There are groups of people who go out to Tobay Beach on the Bay side nearly every day during the summer. When the sun rises, most go out at 5:30 am, but as the sun comes up later, 6:30 am is our time to swim.

If you’ve never seen swimmers in wetsuits running into the water before, it’s a site to see. For those of us training for a race, it’s the perfect place to swim!

A couple of weeks ago, I had a 30 minute open water swim on my schedule. I asked a couple of people who are members of closed groups on Facebook is they were swimming. A few answered me.

Hilary and friends at Tobay Beach
Jackie, Ray, me and Lisa coming out of the water

I don’t like to swim alone. If there are other people in the water, I’m okay but, I don’t like to get into the water alone. So, I was thrilled that a bunch of people could join me.

I saw Jackie first and then saw Lisa and Ray. We all got into the water and swam to the buoy. It felt good. I was enjoying the glide. I wasn’t enjoying the bugs though. There were so many of them all over us. As soon as we stopped, they were on our necks and faces.

We were also feeling bugs or fish in the water. As we pulled, we could feel the little critters on our finger tips. This was the first time it wasn’t pleasant. 

We swam to the sand dune, stopped and went back to the white buoy. As we were hanging by the white buoy, the water looked as if a shark was there. It started to bubble up and we noticed little fish jumping out of the water. It started to come closer to us. I turned to Ray and said, “what’s going on?”

He told me that the little fish were trying to get away from a bigger fish. Later, I found out that the big fish was a bunker or a Menhaden, a large flat fish that swims in the bay.  I also learned that the stuff we felt in the water was the algae and plankton. This is what the bigger fish like to feed on and explains why they were there.

Lisa and I started to freak out a little. It just kept coming closer and closer, like the loch ness monster. I told the other swimmers that I would meet them back at the beach, because I was out of there!

Although it felt as if the fish were coming to get us, it was still a great swim, especially with the company!

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