Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Today we got up pretty early to go sailing. Little J.J. feel asleep almost as soon as he got on board, all bundled up in his lifejacket in the forward berth. The rest of us sat up on deck as we went out through Burtons Bay and through the inlet to the ocean. This is the way usually taken by the fishermen and we waved to them all. There were four of us in swimsuits-- me, Jessy, Lisa, and Mother (our stepmother). Sometimes Mother looks as young as we are!
Since the weather is usually from the south at this time of year, we headed down the coast, outside Parramore and Hog. Just before noon we anchored in the shallows behind Cobb, as we have done before, and had a swim. Daddy waded round with little J.J. on his shoulders and then put him and Lisa into the dinghy and rowed them round the boat while Mother, Jessy and I swam and basked. We returned to the boat to have sandwiches and then Jessy and I put on swim slippers and waded in to the island. It is very empty and open, just dunes and grass and swamps down along the water. We saw crabs and turtles and plenty of fish, and we were able to see where the gulls had their nests.
This would be a very nice place for sunning but it is still public property and Virginia law prohibits all nudity on public land. Nevertheless Jessy took off her top for a while, and then so did I. We tromped down over the dunes to the ocean side and suddenly got the idea to dare ourselves. There was no one around and our parents would not see us breaking the law. So we shimmied out of our bottoms too and splashed out into the surf.
Neither of us has ever gone into the ocean naked. It was a lovely feeling, or should I say an exciting one. Both of us were sprinkled with goosepimples. 'Oh! I wish I had a camera!' Jessy said.
I laughed at that. 'I would NOT let you post them on FaceBook,' I said.
We both laughed.
Of course we still had on our swim slippers because the bottom here is always questionable. We were not in the water long and then we collected our sandy swimsuit pieces and tromped back over the dune. From up on the crest we could see the boat, flying the family flag, with two adult figures and two smaller ones sitting in the cockpit. The sun had gone overhead and we wondered if they could make us out. Actually I think they were not looking.
We took turns sitting on a piece of wood and wet our swimsuit bottoms before pulling them on. Standing up in the water we retied each other's top. 'I would love to come here alone,' Jessy said quietly, almost in a whisper. 'Just the two of us... so we could do this all day.'
I sighed. 'Me too,' I said.
She turned around and looked right at me then. 'Do you remember that time I was in the pool, and I got you to do this?'
I nodded. It was the first time I'd been swimming naked since I was about six.
'It felt like that this time, too.'
I felt a really strong shiver go through me then. I knew what she meant. 'Me too,' I said.
She giggled a little and then turned to wade back across the bay.
We didn't tell anyone about our little adventure. This is the first I have mentioned it.
We sailed back up the coast, mostly downwind, with the big blue-and-white genoa and matching mizzen staysail up. Daddy really likes to set sail and get the boat moving. For a while I lay down on the foredeck with my chin on the rail, staring down at the froth of water. I did think of untying my top; but what would be the point? I'm tan enough, and it'd only be awkward getting myself back together when I had to; and besides, my upper body was mostly in shade from the sail. Jessy came forward and sat down on the other side of me. 'Wee should have our own boat,' she said. 'We could go down there all the time, by ourselves, and just... relax.'
I turned my head and looked up at her. 'Are you going to be all right, there?'
She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, filling her chest. Then she sighed, almost sadly. 'Eventually....'
I giggled. 'I know what you'll be doing, when we get back home.'
She sighed again. 'I know. And why not? I'd have been doing it already, if....'
I nodded. 'I know.... If....'
She smiled. 'You want it too.'
'Sometimes I do.'
'No, I mean that place. You want that place too.'
That is how she said it, like that place could be taken, captured, owned, held. But I knew what she meant. She wants the experience of being naked there, wandering around amidst the rushes and dunes with no other human being nearby. And I admit I want it too. Maybe someday we'll get to have that place again, to ourselves, and for more than one not-so-buggy afternoon with our parents waiting.