The day I played Robinson Crusoe in Crete
“The Day I” (TDI) posts are stories based on true-life events that happened during our travels and left a mark, a lesson from which we grew into better adventurers.
Location: Agia Marina – Chania – Crete
– Man that island looks awesome! I’m going to swim there!
I always liked to create small challenges during my travelling trips. These little games always brought me a sense of adventure and a thrilling time.
I sat on shore contemplating my reward: an enormous reddish pile of rocks invaded by contagious greeneries where a small white mansion stood in the middle of the picture. I took one last breath, tied my flip-flops to my swimming suit, put on my snorkeling mask and jumped in the freezing water.
My paddling was steady and slow. I thought I had all the time in the world. Little did I know that this wasn’t the case. What seemed to be an easy short swim in the sun turned out to be an endless battle for survival. The more I swam, the more energy I consumed. My body temperature was dissipating in the vast Mediterranean Sea. I started feeling my heartbeat slowing down. The cold was unbearable.
It is too late to comeback to shore. I got too far out and had no other choice but to get to the island. No room for giving up now. I kept pushing my self till my hand reached salvation.
I rushed out of the water and sat in the deliciously warm sun. My body was shivering like a dead leaf and all I could think about was: how the hell was I going to comeback to main land?
My mind started racing with million of thoughts and scenarios. I even pictured myself growing a beard on that Island, feeding out of sea crabs and getting a Wilson Volley ball as a best friend. But this “Cast away” moment quickly disappeared when I saw this tiny fisherman boat floating nearby.
I howled randomly in Italian, even though I was in Greece. The fisherman spotted me and before you know it, I was on board of this self-powered, solar panel motorized boat. I couldn’t resist sharing my admiration for this hand made boat. I didn’t even thank the guy for saving my life.
You’re crazy! The old fisherman yelled. It’s too dangerous to swim this time of year; the water’s temperature is around 14 degrees. You could have died! Despite his over the top reaction, he was right. Hypothermia can be a serious health issue, a fatal one.
So if you’re as reckless as me, remember to take some precautions before you venture around in unfamiliar environments. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take the risk and go for exciting mini-challenges, just bear in mind any possible mishaps.