Yesterday was the first day of summer. I know, you know… Everyone knew. I actually wandered around oblivious to that fact for at least half of the day. That is what happens when your routine has been obliterated… You lose track of time.
Patrick and I decided to hit the beach to commemorate the first day of summer. Okay, not really. It was hot out and we decided we wanted to go swimming. And then, on the way to the beach, we realized it was the first day of summer, so it seemed more appropriate.
We decided to go the beach that Patrick frequented as a child. It is a bit out of town and is located at a campground where his grandparents once trailered. The place has a lot of sentimental value and memories for Patrick. For me, it was just my second time being there, so it was more of an adventure.
We get to take a ferry to the beach. We clocked the speed of the ferry using out GPS because we are super cool like that… In case you wanted to know, the ferry peaked out at 13km/h. So, there you go. Random fact of the day.
Apparently, we have been told that people have been swimming around here since May because it has been so unseasonably warm. Patrick’s Grandfather thought we were pretty nuts for braving the water yesterday. I think I agree.
Realistically, June swimming in lakes and rivers and the ocean doesn’t often happen. More realistically, June swimming is cold. Not that water around here ever gets particularly warm. While crossing on the ferry, we noted the water looked cold. And in case there was any doubt, it was.
At a park in Ontario, there is a place where you can swim in a pool that is separated from the polar bear exhibit by one thick layer of glass. The water is of a similar temperature to that in the polar bear pool. Now, that is a cold swim. Image via apartmenttherapy.com.
When I was a kid, I was fearless and would jump into the water regardless of temperature. I have wimped out in my old age. Unless there is somewhere where I can jump into water over my head and thereby forcibly submerge myself against my better judgment, I whine and wade in very slowly. Patrick somehow manages to still be capable of running into the river. I wish I could, but my evolutionary not dying impulse kicks in and I try to do everything possible to avoid hypothermia. A little dramatic? Yes. But, my body doesn’t think so.
As a result, it took me quite some time to be fully submerged. Patrick was very well behaved and respected my neuroticism, at least for the first 5 or 10 minutes. Then, at my request, he human cannonballed me into the water because, as you may or may not know, you haven’t really gone swimming until you get your hair wet.
The beauty of early summer swimming is not the near hypothermia. It is that the beach is not crowded. I value my personal space. Okay, I covet my personal space. So, crowded beaches are not my scene. We were there with just a few other young families and gaggle of teenagers (who were jumping off the pier a safe distance away). Much better than it will be in August when the water is only a degree or two warmer.
Image via fcps.edu.
After swimming (and obsessively reapplying my sunscreen), we laid on the beach… I read, Patrick vegetated. After about an hour or so, we were brushing the sand off our feet to head out when Patrick felt something rubbery under his toes. He assumed it was some seaweed or what have you. But it was black and round and moving. We both stared at the creature for a few moments before we realized what it was… A leech. I have never seen a real leech before. It was slightly smaller than I pictured and kind of squirmy and had just had a lovely meal of my husband’s blood. Given that leeches are not shelled, it didn’t creep me out as if we had found an earwig or something, but I wasn’t quite sure how to react either. Patrick did… He picked it up with a rock and redeposited it in the water. Because the creature didn’t deserve to die. How sweet. He then checked his entire body for additional leeches. There were none.
It was an interesting ring-in to summer. The sun, the beach, the near freezing, the leech. Hopefully a partial sign of things to come. But, without the leeches. Because that was just creepy. Super creepy.