In a fictional September 1659 “I, poor miserable Robinson Crusoe, being shipwrecked during a dreadful storm in the offing, came onshore on this dismal unfortunate island…”
In September 1519 Magellan set off for what turned out to become the first circumnavigation of the globe by ship. Only 18 men returned. Antonio Pigafetta, a young diarist, was one of them.
In September 1926 Henry Beston went to his new summer house on Cape Cod for a couple of weeks but stayed there for a year. It resulted in a book.
I wrote a 100-day diary this summer, from May 27 to September 4, choosing one swim each day to write about in around one hundred words. Here are five from the documented dips in river Lielupe and the Baltic Sea.
“A lone street lamp like a sleepy eye guarded our village with a fogged yellow light. So it wasn’t that dark. But enough to feel how beautiful the night is, a vertical pause between one day and another.”
“The sea is the outer limit of my small world, both boundary and destination. A psychological motif and upholder of the evidence of human disrespect for the planet on which we live.”
“Sea Lights” by Ruth Symons and Carolina Rabei is a magical seaside storybook about a little girl and her fisherman dad out there at sea at night.
“You only have to sail by the stars once or twice for that connection to remain with you for the rest of your life,” writes Adam Nicolson.
“Every swim is a challenge to my mortality and my stupidity. They become ever more extreme with every season and every place,” says Philip Hoare. He swims before dawn.
“The sea begins with the stars,” wrote Charlotte Runcie. More words about the night sky and moon and sea from Henry Beston, Emily Brontë, Iris Murdoch, Tove Jansson and others.