I absolutely love the beach. In fact, I am sitting on Playa Cabria on the Costa del Sol in Spain as I pen this. A few years back I had the good fortune to live on Anna Maria Island off of Florida’s Gulf Coast. What a dream the sand is there. Soft as walking on flour beneath your feet. It looks like flour, too. A lot of places claim to have white sand. Maybe they have never been to Anna Maria Island.
My roommate, Skim, and I had recently relocated to this enchanting island. It was so enchanting, in fact, that locals warned us about it, saying we could lose our soul. That sounded pretty serious; I was skeptical. It had been a long 20+ years since I had found mine, and I wasn’t going to give it up that easy.
After returning from a long weekend trip to the Florida Keys, a misadventure all its own, we had the itch for more excitement. On the beach where we lived, you could see a definite split where the golden water turned to teal and then to azure. It’s these azure waters we were pining for.
Having experienced a weekend upon one of the biggest fishing boats in the Keys, we exchanged long faces and pathetic looks upon our inflatable rafts, both thinking the same thing. We wanted more.
Not all our ideas were good.
Skim would never profess to be a good swimmer. That’s because she is not. I, on the other hand, would do laps in the sea for forty minutes every other day. Here is where the trouble began. Without a boat anywhere in sight, we set off for the azure waters on our sun rafts.
Inflatable raft manufacturers are sure funny. On my raft it was written, “Do not use in water.” Well, I had every intention to. We paddled away. And kept paddling. The water was choppy and it frequently splashed up into our faces, leaving that wonderful salt residue as the sea does. But we were determined.
Once or twice Skim commented, “I’m really not a good swimmer. We’re kinda far out.” She gave a long look at the shore far behind her. “If something happens there isn’t much I can do…”
“Would you like to turn back?”
She hesitated before answering, “No. I’ll just grab onto your raft,” she bravely smiled.