"The Swimmer"




The photo of my grandfather is enlarged to enormous proportions, almost life-size; it’s hanging out at the place of honor in my room. It is in a black frame with glass.

My Grandfather has a very athletic look. Nature gave him extraordinary physical strength, his body so smeared with whale oil, that is shining with the rays of the rising sun.

My grandfather was a consummate swimmer of his time.

My Grandfather was a diver in the Batumi port. Grandpa decided to swim a record from Batumi to Poti city. A distance of sixty kilometers. It is double La Mancha. But he didn’t have money to pay for a boat to accompany him. British swimmers were fed with cognac and hot chocolate to keep their strength and there were music bands to entertain them. Beautiful women were sending kisses from the decks of the boats and ships that accompany swimmers. My grandfather could not get free fuel for one barge.He was swimming all day and only in the next evening he reached Poti.

He moved into his hometown, hiding from prying eyes. Guns did not salute the winner. It was not a triumphal entry. After all, no one believed him! Offended at the world, he was drinking alone.

"He's a liar; he walked halfway and reached Poti by foot! It is all made up! Grandpa was a deceiver", - people were telling his grandson all the time.

Therefore, since childhood he has doubts and fears for himself and for his grandfather-athlete and also for his feat. He was afraid of water, he had few friends, and he kept to himself.

But he had a goal and desire to prove to everyone that Grandpa really did that! So, thin and fragile, the boy sailed regardless on the sea along his grandfather’s path...