When a 30 minute swim at our local beach, turned into a search and rescue mission with hubby supposedly lost at sea and why it took me almost three hours before I took any real action.
I must confess, we’ve been enjoying a summer staycation as hubby had a bit of time off work over the New Year. We’ve been having lots of lazy starts to the day and hubby has been in the habit of heading off to the beach before breakfast for a quick 30 minute swim and is usually home before the rest of the house, our three night owl teens, stir for the day.
As he kisses me on the way out and completely oblivious to him, I make a mental note of the time. Not that I don’t trust him, or that I keep any real tabs on him but we do have a beach that had more shark sightings than any other beach here in Perth in 2014. A few beaches away, a man was taken by a shark during his morning swim.
I don’t spend the whole time he is away worrying but I do start to wonder around the half an hour mark but you can almost guarantee the moment the doubt creeps in, usually at the five minutes late mark, he arrives home. None the wiser of my moment of panic.
The 17% Sleep Factor
This week, I was half asleep when he kissed me goodbye. I’d had a rough night with little to no sleep and quickly drifted back to sleep the minute he left. When I woke 45 minutes later and there was no sign of him, I convinced myself I must have noted the wrong time. Another 30 minutes later, I wasn’t really sure what to think. It was at this point that I woke the teens and began to pace.
I took to Facebook soon after and posted the following status update….
Quick question: Your hubby heads off to the beach on his own for a quick swim, which is usually around the half hour mark. 1 1/2 hours later, he hasn’t arrived home. When should you start panicking and rather than panicking what should be your plan of attack? Keeping in mind the beach he is swimming at had the most shark sightings here in WA for 2014.
“I’M NOT PANICKING” much
Convinced that as soon as I hit publish, hubby would appear and I would look completely ridiculous. An hour later, even our three girls were starting to worry.
Of course shark attack was on the top of our where the hell would he be list. If I’m honest, it’s the only thing that made my list. The girls, clearly trying to calm my nerves and not really believing their dad would be shark bait, came up with a number of other ideas.
With his phone and wallet at home, there was little I could do, apart from panic or walk to the beach to look for him.
It was fast approaching the 3 hour missing mark when I finally decided to mount a search and rescue mission. Only in the back of my mind, who am I kidding it was front and centre… I didn’t want to leave the girls home alone, in case the police arrived at the door with bad news. I didn’t necessarily want to take them with me either.
I could now hear helicopters over the ocean and found myself flitting between fits of panic and rage. Finally setting out with my youngest to the beach with strict instructions to my older two not to open the door. To anyone.
To further distract myself and try to keep things light, I entertained the suitable punishments that would be dished out when hubby did eventually arrive home.
Death by tongue lashing was at the top of my punishment list and we were only five steps out of the driveway when his car appeared and I was able to commence
divorce proceedings a good tongue lashing.
The strange thing was the fact he was brimming from ear to ear and not fully appreciating how upset I was, which stopped me in my tongue lashing tracks momentarily to let him get a small word in.
You see, he had his early morning swim and noticed the radio station doing a promotion at our local beach before moving on to the next beach. In the end he followed them to Cottesloe, several beaches away to enter a giveaway.
All I could think at that moment was…..It had better be a friggin holiday that you’ve won for the grief and worry you’ve caused. He was completely clueless and assumed after our really late night we would all still be fast asleep. He had no idea we were pacing and panicking.
There was no holiday or even any significant prize as far as I was concerned, just two KFC headphones and a $15 KFC voucher and I found myself imagining him choking on his KFC or even
better worse coming down with a huge case of food poisoning.
The scene that played out next, once girls were out of ear reach, is not fit for blogging and proceeded a lot like this…..
There was nothing particularly unique about my tongue lashing ritual. I was relieved he was home but I needed an outlet for the mad as hell side of me.
Interestingly, it was two whole days before he decided to head off on his own again for a morning swim. When he left he made sure I was awake and aware of the time and confirmed to the millisecond what time he would arrive home.
Do you think I may have overreacted here? How long until you would have gone into panic overdrive? Do you have a contingency plan if your loved one is heading off on a solo adventure?
Oh man I can so relate to that going to the worst case scenario first when someone isn’t where they said they would be. I would have been stressing as well. I probably would have been going through either wanting to kill him myself or thinking nice thoughts just in case he really is in trouble. I know my own thoughts are pretty irrational, however I don’t think it was the case for you. He was doing something that was high risk, he was also out of routine with how long he took. Thankfully he is home now!
Honestly, in my mind, it was so out of character that I could only see one possible explanation. Why it took me 3 hours to become irrational, when we were only looking at the shark data and discussing the possibilities the evening before is interesting. He lived to tell the tale, this time.
Wow, I would have been out the door and at the beach within the hour. Glad it turned out OK.
In hindsight, I probably should have been. Let’s hope I never really need to put this to the test.
mmm what can I say? men are different than women!
been there done that! … just last week! …
glad he’s ok! … I love your wedding photo!
“no time for fussing and fighting my friend!” lol m:)X
It’s rather out of character for him to go off on his own without keeping us informed. Me overreacting and blowing off steam, not so out of character. lol
Goodness me – how scary! There have been a few times I’ve been there, done that as well. Absolutely horrid feeling. You’re really in need of some calm!
