I’ve fallen behind with this blog, still swimming but finding little time to record it – and then suddenly you have a whole collection. So these posts are looking back – right back to the end of summer last year when I spent six glorious weeks on the beautiful island of Corfu and got to swim through some of the most incredible water I’ve ever witnessed. So these are written retrospectively, with a longing to return and a gratitude for having been there, then.
It was early, the sky dark, when I went down to the beach at Dassia – my closest piece of coast for my stay in Corfu. Early in the morning the rows and rows of sun beds were empty. Buoys marked out a swimming area in one direction but I went the other way, where my view was not obstructed by anything and I could see the mountains of Albania in the hazy blue of first light, the sky peach in a cleft between them. In open water I don’t want to feel hemmed in by anything.
There was an older Greek gentleman in the sea, not swimming but gently moving through the water, concentric circles spilling out from his paddling hands. The water took on the pink tinge of the sky as I hobbled over stones. The sea was silky, cool. I kicked off and in.
The sun rose fast, red and hazy, pouring colour into the world, onto the water. Glossy ripples broke the light into a dashed expanding line leading right from me to it, wide where I was, so far from the centre of the source. I watched it climb quickly, aiming forward for it, watching my hands – so clear in the lucid water – break the surface and fill the ripples with colours, darknesses of their own.
Soon, the dusty blue of morning was shaken and changed into yellow peach early morning. The water’s clarity was astounding. I could see down to my feet as I let them dangle below me, and further, to a rocky bottom and clumps of white-grey weed. I couldn’t stay as long as I liked – I had to go to work and so the swim was just an interval, an injection of goodness before the day began. But even when I climbed out onto the knobbly shore, feet catching on awkward pebbles, I felt grateful for the time to get in the water and witness the sunrise.
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