Tuesday, 18 September 2012


This had all the feeling of a great Victorian, heroic, failure.  Immersing oneself into the deep blue ocean in an attempt to swim beyond the rocks that mark the end of Camas bay seemed a slightly foolish thing to do and as the swim went on and on, and the end of the rocks never seemed to get any nearer, and the waves got choppier, the spray higher, and a mouth-full of salt water splutteringly more frequent, it might have seemed that discretion here really should have been the better part of valour.  But take heart mon brave, great adventures come through perseverance: stiffen the sinew and set one’s face to the task.  

Kathy Galloway is currently leading the week here at Camas.  I was invited to sit in on the reflection session at the end of the day where she asked us to reflect on our day and to consider something we had learnt.  I had learnt three things: how long I could survive in a wet suit (I was in the water for about an hour and a half), how far I’m able to swim – there is something wonderful about being out in the middle of deep water completely immersed in one’s surroundings (and no way out!) and the value and importance of support and friendship.  Accompanying me all the way were Rosie and John in kayaks.  Without them it would have been a very long lonely swim and I’m not sure I could have got that far.  While I glugged down salt water they spoke to me of the islands they could see, the rainbow overhead, the golden eagle and the seal who came to see what all the fuss was about.  My only regret was that it was hard for me to keep a conversation going!

Equally in support was the food that awaited me when, with claw-like hands, I managed to get out of my wet suit.  Thank you to Danielle for the chilli and to Rob for the porridge cake; I think this is probably the most welcome tea I’ve ever eaten.  It’s amazing how after a couple of cups of tea and sitting round the fire in the common room one can feel right as rain in no time!  I think that is something of the magic of Camas.  Thank you to you all.  It was great to be there and I’d like to come back again for more aquatic adventures in the future if that’d be alright?  Have that kettle on!
Dave-Sacristan, September 2012