Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Body Surfing

I've always wanted to be amphibious. Flying would be cool too, but if I could only choose one superpower, I'd want to be able to live in water.
I've never done the Polar Bear thing, jumping into the Atlantic on January 1st, but I do like pretty cold water. When I was ten my family spent a week in Cleggan, on the west coast of Ireland, in late May to early June. We found an inlet beach close to the cottage and spent every day there. While my folks were happy just exploring the exquisite tidal pools -they really were exceptionally beautiful- my siblings and I would take breaks from this activity to jump in the frigid water. Dad waded in once up to his ankles, felt them lock up, and never saw it necessary to go back. Mary, James and I happily cavorted long past the point when we turned blue. Every day, for a week.
In Morro Bay, daytime temperatures were in the mid 60's F. I haven't a clue what the water temp was. I only went in a couple of times, to body surf. The soundtrack was usually something like this.

"Oooh, nice, that feels great WHOOPS WOW THAT'S COLD, WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH ME, WHOOPS, WHY AM I STILL WALKING," splash, dunk, "YOWZA, JEEESUS CERIST, DEAR GOD, WHAT AM I, A MORON?" paddle paddle paddle, "okay, getting better, WHOOPS WAH COLD," sputter, paddle paddle, "okay... no...whee... no...maybe...no... no...Okay... WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! LET'S DO IT AGAIN!"
And I would. I didn't stay in very long the first day, but the second time I didn't get out until I could no longer feel my feet.
I also learned a valuable lesson. When you jump into the Pacific on the spur of the moment, so you don't have a towel, and you get out of the water wanting a hug, you discover who your REAL friends are.

12 comments:

Java said...

I sort of like being chilly, and don't mind if my toes and fingers are cold, but I don't want to be wet and cold. That being said, I don't mind being wet. Walking in a cold rain doesn't bother me much. Being submerged in cold, however, is not my thing. I tend to sympathize with your father on this one.

LOL@ "real friends"

Greg said...

Wow, sounds like swimming off Cape Cod in July. I never went so numb so fast, but it was a helluva good time!

Rev. AJB said...

My brother and I once swam in Lake Superior about an hour west of Sault St. Marie, ON in July. I think the water may have been 50 degrees!

On the plus side-you're probably sterile now!

Rev. AJB said...

And that swim was pre-puberty...between third and fourth grade...the summer my dad had off because he tried to burn his face off fixing a truck; and did a stellar job of it, too! But us Baileys heal well and you'd never know it to look at him.

Anytime I go in cold water now-when the water reaches the groinal regions my voice suddenly goes up an octave! My pre-pubescent sons think that is hilarious! They'll get their turn in about four years...

Birdie said...

I bought a wet suit to take scuba class in a swimming pool. Standing around in water for an hour, even in a warm pool, takes all the heat from you.

This from someone who, at age 16, spent an hour diving in Crystal River, temperature 55°. After you go numb, it's easy. Ah, youth. The secret is to keep moving.

Jeaux said...

Um, hey, acquaintances are nice too...

Patrick said...

Java: yes, my own relationship with cold water is complex. I can walk all day long in pouring, freezing rain quite contentedly, as long as my feet remain dry. The minute they get wet, crankiness ensues. I also resent having the hot water run out at my building, since I paid for it, and suspect that my landlord occasionally just turns the boiler off to save money.

Greg: yes, the numbness does seem to help, and I even noticed a point where I felt warmer IN the water than out. Really it was the inability to walk that finally got me out.

REV: Who says sterility is a good thing in my case? What are you suggesting? Do you think I shouldn't be allowed to breed? :)

Birdie: yes, I noticed all the surfers with body suits on this beach as well. I hadn't known previously that they actually kept you warm. Duh. I thought they were mostly just to cut down on friction. I might look into getting one.

Jeaux: so you would have denied me a hug too? Is that what I'm getting here? I guess the water in FLA never gets as cold, right?

Rev. AJB said...

My friend...you can breed all you want! The world could use more of you!

Jeaux said...

Ok, I'd give you a hug.

Pua; Bakin' and Tendin' Bar said...

Patrick..I have a full suit, and a spring suit. My son has a full quiver of suits and boards. You're welcome to use any and all when you hit the SoCal coast to visit us. And by the way...in the winter months, surfers in full suits keep warm out there by...well, we'll leave some info for when you get here. ::wink::

I'd definitely hug you and I'd always have an extra towel handy.

Melissa Riker said...

I love your internal dialogues!! of course partially because you don't always keep them on the internal side.
:-D

Patrick said...

Jeaux: wow, you really don't like the cold, huh. I guess that's part of why Florida works for you. Well, if that's what it would take...

Pua: I wondered how those surfers managed to stay out for so long! Thank you for the kind offer re: your and your son's suits. Even given this new information, I still probably will take you up on it some day. :)

Melissa: and you, my dear, have of course been privy to more than your fair share of my 'internal dialogues'. That's another sign of a good friend.

Statcounter