It was certainly an interesting and anxious start to the day. Not one I want to repeat anytime soon.
You did well not to lose it in front of the kids. But I can imagine the dressing down he got. I would have freaked too especially if him not going off isn’t something he usually does. Men, so many find it hard to put themselves in someone else’s shoes! xx
We were only discussing the night before the shark attack statistics, which just freaked me out even more.
Death is too good an option!!
LOL ann. I was thinking the same thing at one point.
I have freaked myself out a few times and totally understand your panicked state. I also feel a bit silly when it all turns out OK but hey, it shows you care. I hope (for his sake) he won the KFC voucher
Won the voucher but as far as I was concerned it wasn’t enough. lol
Oh I think that I would be exactly the same as you! I don’t think you over-reacted at all!!
He has been rather attention and too forthcoming about his movements ever since. Thankfully he is back at work this work and hopefully out of harms way.
I would have been worried too – no doubt about it. I don’t think you over-reacted in the least – I’m sure he won’t make that mistake again!
He is now going to need to join over sharers anonymous as he has taken to sharing his every move. Thankfully he is back at work this work and that will be the end of it.
I can’t stop laughing Raych! That sounds like something my hubby would do! LOVE the praying mantis picture!!!!!
I’ve had a few of those “Is it time to panic yet?” moments. Shark sightings nearby? Yep, that was an okay time to let the panic slowly start. 😉
Honestly it’s great there is a funny side. When the praying mantis headline popped up on my screen, I just knew I had to share it.
Who knew with three teens in the house, hubby would be the one causing me so much waiting at home grief. lol
Just emailing you now.
This is such a brilliant story! Well not brilliant that you got such a fright, but so wonderfully written! When the scariest thing in the waters near where I live is old crisp packets and the odd narky swan your panic seems amazingly exotic, but I imagine it didn’t feel that way at the time!!
Why thank you Claire. I love that you found my panic amazingly exotic. I love that I can turn a bad situation into a blog post.
I would have been just a bit shitty and would have wanted to blow my stack too. He could have called. I can imagine my hubby doing something dumb for KFC too 🙂
He leaves his phone and wallet at home when he goes for a quick swim. Just has his licence in the car and his car keys. Clearly that has changed and phone now goes with him.
Given the location and circumstances I would have been in panic overdrive also! Men and their stomachs, I don’t know! I hope he shared his KFC voucher with you and the girls!
My eldest has an after school job at KFC and we can’t stand the stuff. I believe hubby actually read the blog post this morning. My overreaction may be up for discussion at the dinner table tonight.
I have an over active imagination which goes into overdrive and I don’t even live near a beach! When hubster had his stroke I couldn’t get hold of him for a few hours. I was cool as a cucumber at first and was at the tongue lashing stage by the time I got hold of him but by then I realised he was already gaga. Ooopsie. Now he is under strict instructions to keep his phone by his side at all times, and every time he doesn’t pick up, I think it’s the Stroke the Sequel! I would not have been happy. Not happy at all. And just for the record, I don’t think you were over reacting 🙂
Thanks, I come from a family who is tend to overreact which possibly means I don’t overreact soon enough. I would be the same as you with your hubby after the stroke. When hubby goes to sea with work and there is no contact for weeks at a time, I almost want to tag him with a tracking device, not that I think that would help in the middle of nowhere. The boat does have tracking but that’s no fun to watch, especially in cyclone season.
I would be all over the tracking device! You must have nerves of steel or have you just gotten used to it?
The first time he went to sea, with no contact for almost a month. He set up the map on the computer for the girls so they could track his journey. The second night it looked like a cyclone was heading straight for the boat and I found our youngest (12 at the time) up looking at the screen crying at 3am. What we couldn’t see on the 1D map was they were in the safety of a bay and in no danger, apart from fishing with crocodiles.
I do worry but I come from a family that takes worrying to the next level and I like to think I’ve slightly diluted the problem. Having distractions, especially the girls, who don’t seem to have adopted the worry gene as badly helps.
Oh what an ordeal for you. So glad he was absolutely fine!! I think I would have probably worried also. I have a surfing man and it worries me when ho goes out in the early morning before the sun has even come up.
I think with the job interview looming, I possibly needed the distraction with this mini drama. lol My daughter took up surfing with school last year and I was a nervous wreck.
Though, while reading, something troubled me greatly which, like my many emails to Freddie Mercury and Bill Gates, remained unanswered.
Did you end up having breakfast before he arrived home? What did you have? Did you go out for coffee?
I find it hard not to function without food and/or coffee in my belly, and turn into a creature that sharks are afraid of.
I hope the KFC headphones are finger lickin good.
Very funny Ronnie, I hope the KFC headphones are finger lickin good as well.
OM Gosh, I would have been pacing the floor like an idiot, given the circumstances and the location I would have been panicking too!! Glad he made it home safe and sound though
Pretty sure I reached my 10k steps target that day from all the pacing.
Holy shit balls. I was holding my breath as I read this – let alone what I would have done had I been in your shoes. Though I am very melodramatic. If my husband doesnt answer his phone during the day or call me back within 10 minutes… I have him dead and buried. SO gad you hubby was safe though hun and I hope you recover OK from the frigging scare xx