This was not this day. It was another. But the sea was the same.
Panting and grinning, the boys stand over me, hands on hips, and drip water onto my slowly-roasting back. I mumble into my beachtowel, but this doesn't make them go away.
"OK, OK, fine! I'm coming!" I stretch, and roll onto my side, shading my eyes against the glare. The sea. The Southern Ocean... waves rolling with extreme strength, straight from Antarctica.
We laugh, and sprint towards the waves, down the golden sand-waves, feet unsteady on the shifting sands.
And we're running slow-motion into the freezing water, ankle-high, shin-high, knee-high, thigh-high... we all draw in our breaths simultaneously as the seventh wave suddenly drenches us to our midriffs. Ahhh! it's a sigh, but a gasp all at the same time.
But are we turning back? Nothankyouverymuch! We continue to wade into the sea, salty water flying all around us from our swinging arms and quicksand-water splashes. With each wave, we time our jumps, so that we get a minimal amount of water above our shoulders...
We're far enough out to body surf, so on the next huge wave, we let go of the ground, and throw ourselves into the mercy of the ocean. Paddling... faster! Must catch the wave before it crests... and...!
It's going wrong. I'm underwater, spinning, tumbling, just a ragdoll in the path of a toddler, and I'm twisting so that I don't snap my neck, and I can't breathe I can't breathe, and I bounce off the bottom of the ocean from the force of the wave, and I surface-
-and breath! and under, spinning, no oxygen below the surface, and bounce and up...
I finally manage to get my feet again. I'm a fully-qualified lifesaver, although not for surf lifesaving. I know the tricks of the trade, but the ocean is so much stronger than me. As a sailor, I know this. I treat the sea with an almost religious reverence. At any time it could kill me. This much, I know.
And here I am, out of the red-flag zone, but I'm laughing and splashing, and making my way up onto the beach, and I'm collapsing on my towel in a fit of giggles, and I'm breathing, I'm breathing! Hyperventilating, almost, from the adrenaline.
Some days, I miss the sea.
A couple of weeks ago, I went for a huge walk, up these big hills, just so I could try to see the ocean. And I could, I saw it! Huge and sparkling, a rumpled duvet of water, framed by land.
Sometimes I wish I could breathe under water. Think of it: huge and silent.
Ten minutes ago, I was laughing and spinning around in a circle on the grass, and my white skirt was flaring out around me like a fluid pavlova. Material in the air, moving... moving in waves. There's the ocean wherever you look, sometimes.
I think the reason that I like mist is because it means that the sea is visiting me on a day when I cannot visit it.
Three years ago, I promised I'd never daylog again. Some promises are made to be broken.