Monday, October 1, 2012

My Encounter With Baywatch

Hello? Is anyone there?
This blog has been quiet for so long, I wasn't sure if you'd be here.
But I'm glad you are.
I'm at the beach with my family and in-laws. Yesterday I had an experience that just had to be documented.
When you have kids, a beach vacation is not always relaxing. While my choice might have been to sleep in, the boys want to hit the beach early. So we're typically in the water before 9am. Yesterday was typical.
The water was calm. The boys were entertaining themselves. So I said to everyone "I'm going to swim out to the sandbar." The only problem with that is that I knew the sandbar was deeper than I could touch, so they'd have to let me know when I got there (into the lighter green area in the water.) I devised a genius plan. When I thought I was there, I would turn back to shore raise my arms into the air, palms up, shrugging my shoulders, as if to ask "well?" They would reply by either giving me a thumbs up or waving me on to swim out further. It was clearly a perfect plan.
So off I went. I wasn't in a hurry. I was just enjoying a leisurely swim in the deeper water. I turned from time to time, raised my arms, and received the sign from shore to keep going. When I finally did get the sign that I had gone far enough, I decided to just have some fun. I was wearing goggles (If Jaws was going to eat me, I wanted to see him coming.) so I would dive under from time to time to look for sand dollars. I swam to the bottom and from the pressure in my ears could tell it was very deep. Wanting to know how deep, I surfaced, raised my hands into the air, then went under trying touch bottom with my feet. I knew from my toes to my raised hands would be about 8 feet. I estimate the water was about 15' deep, I could neither touch bottom, nor feel my hand out sticking out of the surface.
After bobbing around out there for a while, I decided to head back in. I'll admit, after swimming so long, I was getting a little tired, so I started back stroking some, swimming underwater some, basically just freestyle swimming and enjoying myself. At one point I even wondered if I could get more bang for my buck with each stroke if I held my hat in my hand so that it would cover more space and therefore move more water. (Did I mention I was wearing a red baseball cap?
Ok, so picture that:
  • big guy
  • wearing a t-shirt (I don't go shirtless in public. No need to cause women to lust like that.)
  • with goggles
  • and a red baseball cap.
I had it going on.
That's when I saw the guy on the jet ski.
Now, my first thought was " Oh crap! He's coming right at me. I'm about to get hit by a guy on a jet ski." So I started swimming with bigger strokes, to make sure to be seen. I quickly figured out that he definitely did see me and was slowing as if to speak to me.
David Hasslehoff like dude: "Hey man. Are you ok?"
Me: "Yeah, I'm great."
Hasslehoff: "You sure? Someone called and reported someone struggling in the water."
......Me struggling? Nah. How could anyone think that?
Images from the past 30 minutes flashed in my mind:
  • Me with both aims raised into the air looking towards shore
  • Me putting both hands up then dropping underwater for 30 seconds at a time.
  • Me going from front stroke, to back stroke, to floating, to any other kind of swimming I could think of.
  • Me swimming with a bright red baseball cap in my hand. Practically waving it for all to see.
I assured him that I was ok and continued swimming toward shore.
His response was to back away about 30 feet, put on his life vest, and watch me until I was walking in the sand.

Clearly, he believed me.

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