Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Monday 3 October 2011

Swimming: What I almost squished

Six months pregnant? I'm terrible at these calculations.

We went swimming at the beach in Agay on the weekend, where I finally got to confront my fear of what might be swimming below me in the sea!

I grew up swimming in lakes rather than pools and although I'm generally a brave outdoor swimmer, but sometimes my imagination can still get the better of me. Ever since I moved here to the Côte d'Azur, I've been asking the Prof. what's in the sea -- maybe just to make sure my imagination was flowing in the right direction, I can't be sure. Like most people, I know what's in the Mediterranean Sea in general, but my questions, which the Prof. has very well understood, have really focused on what's in the first 20 feet out from the shoreline, where I might like to swim.

The beach in Agay, just before the sun started to set.

So, here's the story: This weekend, while the Prof. swam out into the deeper waters in Agay, I kept to my distance of about 20 feet from the shore. I wanted to make sure I could come back and touch the bottom if I found my pregnant belly was weighing me down. So far, it seems to make me more buoyant, but I was afraid that it wouldn't really keep me afloat.

Every time I touched down during my little swim alone, I cautiously looked below to see where I was putting my feet. Mostly, I touched sand or small rocks, but a few times, my moving feet stirred up a little sand cloud that made me think there might be something else down below. (The incentive to continue exercising was excellent.) I was a little freaked out, but in the way that a kid is afraid of the dark. I kept telling myself to relax and that there was nothing in the water.

Later, when the Prof. swam back over to me and we decided to get out, I mentioned how I'd scared myself, and we had a good laugh at my new over-protective mothering personality -- just as two snorkelers slipped into the water. The snorkelers began swimming back and forth, right where I'd been playing my little game of touch-and-swim, and moments later, they surfaced, having speared these: a little octopus and an Atlantic Torpedo, which can give you an electric shock of up to 220 volts! (Note that they both look like sand clouds!)

Here's a link to some pictures of hazardous Mediterranean fish. I would have selected a page with colour and actual photos, but I couldn't resist the drawings of feet stepping on things.


  1. My, you are definitely showing now!

    I'm the exact opposite. I love swimming in the sea, the deeper the better (diving too). I hate swimming in lakes, I'm not sure why. Still-waters scare me.

  2. OMG too weird, my word verification for that last comment was "Bellys"!!