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In a recent post, clevermanka mentioned she doesn't like swimming in the deeps. kijjohnson also has this thing about swimming (at all) in an ocean sort of place where car-sized predators swarm up from the deeps and chow down on unexpecting swimmers. She particularly was unwilling to EVER go into the Puget Sound, that ink-black body of water filled with Orcas and sharks and Giant Squid and Krakens, the bottom carpeted with rotting cars containing mob-hit victims.

I was swimming in a Canadian glacier lake (they're really deep, icy cold, and surrounded by granite shores) with some other Luther-League kids. About 500 miles from home, three hours' boat ride to the nearest town, another couple of hours' drive to a hospital. The canoe tipped over as they so often seem to do with teenagers. It was near shore, but it was also over a serious drop-off to some 30 or more feet of depth. DARK water, because it's so deep. The girls squealed and swam to shore, while Jim (yes, that Jim) and I laughed at them and tread water.

Then something rose from the deep. There I was, treading water several body-lengths from the murky lake-floor, when suddenly my foot landed on what felt like a rock and I was able to stand on it and rest for a moment. Only a moment, because even as a teenager I was able to add 2+2. How could a rock exist at this place, where the lake-bottoms are scoured smooth by glaciers the size of mountains? And then the rock sunk beneath my weight, and something scaly and sharp rasped agaist my calf.

I think I ran across the surface of the water to the shoreline in less than a second. Jim climbed atop the overturned canoe. A kraken's head rose briefly from the waters, its ancient eyes surveying its surroundings, calculating whether we should be prey or not. Then it sunk back beneath the inky waters.

(Well, perhaps not a kraken, but have you ever seen one of those mammoth snapping turtles? Beaked head the size of a Rottweiler's, claws the size of a grizzly's, shell the size of a VW Beetle.)

I think it was about then that I stopped enjoying a swim in the deep quite as much. If you can't see beneath you, it's just not as fun. If you're wearing a swim-mask, you can look down and see your enemy. The only remaining question is, "Can I swim to safety before it attaches itself to my thigh?"



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 11th, 2004 02:30 pm (UTC)
I think I ran across the surface of the water to the shoreline in less than a second.

I laughed aloud picturing this. Yeah. That'd be me too, except I wouldn't be there in the first place!
Feb. 11th, 2004 08:00 pm (UTC)
Eight years together and you can still horrify me with stories of your youth.
Feb. 11th, 2004 08:14 pm (UTC)
See? See? SEE?

Therapy and tranquilizers to get me out over those cthnonic depths--there's krakens and stuff! Like the horse-sized catfish out at the lake when we were water-skiing...
Feb. 11th, 2004 11:14 pm (UTC)
Lest we forget...
The main reason for never going into Puget Sound is that it is colder than a well-digger's ass in the Klondike.

::tries very hard to picture you in Luther League--Luthor League, maybe::

Feb. 12th, 2004 12:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Lest we forget...
Heh heh, must've been a misspelling, eh?

Well, I don't know what the world imagines these to be, but it certainly wasn't a holy experience. We stayed on a drunk old parishoner's island, did things like lop off the heads of turtles and stuff fiberglas insulation into the deputy sherriff's sleeping bag (really, it was intended for his son, the ass-monkey!), and I hear there was also nooky-ish behavior late at night, sneaking from the boys' cabin (where the drunk stored his many bottles of booze) to the girls' cabin (sort of a tent structure to keep us separated). 'Twas mostly fun, but not terribly Christian.

Feb. 12th, 2004 07:17 am (UTC)
I once swam into a cadre of jellyfish.
I used to like swimming in the ocean.
Now I swim where god meant for us to swim: in heavily chlorinated pools, which are maintained by cute pool-men/women in tight little shorts.

You can't possibly know the meaning of pain until you've been stung on your boobies, face, back, arms, legs by jellyfish.

Oh, yeah, did I mention I was something like 5 or 6?
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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