My cave by #TeamSelkie Stephen Peters
Posted on Monday, February 03 2020 06:35:00 PM in News by Karen Lee
I have swam and been in and out the water from an early age; in the sea, rivers, canals and swimming pools too of course.Swimming has always been something I was able to do relatively well and enjoy. It never failed to put a smile on my face and cheered me up when I was feeling down. It allowed me to focus with a positive outlook, not to mention the exploration side, getting super hungry and sleeping like a baby at night.
And it still does!
I have continued to swim all through my life. Upping the game and distances each year, starting with short sprints and Ironman distances, and building up to more endurance swims like the Dart 10K. .I am now planning to swim the Thames Marathon for the third year in a row.
However I have always fancied new adventures : doing something no one else has done, exploring new places and seeing things from an angle no one has looked at before, finding something secret or even better, undiscovered!Since I was little I have always been a bit inquisitive... well as my mum would have said, I had "an unhealthy amount of curiosity"....You see, I was the kid who climbed the big oak tree no one had climbed before to find out what I could see from way up there...I was the kid who swam the length of my local canal with my snorkel and mask looking for gold which I had heard had fallen off a barge...I was the kid who dug a hole so deep that I hit groundwater because I was convinced there was a hidden treasure down there and I wanted to find it.Well last September I was fortunate enough to be asked to spend a bit of time working on one of my client's chalets in Annecy in the Haute-Savoie region of France. Of course I said yes, as I had heard about Lake Annecy and its mountain spring fed crystal clear waters.I hadn't even asked about how much or what exactly I was required to do; I was just excited about exploring this amazing lake.Once there and after I had spent a day pruning the trees, cutting hedges and clearing the overgrown brush, it was time to see and dive into this gorgeous looking lake.
I went to a place half way down on the East side of the lake called Talloires that had been recommended to me. Wow! After a hot day grafting I could not get into my swimmers fast enough to dive in. It was amazing and so clear! The air temperature that day was about 33C and the lake was around 25 to 26C. I was simply treading water and taking it all in : the beautiful snow capped mountains that towered around me, quaint little lakeside French villages and the crystal turquoise blue water.I chose my sight marker for my return swim and headed off with some water, a banana, and my GoPro in my tow float. I had no idea where to or how far I was going to swim; until I got too hungry I guess!I was swimming heading North from Talloires when I came across something interesting in the side of one of the cliffs. It looked like a cave but it was still quite a way away. I was a bit hesitant to go any further as I still had a long swim back already. However, my curiosity got the better of me. I had already drunk most of my water and eaten my banana but I could tell that the lake water was so clean, if I had to, I could have a sip of that to quench my thirst.I eventually swam to the point in the cliff I had spotted and it was exactly what I was hoping: an amazing cave, something you could imagine in an Indiana Jones movie.I took off my goggles and climbed up the rocks to take a better look inside. The air was earthy, it was fresh cool air almost like in an air conditioned room compared to outside, but with a slight stale smell as you could imagine in something old, natural and untouched. The entrance was light enough to see around but further into the cave it got narrower and darker, almost pitch black. I took a couple of snaps on my GoPro, unclipped my tow float and proceeded to go further in.I could hear the faint sound of running water like a small waterfall, perhaps snow melt from the surrounding mountains. At this point I was feeling a little apprehensive. Thoughts of Coastguard rescue programs was heavy on my mind and to top it all off, I was about 3 if not more kilometres away from where I began, with no one really knowing where I was.So I decided I wasn’t going to let my curiosity get the better of me this time, and I could feel my tummy rumbling too. So I packed up my bits put on my goggles, clipped my tow float on and jumped back into the water to make my way back.Swimming back I couldn’t help but wonder what could be back there in that cave... a cool waterfall or even a giant cavern with hidden treasure strainght out of the Goonies film...?I would like to think I was the first person to have found this cave, who knows...Once back and gladly refuelled I spent the rest of the evening with the biggest grin on my face. I had found something very cool and perhaps been the only person to have entered this cave.So if you ever go to lake Annecy and decide to swim North from Talloires, maybe you will come across the cave I found that day... My Cave.