Open Water

I really can’t remember a greatest fear growing up.  Maybe
going to the dentist.  That all changed with the movie Jaws.

I used to love to dive in open water, as deep as I could go.
Underwater scenery, the fish, the coral formations, seaweeds,
all of it spectacular, with the challenge of holding your breath,
longer and longer, your lungs growing stronger.

I used to see many sharks, all kinds, but I never feared them.  I never
bothered them, and they never bothered me.

Then Jaws happened.

I never swam in open water again.

Box jellyfish mean nothing to me.  I’ll swim at Ala Moana
when the orange warning signs are up.  I swim there because I know
all those sharks can’t get in over the reef.

I feel safe there, but I still have that great fear whenever I think about open water.

* * * * *

Aloha #WriterSunday, I hope you are having a good, safe weekend. Today’s #WritingPrompt is


Use it to inspire a piece of writing, short or long, a story or a song, and then post your creation on your site and link back to me, or simply leave it as a comment below. I would love to read it : )


  1. Hi Lanning, here is something about ‘swimming’. Hope you enjoy it!

    While reading ‘Open Water’ by Lanning Lee I remember watching my son Chris swimming the Waikiki rough water race.
    Even though this has nothing to do with sharks, not counting the refreshment vendors, it was exciting. Hundreds of swimmers plunge into the ocean at once and start stroking out towards the first buoy turning the water into whitewash. At seventeen Chris was competing in his age group, so even if there were other swimmers ahead of him, but he was the first in his group he would win first place.
    He had a good start, reached the first buoy with no problems and settled into the long straight parallel to the beach. Another buoy was placed a fair distance from the sand in front of the Waikiki Sheraton Hotel. The finish line was set on the beach and swimmers had to get out of the water and run across the sand to finish their race.
    I have to mention here that in order to see properly Chris had to wear either glasses or contacts. Unfortunately, neither could be worn during an open ocean swim.
    After the start we could see his Mililani Highschool swimming cap, but then we lost sight of him. Swimming perpendicular to the direction of waves is difficult. You can only see where you are going when you are on the top of the wave. So once in a while his cap would be briefly visible.
    We walked down to the finish line and settled in to wait for his arrival. As expected, the first finishers were the elite class. No sign of Chris even though he had been near the front after the start. As parents always do, we started to worry. After waiting some more we finally saw him stroking powerfully towards the beach. He got out of the water and ran across the sand to finish his race.
    Afterwards we found out why it took him longer than expected. Without glasses or contacts he could not see the second buoy and kept on swimming past the turn. Only when he realized that he was all alone did he finally turn around and look for that turn.
    I don’t remember what place he came in in his age group, but despite his detour he finished in the top five. Lesson learned. Do not swim blindly.

    Liked by 1 person

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