Sunday 18th August – Sea Swimming, With Company
It was a trip to the Black Sea Coast early this morning for a one night stay. Really it was just doing part of Galia’s family a favour by transporting them to their vacation apartment with the reward being a one night stay at the place.
Naturally, it was an opportunity to swim in my eyes and that was exactly what I did. The idea was to try out the tow float, which was still in its wrapping and has been since May. No wetsuit this time, it was too hot and in saltwater, as mentioned before, I was just ballooned too far above the water,
All set with a buoy I could see in the distance around 300 to 400 metres out to sea. It was a big grey buoy so I couldn‘t miss it. In the back of my mind was the fact that for the first time I was now going to swim in deep waters with no opportunity to put feet down if a panic situation occurs. I did wonder where this attempt would be made if I wasn’t using the tow float.
Amidst playful holidaymakers, I made my way out to sea and soon was beyond the maddening crowds. It was quite surreal to suddenly have no noise other than my own from swimming and breathing.
Starting off with breaststroke just to get warmed up, it was no time I had the urge to transgress into freestyle. It was nice and easy and I felt comfortable doing this with the breathing and technique coming into play well. The thought of moving faster without extra energy being used appealed greatly. All the training in the pool seemed to have paid off.
Every five or six strokes I sighted the buoy and on each occasion, I was veering to the right so adjusted. With my breathing solely my left that was expected anyway.
All was going great as I passed the point of rock jetties and into slightly cooler waters with the sea bed out of sight through my goggles. The flat buoy every now and again hit my feet, especially in the breaststroke, but it was no bother in fact a relief to remind me it was there.
Then all of a sudden a fear arose. As I peered into the waters there were swarms of jellyfish around. Every stroke and another peer down, I saw more jellyfish as my arm adjusted to try and avoid hitting them. It was well known that these creatures invade these waters in the summer and I didn’t account for this hazard. They do administer a nasty sting is provoked and I was now in the midst of thousands of them.
I was almost at the point of reaching the big grey buoy but decided to avert as my relaxed and consistent stroke technique was being affected by trying not to strike them. Needless to say, it wasn’t a pleasant swim now as I made my way back to the beach and relieved once reaching the holidaymakers splashing around in waters now void of jellyfish. Not quite sure why are not found nearer the beach and still remains a mystery.
The swim was done with a tow float and in deep waters, both a first for me, so quite content today. Jellyfish aside I would have reached that outer buoy with ease and probably done a few rounds there and back.
All said and done it was only a 10-15 minutes swim but the tow float made a big difference in confidence in deep waters and the freestyle felt as comfortable as it has ever been, namely because of the saltwater raising my body to make the breathing easier. The wetsuit should have the same effect in freshwaters.
No swimming in the pool back in Yambol on Monday, but there will be on the following day. Yes, Tuesday this week to avoid the crowds which seem to hit each time on the first day of the week.
The plan is just to work now on front crawl and try and get as many lengths in as possible non-stop.
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