Danger in the Dark- Sea Swimming at Night 2023
‘Let’s go for a swim in the nude,’ she announced, rather than suggesting it..
Several other customers in our restaurant turned to look at us. I felt smug.
But it dawned upon me that first light was a long way off. In fact it was only just dusk, and by the time we left arm in arm it was really dark.
Even though the alcohol had left a pleasant glow on the warm August night, there was a damp sea mist in the air.
Helen agreed to go home to collect a water proof torch and towels for our escapade.
The water was deliciously cool, and swimming naked is wonderfully liberating.
But, although we’d had similar swims before, it had only just been dark and we were both sober.
This time is was pitch black and we were drunk. So we showed too much interest in shining the torch under water at each other giggling as we did so. It did provide endless amusement but suddenly she said,
‘I’m going to get out.’
I thought this was an excellent idea so nodded in agreement. She took the torch and waded ashore searching for our clothes.
I went to follow and suddenly realised it was too much effort and I was fine where I was.
The water was up to my neck as we had both stayed just inside our depth. But those few yards to safety looked so far, and it just was easier to stay put.
In horror I realised I was going to drown if I didn’t wake up pronto.
‘Helen!’ I shouted, fear crowding into my voice.
A few seconds later she reached me even though she’d already put her nickers on soaking them in the process of rescuing me.
We shivered on the beach, dressing as quickly as possible. We rushed home and took turns showering. Next, suitably wrapped up, we ventured out again to the night club at the bottom of our street.
We bought several different drinks but they all tasted weird. These were bottles of beer, glasses of wine and shorts of spirits. Yet we couldn’t drink any of them, so we left and returned home.
She started to shiver uncontrollably on the way, so as soon as we were in we both climbed into my bed because it had an electric blanket.
We turned it full on, and lay side by side fully dressed waiting for the warmth to filter through.
After an hour she felt warm enough to depart for her own room.
I still felt cold the next day and so had a hot bath which gave me time to reflect on the lessons learnt.
Swimming in the nude is exhilarating, but due to modesty it needs to be done after nightfall, or from a nudist beach.
Alcohol, and swimming in the dark don’t mix, ever.
If we are tempted, a torch is a must because hypothermia will set in as we desperately search for our clothes on the darkened beach.
Secondly, always wear a watch in the sea, checking the time not only when we get in, but every ten minutes afterwards. When we get cold, confusion swiftly kicks in; therefore everything needs to be kept as simple as possible.
Alas, Helen my housemate, was due to move out shortly afterwards so I never got to thank her properly for undoubtedly saving my life.