By Sarah Jost
You may recall that on the last day of 2012 the Urchins set about to accomplish some very specific goals. Geo dreamt of de-draping his Brooklyn abode, Margaret set her sights on the great outdoors, and I wanted to overcome my all-consuming fear of fish brushing past my leg and go for a real live, get-my-hair-wet swim in the ocean.
Well, friends and countrypersons, I am ever-so proud to announce that it is not yet June and my resolution is resolved! On Monday 18 March 2013, I swam in the ocean. And not just any ocean, either. On the aforementioned date, I had the insanely good fortune of visiting the tiny but stunning island of Mauritius off the southeast coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean for a grand total of 8 hours. I knew what I had to do.
I’ll admit that the endeavor began with a fair amount of tentative wading and a false alarm fish sighting or two, but pretty soon I was doggy paddling around like a pro. Like a regular old labrador, really. I then graduated to some freestyle strokes before taking the literal plunge and swimming a whole five feet fully submerged. I’ll hold for applause.
Now, as you all know, once your hair is wet, there’s really no going back, so I spent the next half an hour happily floating through the inconceivably blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Apparently right next to this guy.
Thanks for letting me know I was floating so awkwardly close to The Swimming Nosepicker, photographer. What a pal.
Being that I was a newly-accomplished ocean swimmer, the Silent Photographer and I thought celebratory drinks were in order. Luckily, we had saved nearly all of our Mauritian rupees by figuring out a local bus to the beach and were able to put them towards some appropriately tropical fruity drinks. Which pretty much sums up the basic tenets of Urchin travel: take public transportation to live like a local and save some pence, only to later spend said pence on a pint or a sweet.
With six months remaining in 2013 and my original resolution already satisfactorily resolved, I feel compelled to take on another. Perhaps swim in a murky lake of unknown depth with untold numbers of unseen scaled creatures? Or maybe a kiddy pool. Jacuzzi? I’ll have to get back to you.
Until then, here’s just one more picture of the now-infamous beach. I’m currently collecting for a ‘Sarah Jost Swam Here’ commemorative plaque.