Yesterday afternoon I went for my first swim of the season. While it wasn’t exactly genital-destroying (I always think of the ‘shrinkage’ episode of Seinfeld when the water’s cold) it wasn’t Hawaiian, either.
Once I got used to it I found the swim highly refreshing and just the ticket on a warm afternoon. I prefer ocean swimming, though I’ll admit the Puntledge and Courtenay Rivers can be nice, too. But generally, it’s the ocean for me. And ideally it’s a tropical ocean; sharks and barracudas be damned, I ain’t askeerd. We have orcas and they’re the top of the food-chain.
I also like swimming locally at Pt. Holmes, by the boat ramp. There is, at low tide, a small strand of sand and it’s never crowded. While this leads to a paucity of bitsy bikinis and hence thwarts any voyeuristic impulses, I hate crowded beaches. In that I’ll even give you Waikiki and head myself out to Kauai where I have had brilliant sand beaches all to myself.
Back to Pt. Holmes. The area also has a big nostalgia draw for me. After my first wife and I had lived in the area for a year, during which we resided in a highly uninsiping apartment, we were given the option to rent a beach cottage at Pt. Holmes. We snapped at it. The cottage, which is still there, was one of the ‘basic’ dwellings that sparsely dotted the area in those ancient times. Pt. Holmes has changed a lot, needless to say, yet in its essence it hasn’t, which is just one of the reasons I like to swim there.
Anyway, we moved into the place and there were adjustments that had to be made. I was a city slicker kid, so I had to learn the rudiments of dealing with a well and a pump and a septic system and all those little elements I was unused to. But, we grew to love the place despite the fact that our water system froze up solid for two weeks during a major cold snap the first winter we were there. In fact, we grew to love it, with its big fireplace, and the fact the house used to shake in a southeaster. We grew to love it so much that we actually made a bid to buy it once. The owners initially accepted our bid, but at the last minute got cold feet and decided they were loath to let it go. Don’t really blame them. So, at that point we decided to make a bid on another waterfront home, which we did buy, and moved down to Craigdarroch Beach. But, Pt. Holmes always remained in my consciousness as a small part of who I am.
I do have photos of the cottage but, alas, they are all on slides, as was the irritating photographic standard of the day. Unfortunately my scanner doesn’t have the slide attachment and I have never gotten around to getting them on a DVD. Should do that, but that’s for another time.
In any case, our time there was great. We had a terrific veggie garden, and the fishing was so good in those days I could ask my wife if she wanted barbecued salmon that night and if she said yes, I would take the little boat out and be back within a half hour with a nice coho.
And we would swim. We swam a lot right out in front of the cottage and those swims, to my joy, are an element I can recapture any time I choose.
Yesterday I so chose and hopefully will do many times before the season is out.