The Time I Almost Killed Clay

Have I ever told you about the time I almost killed Clay? No? Ok, well I think this is a story worth sharing.

For our honeymoon, Clay surprised me with a 5-day cruise through the Bahamas. One of those days, I mustered up Clay's sense of adventure, and instead of booking a "shore excursion" through the cruise company, we decided to get off the ship and ask a local taxi to take us to a good beach for snorkling, that wouldn't be crowded with tourists. 

That is a story in and of itself, but somehow 30 minutes after we got off the ship, we were sitting in the back of a beat-up limousine with no seatbelts, hurtling down the back roads of the island of Grand Bahama. For 20 minutes, we wound in and out of neighborhoods, sketchy shopping areas, and even sketchier industrial areas. I had a few moments thinking, "Is this taxi driver taking us to a beach, or is this the start of a Dateline investigation?" Finally, though, we arrived at a beach. And GOOD LORD was it beautiful. Like, jaw-dropping. Dateline 0, but Selway Honeymoon 1!


She dropped us off, we paid for our snorkling equipment, got the standard "don't touch the coral" lecture, and donned our flippers. Just before stepping away from the beach, the attendant asked "Do you want snorkling instruction? Or, for $10 more, I can use a jet ski to ferry you out to the reef. It's a pretty far swim."

I eyed the distance from shore to the rocky outcropping where the reef started, and estimated it at about 100 yards. Easy. "No thanks," I said. "We've been snorkling, and we can both just swim."

See that little strip of grey in the distance? THAT is the rocky outcropping, and just behind that was the reef. 

See that little strip of grey in the distance? THAT is the rocky outcropping, and just behind that was the reef. 

So off we went, trotting down the beach and into the water. I set off, Clay behind me, taking what I thought was a fairly leisurely pace. I was enthralled. I absolutely love snorkling, and couldn't wait to get out further, where I knew the good reef would really start. I gave a cursory glance behind my shoulder, and saw Clay a good distance behind me. I waited for him duck his head up, and yelled "Hurry up, let's go!!" He nodded, and started kicking again, so I turned around to keep swimming. 

This happened a few times, so after awhile I got frustrated, thinking he was just being a slow poke, and quit checking to see if he was behind me. Some time later, we arrived at the first "buoy," which as essentially a giant rubber ball with ropes to hold onto. They were designed to give you a rest before swimming on (necessary in this case, because to snorkle the reef meant a 100-yard swim out into the ocean, where you were then effectively blocked from going back to shore by sharp rocky outcroppings and the strong current. To swim out meant to choose to swim for about an hour, straight.)

As I pulled myself up to the buoy, I looked back and noticed my husband, over 20 yards away, sputtering and struggling towards the buoy. He was struggling. I swam off the buoy, trying to remember what I knew about rescuing a drowning person. Before I came to a decision, he was in arms reach, and I pulled him towards the buoy. When he finally grabbed on, he was completely out of breath, and I was grateful we'd chosen not to turn down the life vests - I was starting to think I might be dragging him back to shore!

"Are you alright?!" I asked.
"Yes." He wheezed, "I.....just.....am not....a.....very good......swimmer." 
"WHAT!?" I screamed. "I didn't know that! I thought you knew how to swim! I wouldn't have suggested this if I didn't think you were a strong swimmer!"
"NO!" he gasped. "And....I don't....really know....how to snorkle."

That statement earned a blank face. We had literally just been snorkling with dolphins yesterday. When I pointed that out to him, he pointed out that we had been in shallow water, and he had gotten out about 2 minutes after we'd gotten in. 


Somehow, we made it around the rest of the reef and back to shore, but Clay was pretty beat, and I was pretty nervous. But, we did see some pretty awesome ocean life, and I think we both had a pretty great time snorkling! (Minus the sporadic sputtering from Clay when the waves swamped his snorkle.)

And that, friends, is an example of how you can discover the things you never knew about the person you married. By assuming and then almost killing them. 

Just kidding.

But in honor of that story, here are 5 things I've learned about Clay since we got married!

  1. He hates peas.
  2. He doesn't like corn off the cobb. It's a texture thing?
  3. He puts ketchup on his sandwiches. (Gross.)
  4. He makes really awesome pancakes.
  5. He can fall asleep alarmingly fast. 

Thanks for not dying on our honeymoon. And thanks for not getting mad at me for almost killing you, dear.