SYDNEY, Australia — The spring sun might have been warm, but the Pacific Ocean off the edge of Sydney felt like an ice tray. I put my head down and tried to breathe in a steady rhythm as I swam faster than usual to warm up, keeping an eye on a couple of swimmers heading in my direction along the rocky coast.
When the distance between us shortened, both of them stopped and seemed to be pointing. I picked up my head.
“Bull ray,” said one of them, a woman about my age wearing an orange swim cap.