Like most creatures, our bodies love water. And like the planet, we are mostly made up of it (two-thirds on a good day). It hydrates us, cleans us and floats us into the world. Our moods ebb and flow with the tides, while the sound of a stream refreshes the parts even masseurs cannot reach. And we all still go gaga at the flurry of snow. Our fascination with the wet stuff is never-ending.
Next dewy morn or eve, head for the lawn or a strip of likely turf.
Lie flat on your back on the grass, spread-eagled in the middle of virgin dew. Sweep your arms and legs back and forth to form three fan-shapes, one with each arm and one with the legs.
Stand back and admire the angel, replete in gown and wings.
WADERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE
Hold the knotted hankie. This is not kiss-me-quick land, but a brilliant way to discover sealife or cool off in the countryside. Roll up the trousers or hitch up the dress and wade. Your temperature will drop the way it does at night and flood your body with peace. Beware silt, sludge and weaver fish at very low tide (their dorsal fin is a local anaesthetic) – if in doubt, wear sandals, Crocs or flip-flops (but stop short of thigh-high wellies).
FLOATATION TANKS - MADE TO MEASURE
Salt is a natural buoyancy aid.
Add a wetsuit and you’re almost levitating.
In case you’ve never worn one, the cold water seeps in and after three seconds of ‘wet-yourself shock’ it adjusts to your body warmth.
Then it gets better.
You just float, without treading water.
If you’d rather skip the cold bit, run a foam-strewn bath, ease back and drift.
GREAT PICNICKER SECRETS
Always pitch up next to a stream.
Lasso a bottle of white wine and immerse it in the free-flowing chiller cabinet.
For beer cans, build a dam.
Wash farm shop salad and veg in ‘the tap’ on tap.
Eat, drink and get schmoozy.
If animals wolf-whistle, make the noise of a gun.
BEACHED STARFISH & TURTLE SPRINT
Two great games: one of patience, one of speed.
Find a quiet spot of sand, pretend to be a stranded starfish, whale, dolphin or Portuguese Man-of-War and wait for the tide to rescue you.
Imagine you are a young turtle hatched from an egg and you have to reach the ocean before gulls get you. Only crawl on your tummy using your knees and elbows. Hands or feet = disqualification.
HOW TO BELLY FLOP
Sadly, precious few can dive as they do in Acapulco. But there is an easy, yet less graceful alternative. Commonly known as the Belly Flop, it soundsmore like a jelly splat. Unlike a dive, the intention is to make a splash with your arms spread wide, chest/belly out, back arched and chin aloft.
Best to practice leaping over waves. Once you’ve mastered the technique, find a deep and wide rock pool with a sandy bottom and stand at the water’s edge (no height needed*). Cue drum roll…and flop.
* Professional shallow divers can dive from 10m into 30cm of water. Please, please, please
don’t try this on holiday.
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