A morning swim
Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Photo of Chris in ground of Earthship

Written by Chris

February 16, 2014

7am and the alarm sounds. After slapping the snooze button, I lie in a state between sleep and the quietness of morning. In half an hour, the construction crews will arrive and continue the very constant and steady expansion of the Carmabi research station, but for now it is quiet.

Torn between an extra 45 minutes of sleep and an early morning swim, I drag myself out of bed only because of the promise I made to myself the day before. Once out of bed, it is methodical to put on swim trunks, grab my goggles and head downstairs. Standing on the water’s edge, I hesitate before jumping in to the chilly water. I watch as an older group of locals make their way out into the bay. Everyday, they swim to the blue and tread water in a circle. I wonder what they talk about as they continually share the experience together. I always find myself more at ease seeing them and knowing I am not the only one in the water at dawn. Although endemic to the area and always in the back of my mind, the tiger sharks and hammerheads seem to be long gone from here. I still have yet to see any sort of shark in the 6 months since arriving in Curacao. The classic phrase, “fear is our greatest enemy”, comes to mind.

I pull the goggles over my eyes and jump in. I swim out to the end of the small Carmabi dock. Across the beach, I see the other dock and begin the rhythmic process of swimming laps between the two. Reaching the far pier, I approach a set of stairs leading out of the water, knowing it’ll be there waiting, watching.

A 4 ½ foot barracuda stares out from under the stairs, slightly tilted, head down, tail up. It sits motionless with a menacing mouth and dark black eyes, following each of my movements. One can see the strength and speed built into these creature’s flanks and I imagine it a marvel to see them hunt. I adjust my course to leave it be, allowing it to enjoy the rest of the peaceful morning before the tourists show up and it heads out towards deeper water.

Midday on the water

Midday, waterfront of Carmabi marine research station

Swimming to and fro, yellowtail goatfish scavenge the bottom. Parrot fish haphazardly chase each other about, and small corals cling to the few rocky spaces void of algae. I find myself focusing on breathing and kicking, pulling myself through the water. It clears the head and brings my thoughts back to the basics, the here and now. The sun peaks over the trees and the sounds of people and machines start to trickle into the air.

Finishing, I make my way back to shore feeling energized. The peaceful moment of the morning has passed, the day begins, and I find myself making a promise for tomorrow.

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