Close encounter of a different kind… well a tiny, tiny fish anyway!


Should you had requested me earlier than at this time how my fish difficulty was coming alongside, I’d have stated confidently not too badly, in spite of everything I’ve stopped flinching when one among my very own limbs comes into view throughout a swim, and I’m now capable of shortly assess, with out stopping, whether or not it’s my wetsuit zip pull or a lake snake spherical my neck (glad to say that it’s solely even been the zip pull). In fact, not one of the aforementioned are an precise menace, however the level is that I’ve managed each swim, to date, this season feeling fairly relaxed and gratifying, and though I haven’t truly seen an actual dwell fish in any of the lakes I’ve swum in, I do contemplate this to be progress! 
Skip ahead to at this time… As Shark and I bought into the lake, a fellow swimmer was getting out trying relatively flustered. I remorse now enquiring as to what had rattled her, because it seems to be the sighting of a giant fish. I wish to take the phrases again earlier than they’re even out of my mouth, however I discover myself bombarding her with many questions:
“How huge?”- “Big” 

“The place within the lake?” I needed coordinates… – “Pike Nook” (after all). 

“How shut was it?” –  “Shut sufficient to see.” 
I ended myself at this level, for it was trying seemingly that she might inform me of its important statistics. I knew sufficient already. Now I used to be in two minds whether or not to not swim in any respect, however I had paid my 5 kilos already and I’m undecided if refunds can be administered on the again of fish sighting in a lake that has fishes in it, and in addition not truly seen by me, and so tentatively bought in. 
It was the primary non-sunny day we’ve had in ages, in truth the sky was blackening by the minute. Thunderstorms had been forecast, and because of the shortage of sunshine, visibility within the lake wasn’t nearly as good as common. It took all of 5 strokes for the penny to drop that if visibility was low, then the fish will need to have been actually, actually near her, however I used to be dedicated now, and getting out would make me the topic of a lot leg pulling, so we bravely swam on (with me sticking to Shark like glue. They all the time take the smaller, weaker one first – that’d be her, not me). 
The primary lap was occasion free, and I started to loosen up a bit (not solely although…). I had one doable sighting of a fish that turned out to be nothing greater than some brown pondweed, however other than that, all was good. It was the second loop the place all of the drama occurred. I noticed a handful of very small fishes out of the nook of my eye, and out of the blue one darted in direction of me and really unexpectedly, hit me on the facet of my head. I’d wish to suppose that’s was all the way down to the poor visibility that brought about it to hit me, relatively than it being an precise assault (however you simply can’t rule it out as a risk, on the again of the truth that if you enter the lake you robotically turn into a part of the meals chain), or a lot worse… the chance that I’m totally irresistible to fish! 
Anyway, I don’t know who was extra surprised, me or it, however I didn’t stick round lengthy sufficient to search out out, I legged it. Sadly this meant fairly a dash as we had been on the far facet of the lake, and while I’m not above getting out on the far finish in an emergency state of affairs (I’d truly contemplate this an emergency, nevertheless if there have been to be a handbook of swimming in a lake emergency prospects, I am very assured it would not seem), this could alert the eye to the security crew, and I do know I’d by no means dwell down being rescued on the again of this, and while I’m not above embellishing the story to make it seem that I used to be preventing off some sort of overly massive fish (a prehistoric Megalodon?) they know me nicely sufficient to know that it might have been a tall story. I hate that they know me so nicely at instances! So I just about deserted Shark and fled the scene of the crime (it gained’t be for the primary time). I used to be a number of hundred metres forward of her after I got here to my senses (that it’s very unlikely that the fish will probably be giving chasing) and to be sincere my lungs had been on the cusp of combusting and there was a excessive probability of a hernia occurring if I saved at that neck breaking velocity, so I waited for Shark on the subsequent buoy. I’d like so as to add that this isn’t as a result of she is a nurse, but when I’m going to have a medical incident then I might do with somebody with numerous expertise to be as shut as doable.
When Shark caught me up she was underneath the impression that I had determined to incorporate a dash into my swim. I used to be tempted to inform her I had, nevertheless I’m an incredibly unhealthy liar; I get all flustered, and as we’ve got been mates for a very long time, she is aware of me nicely sufficient and would scent a rat, so I informed her the true purpose for my dash. As soon as she had completed laughing at me (she stated it was nicely well worth the choking match she had), she remembered that I had truly left her and was immediately lower than impressed with me. I don’t blame her, however in the identical circumstances I’d do all of it once more. I reminded her of the scale of stated fish (tiny), and that I suspected her life was not in any hazard as even being struck on the facet of the pinnacle, at what I believe was it’s full velocity, I used to be with out a warfare wound… Not even bought a small mark the scale of a full cease to indicate for it. Nothing! Nada.
Shark was assured, and with good purpose, that I’d be ribbed in regards to the ‘assault’ as soon as I bought again to the shoreline, and as I used to be contemplating not mentioning it to anybody, this could not occur, nevertheless I do know that Shark wouldn’t be capable to comprise herself, and steered that it might be in my greatest curiosity to decorate the story a bit and inform them it was in all probability a lake barracuda that had attacked me (as a result of that’s a lot extra plausible), and provided to punch me within the head to make it appear extra seemingly (is there nothing that she wouldn’t do for me?). Now I’m not one for letting the reality get in the best way of a very good story, nevertheless her plan is flawed on a number of ranges. Two instantly spring to thoughts: 1) Shark is tiny. The entire punching factor will in all probability lead to me getting a mark no greater than the invisible one I’ve already. 2) Leon (SwimYourSwim) has promised me that there are solely good fish on this lake, like pink goldfish and lake sea horses, and they also wouldn’t consider the barracuda fib anyway, and as Leon would by no means deceive me in regards to the kind aquatic livestock within the lake, we might look relatively silly telling him that it was one thing that doesn’t truly dwell right here. 
I inform her I’ll take into consideration her supply as we swim again to the shoreline, nevertheless to stop her from executing her plan, as I’m not truly satisfied she would look ahead to the inexperienced gentle to do it anyway, I resolve my best choice is to swim again and to exit the lake at velocity and make my method to the showers earlier than her. Hopefully this will probably be achieved with out tripping, falling over or clashing with one other swimmer (all doable) alongside the best way, which means that Shark gained’t be close to sufficient to get a very good swing at me at any level.
I’ve added some rain and lightening to provide the picture extra drama, and to provide you an concept of how unhealthy the situations had been.
The rainbow is actual although.

