Saturday, August 15, 2009

Chapter 12 And Then They Partied

Saturday dawns with a light drizzle for the final heats. Jim, Wayne and Devon are all in the finals. We all hoot and holler for our teammates from the beach.


Devon has her game face on

Wayne tearing it up

Jim Grossman, World Champion!

The award ceremonies were in the evening, held in front of the pool. The finalists in each category come up and are presented trophies by various dignitaries. The Juniors go first, and they set the tone by jumping into the pool together after they get their awards. And so, into the pool goes each group of finalists, to the amusement of the onlookers.

Jim accepts his trophy…

…and goes into the pool

And then they start the team awards. And I quickly realize that they won’t have just the 4 finalists participating, but instead every team will be getting a trophy.

And then will be jumping into the pool.

I frantically begin to get ready, wrapping my camera in a plastic bag, removing wallet and keys and change from my pockets, changing into a team t-shirt, and putting pack, hat and shoes someplace safe. Then up on stage we go, where I accept the trophy and kisses from the cutie assigned the task and, with a little help from my friends on Team USA East, into the pool I go.

I forget to remove my glasses. The pool does the job for me. Oops.

Soggy teammates. The glasses are gone.

After we dry off, we show off our team trophy.

With dozens of people plunging into the pool in the dark, there is no hope of retrieving them until morning. Fortunately, one does not need to see in order to consume mojitos.

Lots of mojitos.

Lots and lots of mojitos!

Carla served them up…

…and we drank them down.


In the early morning chill, Jeff and I stand bleary-eyed on the pool deck, staring morosely into the pool. The water is fairly murky, the bottom has a fairly heavy coating of sand after 10 days of use, and the low visibility is compounded by the fact that only cloud in the sky is obscuring the sun. Wayne joins us after a little bit, but increasing the number of eyeballs on the job by 50% is to no avail. After an hour of hopelessly staring at the shadows on the bottom, we decide that there is no choice but to climb in and begin searching the bottom by Braille with our toes. Wayne heads back to the hotel to change into a swimsuit, while Jeff and I plunge in. Shoulder-to-shoulder, we begin to gingerly sweep the bottom of the pool. And, miracle-of-miracles, on my third pass, I find them!

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