming waters, regardless of the safety of others, feathered, finned or merely human.
Pat Patton, White Rock