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Three oceans down


I'm a mountain girl. I'm not a water girl. Give me a hike in the mountains, through the forest, and around the lake over a swim in the ocean or a day lying around at the beach any day.

There are exceptions to my general mountain over ocean preferences: an ultimate game on the beach is preferable to a death march hike through the Grand Canyon, for example. For the most part, though, mountain over ocean.

For some reason I'm not quite clear on, I keep ending up at the ocean at these ultimate tournaments. Nationals was in Sarasota, Florida (a gulf more than an ocean, but a large body of water nonetheless), Worlds is in Perth, Western Australia.

So, in Perth, we're staying (ick! mixing verb tenses!) at a beach apartment complex, across the street from the beach, so all of maybe 50 yards from the waterfront. We wandered across the street to the beach,

"It's cold. I don't want do it, but I want to have done it." I smiled and said, "Well, the only way to have done it is to do it. Let's go."

The water was cold, close but not quite unbearably so, so we rushed out into the water, letting the waves crash higher and higher up our bodies. Eventually Kris went under, and a few waves later, I followed. I didn't go completely under, so chose to ride the next wave back towards shore.

I pushed off poorly on the next wave, but started swimming as fast as I could toward shore. Unfortunately, I also started after the wave started crashing. Instead of getting an easy ride to shore, I was dumped under the water, with the wave crashing over my head.

As I went under and couldn't find my feet under me, I kept thinking of my scuba diving qualification dive at Zuma Beach, and felt the brief tickle of panic that accompanies that memory when I'm in the water. Before it could become panic, my feet struck sand, and I surged forward, running to the shore.

I can now say, I have swum in the Indian Ocean. Kris can say the same.

I suspect I'll be heading back in the next few days, though. Once doesn't seem quite enough.