“Hold your breath, keep your smile and swim, like the water is your home…” – my day as a mermaid.
It’s already been a while, but it is something I want to share with you. Yes, I spent a day as a mermaid. Have you ever wondered, how it is to be a mermaid? I have and always will. As a very dedicated fan of Arielle, the little mermaid, I have always wanted to be able to breathe underwater, talk to all the inhabitants of the oceans and swim like a fish. Of course, I always knew that this would be impossible – until my friends gave me a mermaid course for my birthday. I was thrilled!
Learn to hold your breath in Cornwall
While I spent some time in England, I visited Cornwall, more specifically the little town of Newquay. In the morning, I arrived at the free dive institution, where I immediately smelled chlorine – is that what mermaids smell? I thought it would be saltier 😉
We were a group of four and were led to an indoor pool, where we were equipped with a very thick wetsuit. A wetsuit for an indoor pool? That’s right. We spent hours in the water, without moving very much, so it was inevitable to keep warm. We had to just lie in the water, on our backs, on our bellies and on our sides. All the time, we had to hold our breath as long as possible. The experienced free divers gave us hints and recommendations, how to be able to hold our breath longer.
We were challenged to hold our breath until our lungs started to contract as a form of defense against the lack of breath. It was really hard! But since we wanted to act like mermaids without being real mermaids, this was something we had to learn.
Learn to look pretty underwater
Excuse me? Yes! Keep your smile, try not to have bubbles in front of your nose and mouth (as if I could control these bubbles ;-)), open your eyes and … look natural! Yes, as natural as I can look underwater, with my eyes wide open, trying to get rid of those nasty bubbles … it was a challenge indeed. At first, we received goggles to train our posture and the way to swim, then we had to try without the goggles. The chlorine burned in my eyes and I could hardly see where I was swimming. But I had to do this, in order to receive one very important thing:
The mermaid’s tail!
I chose a turquoise-bluish tail and a matching bikini top. I squeezed myself into the tight fabrics and could not take a look at myself – no mirror, no camera or phone! Oh dear … In very awkward movements I made my way into the water, not used to the feeling of my feet being pushed together into a monofin. I let myself sink into the water, opened my eyes, tried to smile as natural as possible and looked down at my mermaid’s tail. It was hard to swim in this tight dress, but after a couple of tries, it worked and made fun. It was too bad, we were inside, and I could see the tiles of the pool underwater.
Our professional mermaid teacher showed us how to move and make it look comfortably … another challenge we all struggled with. Our colorful tails sparkled beneath the surface and slowly but steady our mermaid feeling grew.
The day ended with a professional photoshoot underwater. A skilled water photographer accompanied us on our journey to become a mermaid and covered the pool tiles with a blue foil. He told us to swim to the left or to the right, to smile more, to open our eyes, to avoid the bubbles under our noses. Hard work! Finally, we all got our pictures … but sadly, we had to return our beloved mermaid tails.
The skin on my fingers and toes was as wrinkled as it could be after a day in the water. My eyes were red from the chlorine, and my hair was curling towards all sides. I returned to my hostel, tired as hell, washed of the chlorine and also the feeling of being a mermaid. Still, the magic stayed for a while … I was a mermaid for one day 🙂