Crowns & Swimming -- The Making of a Mermaid Part 2

Crowns & Swimming -- The Making of a Mermaid Part 2

Day 2 

Started early this morning as Iona Parris, the Seashell Queen conducted a workshop on creating seashell crowns. Iona provide the seashells and other accessories for us to create our own designs as part of the workshops offered during the Mermaid Summit.  This workshop was sponsored in part by Paint 22 in Tampa. I will admit I spent two plus hours on my crown despite it being set up for 45-mins. It was wonderful that Iona had us move out into the other area of the Hotel to allow another group of participants to make their. Below are a few of the crowns we each created. I love the uniqueness of each. 

Swimming like a mermaid: 
Part of the activities available during the Mermaid Summit was an indoctrination of swimming like a mermaid for beginners. I was provided with a mom-fin and taught to swim using my hips, angulating through the water. It was so surreal and breathtaking.  Our instructor was Kelsee took her position seriously and start the class with a lecture on safety, reiterating the motto everyone repeated, "No dead mermaids." Safety first!  

I have to tell you swimming like a mermaid is not as easy or effortless as it looks. Your body and your muscles work differently when you can't move your legs like you're used to; for us land dwellers, not being able to kick out your feet or do the frog swim, is challenging. I felt so uncoordinated and found myself doing the doggie paddle in four feet of water because I couldn't remember that I needed to straighten out my knees in order to stand up in/on my mono-fin. Swimming like a mermaid means you need to learn how to move your body in a totally different way. And talk about exhausting! I know I'm outta shape but swimming as a mermaid drilled home that truth. Just swimming for 30-minutes had me hitting my pillow early that day. Yet, it was also such an exhilarating experience. As of yesterday, I received my own mono-fin in the mail and will start swimming in it this weekend. I have to wait for the rain and lightning to subside to get in the pool.

I found it fascinating to see a few youngsters at the event who came with their mom or aunt. The youngest was five years old. No, I won't mention that she literally swam laps around me in her mermaid tail. (smiles) However, I will share that I was impressed when her mom stopped her during her swim and reminded the youngster that safety was paramount. 

Another part of what impressed me about the Mermaid Summit was how the experienced mermaids, stopped to cheer on the beginners as we swam to the deep end of the pool and back again. The entire event was like this, mermaids helping each other, taking care of each other, and looking out for one another. Yes, there were mermen (male mermaids) with us and a handful of husbands. 

The Mermaid Summit also provided various workshops on the etiology of mermaids and other topics. One topic I found fascinating was on photography. The instructor spoke about safety measures to keep in mind while photographing underwater and to always trust your gut. She also mentioned taking wire/rope cutters with you since, unfortunately, live mermaids are also subjected to the dangers of getting trapped in fishing nets left behind and other debris in the water.  

There were so many other activities and get togethers, including a Gala to enjoy. This is definitely an event I will return to next year. 

The only drawback I found was that the hotel, closed their pool during the event and we had to go to the hotel next door to use their pool. It had to do with some new ordinance about swimming; yet it felt more like the Hampton Inn not wanting mermaids in their pool. Unfortunately, the hotel didn't advise the event organizer until the event itself. Things to keep in mind when booking your hotel stay and planning to swim as a mermaid.