Friday, December 20, 2013

Breasts, Snorkeling and the Ionian Sea

When you grow up next to the Atlantic Ocean, you accept cold water temperatures.  So, the first time I felt the warmth of the Ionian Sea, it was such an odd but wonderful feeling.

I was also mesmerized by the perfectly crystal-clear view from the water surface into the sea's depths and it's that clearness that makes its water so ideal for snorkeling.
Lichnos Beach on the mainland coast across from Corfu Island was the place, back in 1983 that I first learned to snorkel. My husband, Nick, and I had gone there with his brother, Fotis, via a rented a paddle boat for that purpose (those two-seaters that are propelled by peddling your feet like a bicycle).  The plan, as I recall, was to show me how to snorkel and then to peddle the coastline for a little while to show me the hidden inlets, alcoves and caves that could only be experienced from the sea.

So, first the snorkeling: Nick and Fotis peddled out to the deeper water.  I put on the mask and the breathing tube.  Nick explained to me that I needed to stay at the surface of the water so I could breathe through the tube.

"Okay? Do you understand? Don't go under or the breathing tube will fill with water.  Okay?" Nick has this way of repeating the same thing several times.

So I responded something like, "okay, okay.  I get it."

And then I put my hands over my head and dove off the paddle boat, head first -- deep into the water's depths, holding my breath for as long as I could and then surfacing to see them yelling and gesturing wildly.

Oh yeah.  That's right.  I was supposed to stay at the surface.  But it was pretty fantastic, swimming down there among the fish and above underwater mountains and valleys. It had something of the sensation of flying above a mountainous terrain--except the part where I ran out of breath and had to surface.

Nick and Fotis were shaking their heads in unison, probably thinking dumb American. I had the unpleasant task of representing all of North America, back in those days, as I'd been the first American many of the villagers had ever met. Nick and Fotis again explained the importance of staying on the surface so I could breath through the breathing tube. They said that they thought I had surely drowned . . . but I'd like to make it clear--neither of them jumped in to save me.

Next,  the coastline:
They peddled and I sat on the back enjoying the view but at some point the wind shifted and the sea got a little rough and it looked like we were going to have some trouble getting back. Nick and Fotis peddled harder and harder but the wind kept us in the same spot. I was a little nervous and I worried about how we would get back.

But then a motor boat came toward us.

A man with two beautiful blond women, both wearing bikini bottoms smaller than fig leaves and nothing else, came to our rescue.  And of course, it was not the man who threw the rope to us, but rather one of the women with her two gorgeous breasts, flopping back and forth as she tried to throw the rope onto the paddle boat. And all of a sudden my sweet husband and my dear brother-in-law seemed completely unable to catch it so it had to be thrown again and again and again. In those days, the early 1980s, topless women bathers were the norm. I was usually the oddball, covered from neck to knees. But rarely were the body types as perfect as these two women (heavy sigh).

As both men leaned over the front of the paddle boat, their arms having suddenly turned to jelly, I pictured my foot kicking their butts into the sea.  But of course, I just sat there as we finally got towed back to shore.


  1. What, no pictures of the girls? :-)

  2. You have started my morning out with delight and laughter and then some.....ohhhh what a story!!! hilarious!!!