The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever

Jacques Cousteau

365 Days - Day 16: Facing the Wind

IMG_20200330_08104_20210110-194246_1 A violent dawn sky on the windy day. A cloud man swirls his arms blowing the wind towards the ocean.

It was just 'wind' when I wrote this on Day 16, just the beginning of my sea pilgrimage. From my open water swimming experiences I knew of course that different wind conditions can make swimming a great challenge. Also local weather knowledge tells us that wet storms blow from the SW and the cold winds come from the NE. But going every day to the sea I realized I've become much more attuned to reading the sea and the winds. The wind hitting the house and the beach was the dreaded NE wind which I've come to know well and sends shivers down my back. The NE wind motivated me to write about its devastating effect on some young kayakers after watching the rescue boats looking for survivors just off 'my' shore one July morning before my dawn swim. 

Another aspect of my writing that surprises me is mentioning my hair in a bun and not immersing my head. When did I start to do that? Apparently at Day 16 I was still keeping my head above water in the chill morning air and cold sea.

Day 16 - The wind was fierce when I woke. It howled and a slight breeze came steadily through the tightly sealed windows. The shadows of the trees danced dangerously upon the bedroom walls. My stomach gave a slight turn wondering if it was wise to walk to the sea. Falling branches in the woods came to mind. But I rose to look out the window and I decided to go bundled up more than usual.

It was just wind, chaotic blustery wind. It buffeted me around and I almost lost my balance a couple of times. It was so loud I couldn't even hear the sea until I was upon it. The wind hurled the sand into my face and pushed me down the beach. I thought where am I going to take my clothes off where they won't blow into the water? The funny thought of my clothes blowing into the sea put a smile on my face. The video shows the wind at the Bay as I made my way down the beach. The sand wiped clean of all prints is smooth and unblemished except for my prints.

I found the leeward side of the rocks of my favorite place to swim in summer, The Cove, and the water was miraculously calm. The sea itself was not rough just the surface covered by small, rippling wind waves. Puffs of wind blew steadily across the calm water, an invisible hand playing on the surface. The water appeared crystalline and pure, a million shades of aqua. Getting low behind the rocks I could get out of the worst of the wind but nonetheless the sand cut, hundreds of little pricks into my skin as I stripped down.

The Cove as I left the beach after my swim. The water very calm but the surface disturbed by the heavy wind.
I changed on the leeward side, the sand cut into my skin born by the wind.
The crystalline waters at the Cove taken from my changing rock
After the swim, looking out at the marvelous shades of aqua water.

It was a chill wind but the water felt incredibly fresh and inviting. The great chaos on the water's surface didn't reflect the peace I felt inside the water, mirroring my own inner world. I stepped in slowly immersing myself, reveling in the salty taste on my lips and body. I floated and sculled and looked at the remarkable sky as the wind pulled at my bun (I never submerge my head to prevent too much chill) wanting to free my hair. Sublime. Peace. Conquering of fear. I thought back to being in bed that morning, looking at the dancing shadows, uncertain I wanted to face the wind and I felt grateful that I did.

In the video observe the wind rippling over the crystalline waters.

The morning was wild and inhospitable all around me but my persevering search managed to find an oasis of calm and it filled my soul. I dressed and reached the boardwalk again. Then the sun rose and its beauty stopped me in my tracks.  

As I left the beach, the sky had transformed and the sun rose magnificently over the mountains.
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Thursday, 20 June 2024

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