Diary of my first safety cover
I arrived at our muster point at approx 08.15hrs to see part of our club already laying the course of buoys. This gave me the chance to take in the atmosphere, talk to other club volunteers and enjoy the warm sun on my skin, even though I was somewhat apprehensive about what the day would bring.
After our initial safety briefing, I, along with other paddlers, loaded up the kayaks with with bottles of water and buoyancy aids and set off in the sea to our allocated areas along the course. What was meant to be a gentle breeze turned into quite a hefty wind which saw all paddlers battle against the strong tide. Several times I drifted and had to paddle back to my allotted area – and the swimmers hadn’t even started yet.
When the time came, the swimmers descended into the sea – what a sight! Some 200 swimmers moving against the tide. I was so in awe of their strength and determination that I almost forgot why I was there. I watched carefully as the swimmers passed – looking out for any signs that they needed help.
At the swimmers last lap the tide pushed me off course and I ended up near the finish line. Instead of trying to battle the wind and waves I stayed where I was.
My arms, legs and back ached but I managed to keep watching for any swimmers in need of assistance. Once back at shore I welcomed a sweet drink and sandwich and sat and watched the last few swimmers finish.