What started out as something that I was afraid of, being in the ocean and not really being a strong swimmer, became a passion as I began to be exposed to areas like Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, replaced that fear of being in the water with a fascination for what was going on out there.
So as my ability and comfort in the water increased, I began to marry a long-time endurance fascination with going longer and testing myself out there in the ocean.
So the core thing about being safe in the water really boils down to one word, and it’s ”relax.” The most important thing that you can take out into the water is a calm state of mind. Whether you’re trying to get out of a rip, whether you’re trying to navigate back in through waves, by staying relaxed you can make decisions based on knowledge, and you can make decisions that aren’t going to make you end up in a dangerous situation. Knowledge will allow you to make good decisions before you even enter into the water.
Knowing where to go for resources about rip currents, about weather forecasting, what are the tides doing, what is going on and what’s changing, because you’ve got a six-hour tide cycle. Conditions will change from the time you set up your umbrella in the morning until you leave in the afternoon. Always check in with the lifeguards. Many people think that, “I know because I’ve been in the water somewhere else.” Every piece of beach is very ,very different. A jetty in one location, a sandbar in another.
The more knowledge you have before you put your toe in the water, the safer you will be and the safer you can make those around you.