Today’s post is one of my favourite days on the swimtrek. 2 great scenic coastal swims and some really cool photos that I absolutely love. —- Waking up every morning was like this:
(A photo of a real sign in Kas – I think it was the name of a restaurant or a cafe). It was like the movie “Groundhog Day” but set in Paradise. Cloud 9 was my new address. Perfect weather, idyllic location, lots of swimming, great food and surrounded by stunning scenery. And because I don’t think I’ve tortured you enough with my photos and exciting recount of my time swimming around Turkey, here are some even more photos. After breakfast, we met a tad before 9am, and walked down to the marina to board our gulet (Turkish yacht), and set sail for another full day of swimming.
The town of Kas in the distance:
First up this morning was a 3km coastal swim. Another glorious day of swimming. Water was so incredibly warm, and clear, deep and blue. We got to see some really cool underwater stuff today and I took some really neat underwater photos. We passed a sunken coastguard ship that was at the bottom of the seafloor. It had been planted there for scuba divers. The morning’s coastal swim ended at Shark Bay – which is not the most comforting thing you want to hear as an open water swimmer. Shark Bay we found out, was so called, because of a concrete shark statue that lies at the bottom of the water in that bay. I have some action shots of me swimming – gave my swim guide my camera and he took a few shots of me in action, which I thought was pretty cool.
And then some unattractive shots of me taking a breath. No one looks attractive in that position. Trying to avoid gulpfuls of saltwater.
Even though I was in the middle-speed group, I gotta admit, at times, I had trouble keeping up. I had never swum this much ever (well, maybe not since my swimming squad days back in high school, over a good 15 years ago). 5-6km a day, each day. It was a little tiring. I love swimming, but I’m not that fast. Endurance, rather than speed is my thing. So even though I had no trouble with the distances, I wasn’t very fast. Swimming in a group though was really good for me. It was challenging for me to keep up and made me push that little bit harder to keep up. Some of swims, I was happy to be at the back of the pack. Swimming with others, pushes you to try that bit harder. Because I swim on my own in Japan, I think I’ve gotten complacent with speed and interval training. After our 3km swim, the boat anchored in Shark Bay where we settled in for a few hours for lunch and relaxation and leisure swimming.
The water was super clear, so I went on an underwater photo spree.
Can you see the Shark statue? (at Shark Bay):
I took a really cool underwater photo series of Mr. A (the hottie swimguide. I should add that he was also a nice, decent guy and not just because of his looks). Captured some really cool angles and movement. I’m not sure why I was taking photos of him. As a photographer, I’m constantly seeing things through a lens (which also makes me a super observant person of society and life), he was a really neat photo subject under the water. I’m not sure what he was doing because he wasn’t actually posing for any of these shots – I was just randomly taking photos of him, totally unbeknownst to him. And no, I wasn’t being some crazy stalker person. I, literally, take photos of everything! And these were really nice water angles of him. Of course, it helps to have a body like this (hard to peel your eyes off of):
I think these photos are so neat. They are pretty impressive, considering they’re taken on my underwater digital camera – they didn’t come out blurry considering the subject was moving a lot, and very little bubbles in the shot. I think the timing of the frames are also pretty spot on. He was swimming under water and I also had to be under the water to take them. I’m not the most buoyant person either, so that was challenging. Too much body fat – I float too much. The shark statue is kind of a popular spot with scuba divers as well so there were scuba divers about too.
Here’s another photo series I cleverly captured:
Mr A offered to take a couple of shots of me. He anchored himself with his feet onto the shark statue and stood at the bottom of the sea floor and then had me swim over the top. I should mention that Mr A can also freedive which meant he could hold his breath for a substantial amount of time to capture these photos of me. I love this next photo of me (taken by Mr. A). This would be my favourite. How cool is that! Me swimming over the top of the water, and the photo was taken looking up from the bottom of the seafloor.
iSwim. Therefore, I don’t drown. And this is another cool one of me swimming towards the light. This photo captures the essence of my whole experience on the swimtrek holiday in Turkey – me, being in the water, seeing light, seeing clarity. It captures solitude, freedom, opportunity, power, a balance of human existence and nature. Such a purifying and invigorating experience. And this frame captures that. A single moment of an amazing experience that spanned days.
Enough of the photo shoot (for now, anyway). Lunch today was fish, which was grilled off the back of the boat by Mustafah (our boat captain):
Best water view restaurant in the house:
After lunch, we had more fun in the water and more underwater snaps.
Here is a neat one that I took of Mr. D (the other swimguide) – cool meditation pose that he’s doing. Do you realise how hard that pose is to do underwater! You’ve got to have no body fat on you to pull that off:
More random group shots:
And then a couple more playful shots of me that someone else took:
Here are some underwater snaps of some fish:
And check out this interesting fish:
I also went back out to the sunken coastguard ship on the motor dinghy with the guides and took some more underwater shots of Mr. A freediving. This was at a depth of about 19m, which he freedove. Super impressive, and the fact that there were scuba divers down there with masks and oxygen tanks, and was totally doing this on his own – he did have a snorkle mask I think. Check out the sunken coast guard ship:
It was a lot deeper out here. The depth was a bit too much for my camera too handle, so wasn’t able to get down too deep.
Another short photo series I took of Mr. A freediving – I think he was swimming through the hull of the ship. Mind you, this was nearly 20m under water, as well. He goes in:
He comes out:
And then back up to the surface:
All these underwater shots were not easy to take. I’ve got to tread water in the choppy water, take deep breaths and go under water and focus on the camera lens. You’ve got to time the frames to capture a decent shot, but at the same time try not to get bubbles in the frame, and I was having to keep coming up for air. I didn’t have a snorkle mask so a lot of deep breaths. A lot of fun in the water today. So much stuff to see. It was a very scenic swim. The afternoon was spent doing another coastal swim of about 2km (I think this was the shortest swim the whole week). This time we swam to Pebble Beach (which is close to Kas).
Pebble Beach in the distance:
And then back onto the boat past the Amphitheatre and back to Kas.
We got back to Kas around 4pm and had the evening at leisure. Some of us walked around the local markets before heading back to the hotel.
A big group of us went to dinner at Bahce for a mezze feast.
A well-earnt beer:
Another solid day of swimming and eating. Today we swam about 5-6km. My body was still itchy and I was getting some chafing on my neck and back shoulders after all this swimming. Definitely feeling healthy and fit. All this sunshine and exercise. This holiday was so motivating and inspiring. It made me feel as though I could do anything. Life was full of so much possibility. A holiday will make you feel that way. If there’s not enough photos here for your liking, then check out the Photo album.