On hearing our shout, the skipper of the tinny cut his engine, looked over the side and apologised. One of us (the one who is well known for losing his cool on occasions such as this) let fly with a few choice expletives which translated to something like ‘would you please be so kind as to keep a better lookout in future’. The skipper was alone in his tinny so the bow was thrust up in the air making keeping a lookout ahead of him difficult; but he should have altered course decisively and frequently (not the erratic behaviour he did display) in order to see ahead of his boat.
There are probably two take-aways from this harrowing experience. The first is a suggestion to erect a notice at the boat ramp along the lines of ‘We frequently swim in these waters. While we always try to keep a lookout for tinnies, jetskies, kayaks, SUPs, etc, we would be grateful if you could also keep a lookout for us’. The other suggestion is that we always bring a tow float with us. Although our hi-vis swimming caps are not bad, because of the low profile of a swimmer’s head in the water, they are probably not enough. Inflatable tow floats attach to the waist, bob along behind the swimmer and cause negligible drag. They can also carry goodies for longer swims such as money, phone, car keys, food, water, jelly beans, a change of clothes, a car for the return trip (well …!), etc. Experience has shown that they are very visible from a distance, even when swimming caps are not. Three of us in the OWS group already have them and, if more would like to purchase one, I can make a bulk order with wiggle.com and so avoid shipping costs. The cost price is $54. Please let me know if you would like one or more.
And, on the subject of buying stuff, if anyone would like a neoprene cap, please let me know. The cost price is $37. Remember that the head is the most important part of the body to project from the cold. While you might look like a bit of a dill, it will certainly keep your head warm. Just remember the old adage ‘any fool can be uncomfortable’. A yellow swimming cap over the top disguises the dorkiness a bit. And if more people wear them, I won’t feel quite so bad.