Note from the Underground

by Casey Barrett

Cap & Goggles resurfaces… with Under Water news… 

It’s been awhile. How have you been? Back hard at work, I hope. Back to training or coaching or working away wherever it is you call home… My apologies for the extended silence. Last I wrote, two months ago, it was about a young stud sprinter named Caleb Dressel. You might have noticed he’s gotten a bit faster since then.

What’s happened since? Well, 64-year-old Diana Nyad swam from Cuba to Florida. Or did she? It seems a great many in the open water community have their doubts about the swim’s legitimacy. Seems the term “unassisted” is rather murky when you’re out in the middle of the sea, hallucinating about the Wizard of Oz and the Taj Mahal, with shark divers surrounding you, and support staff shouting from their boats through the darkness. Assisted or not, if a 64-year-old lady is hardcore enough to trip out on the Yellow Brick Road while stroking through treacherous waters for two days, then let her have the glory and the Oprah blessings. Like all true swimmers, Nyad strikes me as rather demented, obsessive, and more than a little bit loony after all that time with her face in the water.

Speaking of which, that probably describes most of my friends, and yours truly. See, I’ve been spending some time in the heart of darkness depths myself lately: writing something called Under Water. It’s a crime novel. A private eye novel, to be precise. The first in a series, one hopes. It will come as no surprise that it centers around the world of swimming, around the darkest depths of our sport. In the spirit of the genre, you’ll find all the violence and sex and drugs and secrets that keep the pages turning.

It’s been about a year in the making; over the last few months, it’s swallowed up all other writing time. Hence, the silence on this site. But now it’s about time to come up for air. Our hero’s name is Duck Darley, tortured private eye and lifelong swimmer. I hope you like him.

Stay tuned…