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Some Reminiscenses

waters, deep and swimming


There are many interesting and sometimes excit ing incidents in a swimmer's career, but as some may be considered somewhat of the "fish story" brand it will, no doubt, best suit our purpose to omit those calling for lengthy explanation. The average swimmer has no fears for the monsters of the deep, who know by instinct that man is their natural enemy. Whether from this reason; or the uncanny appearance of his body in the water, most marine animalsinvariably seek waters deep at the sight of man. The most deadly to be feared are the shark and octopus. The latter is only found in tropical waters, and then very sel dom do they come into shallow waters. The former is the most dreaded by swimmers in Aus tralian or Mediterranean waters, where all swim ming establishments around the coast have to be protected by piles or special protection. They also frequent certain places on the coasts of Africa. The writer once swam out into what they term the outer anchorage in Durban Bay, South Africa, and after a very enjoyable swim was in formed the bay was literally infested with sharks, and it was on record that when a native fell off the lighters that carry the cargo from the liners not coming into harbor, they invariably went down after being bitten by one of these savages of the deep. Well, there was no long distance swimming

in that locality after this. My informant, being a life-boat man of long experience on that part of the coast, convinced me it was no ordinary place ; but, singular to say, I was swimming in this local ity, but keeping well in shore, about one hundred yards out, when up came a number of porpoise, snorting like some farm yard pigs. There was quite a shoal making for the deep waters ; fortu nately I was on their flank, not quite near enough to see the white of the lower part of their bodies. I immediately turned on my back and kicked out as in the propeller action, this being the old theory to frighten away sharks. However, nothing worse than a severe fright came of this adventure in the Indian Ocean, although I must confess there was always a sense of fear afterwards when swimming in these waters.