For a few weeks Delphine’s been having swimming lessons. She’s been a confident swimmer for some time – especially in deep water. That’s the benefit of throwing your kid into an anchorage. It wasn’t easy at first though. When we got to the Caribbean, Delph made it clear she was NOT jumping into the clear, blue warm water. We’d stare down, turtles swimming past. You don’t want to swim?
Delph shook her head firmly. ‘I definitely don’t want to swim.’
Hmm. We hadn’t been expecting that. We’d sailed from the Cape Verde islands, a distance of over 2000 nautical miles. Weeks and months dreaming of swimming in the sea. Then we got there, parked in the clearest lagoon you could find in Guadeloupe and suddenly Delph wasn’t so game.
When it became obvious that Delph wasn’t going to swim without us pushing her in, well, that’s exactly what we did. Harsh I know. Still, we gave her an ultimatum – she needed to swim twice a day. That was the new rule. If she didn’t, we’d have to take her home. Poor kid was only eight-years old.
As the story went, it only took Delph a few months to get used to Caribbean boat swimming. After a period of making her swim off Quest, I began to forget about the twice a day swimming deal. Delph just started swimming. It became fluid. Natural.
And it’s true – deep water is kind of scary. Plus Delph swims like a crab. One-sided swimming is an art of sorts and Delph has this art nailed. She ends up swimming forward in circles. Deep water requires bobbing around too – and during our time on Quest, Delph got that covered. She can float with the best of them.
Now we’ve been back home for exactly a year, we finally sorted out swimming lessons for Delphine. We’d been stalling with our options. Option 1: Normal, group swimming lessons in our local leisure centre – but they’re all about everyone swimming the same. We know it because Lulu spent years going to these lessons. Option 2: A disability swimming session also in the leisure centre in the small, swallow pool designed for maximum safety. Shallow water? Everyone swimming the same? Neither of these options were right for Delphine.
In the end, we discovered a third option: a private swimming instructor based at the university pool. He came very well recommended, so we signed Delphine up and she’s had four sessions so far.
So far, she’s started swimming front crawl. Front freaking crawl! Pete the swimming instructor has taken her deep water confidence and encouraged her to use her arms alternatively. Left arm, right arm. Left arm, right.
It’s amazing to watch. And to realise – we can encourage our children to do something but, when someone comes along who really knows what they’re doing, they have a magical ability to tweak. A few words. A few pointers. And Delph is swimming. Really swimming. Now she wants to scuba dive – just like the rest of Quest’s crew. Our story continues. Right?