As we approached Pike Nook I paused (I do know proper?) while Shark swam on. This was to not put some area between myself and Rocky Balboa swimming subsequent to me, however as a result of I used to be taking a second to cease to see how a lot the sky had immediately darkened additional. In all the shenanigans I hadn’t realised that it had started to rain fairly closely. There had been a climate warning for thunder, and we had been briefed earlier than we had bought in as to the process in case of lightening within the space (They stated “in case you hear the klaxon swim to the facet and punctiliously exit the lake, serving to others if essential,” nevertheless I heard “in case you hear the klaxon swim such as you’re being chased and it’s each man for himself”), after which out of nowhere (nicely, the sky because it goes) the primary flash appeared, instantly adopted by the klaxon going off, making me bounce and swallow a nasty mouthful of water. As soon as I had composed myself sufficient to swim, just like the clappers, again to the facet, I spotted that I didn’t truly know the place Shark was. I seemed again for her, however she wasn’t there. I admit that I saved swimming while I used to be trying, however I used to be panicking, as a result of who needs to return into the water after a lightening strike to search for their swim buddy that they’ve carelessly misplaced? Nonetheless Shark had been slightly extra on the ball and swifter in her response than me and was already wind sprinting in direction of the facet… leaving me far behind. Some swim buddy she is!!!😂
I used to be about to provide chase earlier than I remembered that there was a promise to punch me within the chops, and to be sincere it was slightly like being between the satan and the deep blue sea… Swim out along with her and danger a punch, or keep within the water slightly longer with the potential of being struck by lightening… Shark was ready for me with my Swimzi after I bought out, and really fastidiously at arms size, I took it off her. She informed me that though she had initially been following my “each man for himself” philosophy, however after I didn’t get out along with her she grew to become involved that I may very well have a concussion from the fish head butt and felt responsible about leaving me. I do know this to be an enormous fats lie, for I do know that she needs to get house in good time to have the ability to watch the pre-recorded episode of Poldark earlier than Mr. Shark will get house from his cricket match, and as designated driver for the night, if I’m truly injured this could primarily put the kibosh on her plans. I contemplate pretending to have a little bit of an ache from the impression (she did depart me in a lake in spite of everything), nevertheless do not suppose she would see the humorous facet of me coming between her and a historic interval drama (😉) for a faux headache…!

Thanks for studying, and for these of you that take pleasure in my blogs, my e book Open Water Girl Swims Windermere is now accessible in paperback and electronically on Amazon.

I even have a ‘group’ web page on Fb and am on Twitter and Instagram, the place I submit common shenanigans and such like. If you would like to hitch/comply with you would be very welcome. Listed below are the hyperlinks. 😊


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