The Lake George Adventure Swim took place over the Fourth of July weekend this past year. It was a four day excursion across the length of Lake George in segments. To read about the Mermaid I found during swim 1 you can click here. To read about the battle with Medusa during swim 2 click here.
For a friend with an understanding heart is worth no less than a brother. – Homer –
It’s hard to imagine that one can wake up late when your entire obligation for the day is to swim and eat and motor back and forth across a lake. But it can be done.
Our goal for that morning was to head south back to the island we stopped at the previous evening – roughly 4.5 miles. As I alluded to before, I woke up a bit later than I anticipated. However, that probably means I slept better than I anticipated.
After breakfast and coffee, we swam our route back through the islands and the narrow passageways toward the wide open expanse of water.
It was calm… the wind hadn’t picked up yet. Although we started with the kayak, it became evident that we could get along with only the sailboat as accompaniment. The wind wasn’t pushing us out of control or causing conditions to be unruly. There weren’t that many boats, either. It was another gorgeous summer day.
We passed people at other campsites and Bob and Deb and Dave said that some of them had clapped as I swam by. How funny! Did Odysseus get applauded? Probably not so much.
As an aside – I realized that one of my outlandish and ridiculous fears with regard to this adventure… was my hair being totally out of control. I had gotten it cut so that it wouldn’t bother me. When I woke up that morning, I had instantly apologized to Bob for the way I imagined it looked. A living thing, slowly swallowing my face and my features in a wild onslaught of wiry red curls. Whenever I stopped swimming, I likewise worried about it then, too. Ultimately, I realized I was acting like George Clooney’s character in Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? Whenever he woke up he would always utter, “My hair!”. Then I realized that that movie was kind of like a modern re-telling of The Odyssey, too. I laughed.
What do George Clooney, Odysseus and Bethany Bosch have in common?
I laughed again.
As I swam along, I could see that Bob was getting prepared to jump in the Lake with me. I was so glad to have the company!
In fact, there were moments during each of the swims, but in particular on this day… that I marveled at the friendships I have. I was thinking that some friends will listen to you vent or let you cry on their shoulders … but how did I find the kind of friends who were willing to camp on a sailboat and help me swim the length of Lake George?!? I was very seldom without a sense of gratitude that swelled in my chest throughout the entire weekend. There is such a feeling of empowerment that camaraderie gives us – it should always be appreciated that the type of people you spend time with will shape you for better or worse.
Bob jumped into the water and we swam along side by side. He and I and the North Forty in pleasant company. It was simply gorgeous – the green of the trees, the blue of the water, the sunshine…
Then came the wind.
In short order, not far behind the wind, came the boats.
Bob and I were suddenly in some tough conditions, swimming along through swells and chop. Bob said later that there was one period of time during which he turned to breathe 4 times before he could finally take in some air. The fact that I worried about him from time to time, then, was probably justified. I worried about the boats being able to see us. I worried about the North Forty having trouble maneuvering alongside us.
I don’t know what made me look up, but at one point I stopped swimming – unnerved by a boat’s proximity to Bob and I. I thought that by lifting my head, I would be more visible and the boat would see us. When I glanced up at the North Forty to check on Deb and Dave… I blinked in surprise.
There were three people on board.
I looked over and Bob was still in the water with me. I turned back and stared.
Poseidon!?! …How did you ever manage THAT one?
The god of the seas! On our boat!
I didn’t know what to do, so I waved and smiled and I put my head down and kept swimming.
According to the legend, Poseidon had risen early that day – intrigued by our quest. Unable to calm the winds, yet wanting to ensure our safety, he had swum from shore to Phelps Island and then from Phelps Island, he swam north until he found us. No boat. No underwater chariot of sea turtles or sea horses or Bass or Pike or zebra mussels or ducks or snails. He had simply swum until he found us.
Of course. That’s just what any god of the seas would do.
When we reached Phelps Island, Bob and I clambered aboard the North Forty and out of the waves and wind. Once we were safe, Poseidon revealed the reason for his visit. He opened his bag and presented us with his very own standard which we could fly from the kayak. It was something he had fashioned himself, especially for us and our adventure. It would warn away the boats and ensure our safety, henceforth.
We thanked him for the treasure. Without much further conversation, Poseidon dove back into the water and left us to our own devices.
I am not making this up. It really happened.
“It was the strangest thing,” Deb said, later. “I looked up and there was this swimmer! Just swimming toward us. In the middle of the lake.”
The winds might not have been in our favor… but it seemed the water gods were.