We went to Chesapeake Bay. It looked a lot like Monterey Bay, but grayer. It was the Navy base there, right on the water. It was like a Navy recreation area. On the left side were kayaks, and then paddle boats, and then the swimming area, where we were, roped off for safety.
We swam out into the deep water because it was. Because it was warm. Because the sun was shining. Because fish. Because we could. But then, the sky darkened, and all the people went away, and the swells grew. Beautiful swells, like chutes and ladders, like water slides, like rolling hills you take at a dead run because you have legs. We were way past the ropes.
"What about rip tides?!" He shouted at me. "WHAT?" I yelled, looking over my shoulder as I swam. I checked on my daughter, and my son, and looked back to the front. There it was, nestled between swells, like a snake, silvery and smooth. "RIP TIDE!!!" We were being swept out to the sea, but we knew what to do. "We have to swim ACROSS it!" I yelled back to my daughter, my son, my husband. "WHAT?" "Swim - ACROSS - it!!!"
So we swam and swam. The water was cooling down, churning, graying, and we were getting tired. I looked back, over my shoulder, checked on my daughter, my son, my husband. My son was flagging. So tired. I could feel the adrenaline starting to fight through the cold water and exhaustion. And then I saw his head. It popped out of the water, laughing and winking, and dove beneath the surface. He swam fast, like a dolphin, and caught up. So tired. We kept swimming.
We finally got to the floating dock where the water was all plants at the bottom and the kayaks were tied up, by the shore where it was calm, and the sand was topped with some cement embankment under the water. To stop erosion? Maybe.
Two cars were parked there. Sedans. They were visiting sailors on the base and didn't realize about the tide, that it goes out, and comes back in. In one of the cars, a couple had fallen asleep after making out. They had jumped out of the car when the cold water on their legs woke them up. The cars were ruined. Insurance wouldn't cover that.
Here we were on the dock, floating, with its little floating empty office. How to get to our car? It was so far away, and we were so tired. We could walk, but we couldn't get there from here, and it was so far. We could swim, but my arms were like jelly. My whole body rebelled at the thought of more swimming.