For twenty years now I dress like a dolphin, have been in the water in all kinds of weather, summer and winter, but here and now? The day before yesterday I had to crawl across the shallows like a shrimp, stripped from all my dignity. And that on my 64th, humiliating!
Forget it! There are stumble boulders everywhere on this bottom, making walk-overs fallhardy. Where it's just above knee-deep you can lay yourself forward into the water and push off against the bottom. But with all the seaweed there your feet slip away and it swipes into your face. Now I can swim in knee deep water with fin and wing. I need little stroke space. But to get my mono on in water sitting mode I have to stand at least until my middle in the water. And it still didn't get deeper. The path of a dolphin swimmer doesn't always lead over roses, and certainly not when it's across seaweed.
When I had finally shrimp-crawled to the pier I could get my monofin on. But then I was OK and had only one object, deeper water!
When the water is that far out the ferries moor in the deep of the harbour and passengers are taken off and on by smaller boats. On the bottom you can see the corridor as the propellors have 'swept' the way. I was just on my way when I felt Dusty's presence and this was confirmed by a glance across my shoulder. As if highly self-evident she sauntered half behind me, overtook me and cut me dead (I forgot to tell, these days we telepathise on underwater broadband, sonar width, very high tech).
'What's this now? Can't you see where I'm going?'
'O yes, but we're not there yet.'
'Well, we won't get there this way.'
'Okay, okay, I'll leave you then.'
'Didn't mean it like that.'
Onwards again, there were hardly any people on the pier, so she had no traffic there.
But a little further she cut me again. Luckily it was a bit deeper there and I could just pass underneath her. When I came to the drop she stood up in the water before me:
'Give me a sound, yes?'
I drummed my fingers on the waterwing.
'I've heard that before, can't you think of something new?'
I scratched behind my ear and my finger squeeked on the rubber of my mask.
'Hihi, nice one, you have any more?'.
I put my other hand at the opposite side and began a squeeky conversation between the two. For that I had to let go of the waterwing. I saw her directing an eager attention to that.
'Don't even think it, I'm not messing with your fins, am I?'
'Just a tiny little while?'
' No, because then I have to swim halfway Crab Island to get it back. You know what, let's go down deep.'
She had already left while I was pre-breathing.
I was down among the sea-urchins, clearing my ears, and a lovely scene of terraces and cavities, sandy strolls and silent patches was unfolding before my eyes. I saw Dusty deep underneath. After a few dips I went down really deep, had to blow on my nose twice.
'My dear, in what beauty you live'.
'Don't I, but I'm happy you like it here too.'.
I saw a couple of big sea basses a bit further on.
'Just gonna say 'hi''
'Ahem, urm, isn't it about time for you to go up and, like breathe?'
I looked up, ay, that was far away, so much water in between. But she was right. She swam up before me and I overtook all my bubbles. Back at the surface she said: 'You know more to play?'
'Just a tick, let me find back my breath.'
'Can I help search?'
' Yeah, go ahead.'
I saw her disappear into the haze. From where was she going to turn up next? It's as if she can sonar from my posture where I expect her, since she always knows to surprise me. I slid on my back under water and promptly she appeared out of nothing and swam directly above me, nearly belly to belly. We giggled at each other.
'Don't make me a baby, you hear' she joked.
'Get away', I protested, 'you could be my granddaughter.'
I felt a chill and a shiver ran through my body.
'Doesn't it get time you went out?' she said in care.
'Have a nice warm-up with hot coffee and a fag and brag about how nice a chat we had?'
She swam with me until knee-deep.
'You'll let yourself out, won't you?', she suggested.
I stood up, slipped and plunged back.
Behind me I heard her chuckle.
'Why do you go there anyway', she grinned after me.