This book is all about Joshua Slocum, who built his own boat and then sailed around the world in it on his own. Rather surprisingly, he couldn’t swim. This caused him one or two problems.
I love swimming, but I only learnt to swim properly when I was in my forties. I think all teachers should be made to go and have lessons in something they’ve never done before in their spare time. It would help them to remember what it’s like for the children they teach.
The worst thing that happened to me when I was learning to swim was when the swimming teacher made me go in the deep end and try to tread water. “I don’t know how to,” I said, sinking gradually lower and lower as my feet thrashed away below me. “Yes, you do,” said the teacher.
But I didn’t.
Maybe Joshua Slocum tried to learn to swim from someone like that and just gave up trying.