So here’s the thing. I love the water. I’m also scared of the water.

I learned to swim, nominally, when I was 10 or so at the Y, but I never mastered the front crawl, or anything where I had to put my face in the water regularly. I passed my college swim test entirely on my back. It’s hampered me greatly in terms of being able to do lap swimming at the gym, since if it gets crowded and we have to share lanes, I’m terrible and slow and feel guilty and often end up giving up early. This past summer, I took a few swim classes as an adult, finally, and they made a huge difference — I have now, under her tutelage, actually done a front crawl across the pool once or twice. But I still have a *long* way to go for comfort; even though I know I have plenty of air, I get panicky and find myself needing to stop, often, halfway across the pool, just to collect myself. Practice will solve this, but surgery and recovery have interfered with pool time. More in January, hopefully; I have a personal goal of being comfortable with the front crawl by next summer, when the kids start their next round of swim classes. We’ll see how it goes.

All of this is relevant because it turns out that snorkeling and scuba elicit some of the same feelings of anxiety and even panic. More on that soon. For now, have some dolphins. They were just delightful and fabulous; they clearly were very happy hanging out near the bow of the boat, taking a bit of a rest and mostly being carried along by us.

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