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This week, Ailsa’s Travel Theme challenge on Where’s My Backpack? at http://wheresmybackpack.com/2013/10/11/travel-theme-deep/ is Deep. Probably because I can’t swim, I consider any water that comes more than half-way up my 5’3″ frame, deep.

Dad and me at Folkestone 2

Dad and I by the sea at Folkstone. They must have been fairly confident that I wouldn’t rush in since I was wearing the little fluffy bolero, that Mum had knitted for me, over my swimsuit.

You would think that with my father being a one-time swimming instructor I would have soon learned to swim like a fish, but I only remember him taking me to the swimming pool once. He was a man of little or, to be strictly accurate, no patience and, since I had a tendency to sink like a ten-ton rock every time he told me to let go of the side of the pool, he quickly abandoned any hope that I would some day swim the width let alone the length of the baths.

Lake Opeka 14

So, as you can imagine, I rarely feel comfortable on or in water that reaches above my knees. Many years ago I was invited to take photos of a yacht race at a local park, going out with the officials on what I can only describe as a motorized raft. It was probably more substantial than that but in my nervous state it felt very inadequate. One of the officials mentioned that the water was quite deep in parts and obligingly supplied me with a life-jacket but even so I was very glad to get back on shore.


Lake Michigan is quite deep and even though the ship was securely moored and the water calm, you can bet I was hanging on to all the ropes and rails as I climbed up and down between decks at the Tall Ship Festival at Navy Pier.


A few summers ago we spent the day at our son-in-law’s family lake house in Wisconsin. They offered to give us a ride on the pontoon and not wanting to appear a party-pooper I agreed to go. While the others sat laughing as the skipper gave a detailed description of how he had once capsized the boat, Mum and I, both wearing life-jackets (she couldn’t swim either,) sat holding on to each other like two passengers on the Titanic. The lake probably wasn’t that deep but I wasn’t taking any chances. I’m pretty sure it would have come up past my knees.