I absolutely love water but I can’t swim. I love going to swimming pools but only to “Play Ring around the Rosie” and see how long I can hold my breath under water. I love beaches because I love to hear the waves crashing and feel the sand between my toes. I love water but I can’t swim.
It is a known that many African Americans don’t know how to swim; I am proving the theory right. Can our lack of swimming skills be due to a historical context, women not wanting to mess-up their newly styled hair or simply because our parents failed to teach us…
I decided to take an excursion called Johns Gray Sea Canoe while in Phuket, Thailand. I was excited yet apprehensive about canoeing but was assured that I would be ok despite my shortcomings. I entered the boat and went to the top where lunch awaited us. Lunch consisted of fruit, Pad Thai and crispy vegetable rolls. After eating, I decided to go change into my bathing suit. As I’m walking down the stairs, I notice that they are blowing up the canoes. In my mind the canoes were supposed to be wooden. I immediately begin to go into panic mode. I’m thinking, “Lord I don’t want to die tonight”. “What if the canoe can’t hold my weight”, “What if the canoe is punctured and the air comes out”. I go back upstairs and it’s time to put our life jackets on. Unfortunately, my life jacket only buttoned at the top and not on the bottom. On top of that, they introduced me to my paddle guide and he looked to be about 15. Again I’m thinking, “If I drown how is he going to save me”.
I somehow managed to get into the kayak with my guide and paddled into a lagoon. I’m lying down and from my view I could see birds circling in the sky, vast rock formations, green water and the sound of peace. After the lagoon, we went sea cave exploring inside Phang Nga Bay’s. As you are going into the caves, you are instructed to lie down and place your hands as close to your body as you can get. A little air is let out of the kayak as well to actually fit inside the opening of the cave. The space is so small that your face is only inches from the cave opening. As you enter the cave you see bats hovering above. Upon exiting the caves, you are exposed to large beautiful bodies of water as the sun kisses your face. All I could think was “God you made all of this, you are awesome”. After paddling for awhile we were asked if wanted to canoe on our own, of course I politely declined, because remember I can’t swim. LOL. Dinner was served and consisted of a variety of foods including shrimp, chicken, rice and vegetables.
After dinner we made a self floating flower called a “Kratong”. Just as I had begun to get used to the kayak in the day, they informed us that we were going to kayak one more time. At this point its pitch black, and I feel as if we are the only boat in the water. I mustered up enough confidence and got back into my canoe with my guide. We lit the floating flower and allowed it to float in the water. Afterwards we blew out the candle, swished our hand in the water and saw dinoflagellates (bioluminescent plankton). If you don’t know what that is, imagine little glowing sparkletts in the water.
I must say that this was one of the best excursions. Despite my love of water but fear of drowning in a large pool of water, I’m glad I conquered my fears. False Evidence Appearing Real could have preventing me from going on this tour and I would have missed out on great food, the opportunity to meet other travellers, Gods beautiful creation and a life time of memories. Yes I know, I need to learn how to swim! It is my goal to learn how to swim, so that I can enjoy other water activities without being scared that I am going to Die! Well thank God I floated and did not drown!