Yesterday we went out on a boat the Race organisers had set up for us to use for training purposes. We had a great day out, did some man overboard drills, deployed the para anchor, rowed out to turquoise waters just off Sheer Rocks and generally had a jolly old time. Both Jane and I jumped in off the boat and had a little swim. It struck me immediately how quickly the boat drifts away from you, and you from the boat.
As someone who DOESN’T love deep water, I didn’t go too far before climbing back on (which is another story…) but Jane swam off with her GoPro like she was a mermaid in a rock pool. When she finally decided to come back, she got to within about 10 feet of the boat and it was as if she was in an infinity pool. As fast as she was swimming towards the boat, the boat was drifting away. With a bit of grit, she grabbed the side and hauled herself up, sliding onto the deck like a slippery eel.
But it stuck in my head. My front crawl technique is pretty shaky and in that situation, breast-stroke probably wouldn’t cut it.
In spite of pledging that I would swim every day while I was here, I’ve let my focus drift and aside from the odd dip in the sea, haven’t got in the water with any real intention. So tonight I jumped in at the deep end with the hope that I could smash through a few lengths and reassure myself that all would be well. Instead of going slow, staying calm and giving myself a chance to relax into the water, I went straight off, managed a length and a half and panicked. I wound up doing breaststroke and back crawl (which took me anywhere but in a straight line). Not quite how I hoped it would turn out.
So I have work to do. And only 10 days to fix it.
Pēpe Wai (the name of our boat) means Water Babies in Hawaiian. I am very, VERY far from being in that category right now...