I was born and bred in our Midwest farm whereby I had dreamt for a long time of visiting the ocean until one day, at the summer of 1980, my mother told me that we were to pay my aunt Carolyn who by then resided in Havelock a visit. I was so much ecstatic since I could finally get to feel the sand and the ocean water, something I had dreamt of for long. The journey to Havelock was smooth and we managed to get to our destination safe and sound.
Upon reaching the ocean, and after the usual family debating on the ideal part to set the camp, and also the sun screen painting, I finally ran into my long awaited dream of testing the waters of the ocean. Since the day was hot already, the water was moderately warm thus, thirst quenching. I felt like I had been born again in a new world. I stood there watching as waves hit the shores I was almost carried away by the averagely strong waves which hit and knocked me down giving me my first taste of salt water. Meanwhile my dad watched me as I wrestled with the waters. Whenever I was overwhelmed, he could laugh at me knowing that it was too minimal for me to drown. Soon, dad joined me with two boogie but mum and aunt with their hats on, sat on the sun. (Sevenus, p29)
Later on, Uncle Bob joined us from a short errand he had run. He taught on us how to use the boards but left shortly for a shot call. Dad joined me and we started exploring the waves of the ocean. As we were going on, we were hit by a strong wave and knocked out to the underwater. While still under the water, I felt like I was being tossed in a washing machine. Since my eyes could not see properly due to the salty water, I tried to find my way up but all in vain. I wrestled with the currents trying as possible as I could, not to remain under. My most vivid memory while still under water, is how quiet and still the environment is, no playing kids, no whistles just the immense quietness with silent but strong currents. After the duration of about four minutes, I finally found myself on the surface of the ocean struggling and gasping for breath. I looked around me to see if I could see my father anywhere but unfortunately, I could not. I tried to take glances and see if I could spot any beach, but nothing was visible to my eyes not even the people because the waves had pushed me to the middle of the ocean unknowingly. I was completely in a state of panic and total confusion. I could not know even guess which direction I was to swim to, and worse still, I was not able to remember the direction where the sun was. All this while, I never knew where dad was since we were separated mysteriously.
Fortunately, I was able to spot a piece of board approximately twenty feet away, from where I was. Since first things come first, I swam towards it bearing in mind that it was the only hope I had to make it alive since with it, I could not sink anymore. As I was nearing the board, I saw my dad popping out of water like a shark while calling my name loudly from almost ten feet away. I screamed back at him just to alert him on the direction where I was but in the meantime, I embraced the peace of board. Dad swam towards me but as soon as I looked at his face, I realized that he was scared even though he tried to hide it. Instead, he smiled at me and said that everything could be alright. He also congratulated me for my regular swimming lessons which helped me survive. He improvised a plan which was to see us through to the beach but since we did not know the specific direction of the beach, we were only gambling. One thing that I realized is that, when you are in the middle of the ocean, all you can see around is water that seem to go on and on forever. That experience taught me a very imperative lesson that even our parents are human beings when it comes to protecting us, but before then, I thought that my daddy could fix any problem no matter what the situation is. We went on swimming and swimming until we reached our swimming limit due to fatigue.
The wild cracking of the waves had both of us swallowed a lot of water. I was getting restless and from the look of how I observed things, dad was tired either even if he did not tell. I tried to ask my dad whether how long he thought was the duration of our stay in the middle of the ocean, but all he all he could do is look at me seriously with a pale face, hesitate for a while and then shrug without saying a word. I realized that we were resting more than we were swimming as I was asking dad to take a rest for a while, he interrupted me abruptly because he had heard someone coming. We both turned around and saw my uncle yelling and swimming toward us. Uncle Bob got us both to the shore safely. We were taken to the hospital, for examination since dad had drunk a lot of water. Even if we were at the hospital with mum and aunt comforting us, we still could not believe that it was over. Up to date, we never discuss our experience with dad on what had transpired.
Sevenus, L. (2007): Practically swimming. OUP