Moving around the deck of the sailboat in calm waters was as much as I wanted to do. The rest of the crew would dive into the waters from the stern, and I would remain on board taking photos of them. I did feel envious watching them enjoy themselves in the water. It was just that I hadn’t swum in the sea since I was a teenager and I had lost confidence.
One morning, from my bed in the cabin I could hear voices in the saloon. As usual, the rest of the crew was up before me. I could hear water pounding the surface of the sea and glimpsed out of the hatch to see a waterfall on the shore. The next minute the skipper, Alex, was calling to me.
“Do you want to come and wash your hair in the waterfall?”
“No, You go ahead. I will take a photo of you from here.”
“Come on! You’re going to love it!”
I donned my swimsuit and aqua shoes and clambered into the dinghy with the rest of the crew. Alex motored one hundred metres to the pebbly shore. The rest of the crew walked over to the pelting waterfall and let the jets of water shoot over their bodies.
Alex handed me the shampoo and urged me to take advantage of the torrent. I bravely walked under the insistent stream as it hurtled itself on top of my head. Then I bent over and let the stream pound the nape of my neck. The force of the water was overwhelming, but just as I was getting used to it I heard my name called. Unlike the rest of the crew, I have a mop of hair that nearly reaches to my waist, and shampooing cannot be done perfunctorily.
“Merri, we’re heading back now! A wave has just surged into the dinghy.”
I reluctantly left the fresh ions of the waterfall and turned back to the dinghy, proud that I had finally joined the others rather than passively observing them from the deck.
“Has anyone seen my go-pro underwater camera? It’s been washed out of the dinghy.”
We all scanned the pebbles surrounding the dinghy. We pushed it aside to see if the camera had slipped underneath. Then we kept searching in front of the dinghy where the waves were thrashing themselves onto the shore. Then Alex slipped his hand beneath the water as the water receded and triumphantly lifted the camera to safety.
We powered back to the boat and clambered aboard, departing just before the tide rose to claim our beach.
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