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That Beowulf takes

"the best part of a day
before he could see the solid bottom"

of the mere need not worry readers because (1495-1496):


"each of us swam holding a sword,
a naked, hard-proofed blade for protection" (539-540)


After the sea race,

"the ocean lifted
[Beowulf] and laid [him] ashore... on the coast of Finland" (579-581).


"Shoulder to shoulder, we struggled on
for five nights, until the long flow
and pitch of the waves... drove us apart" (544-548).


During the sea race with Brecca, Beowulf "was the strongest swimmer of all" (534).


"You waded in, embracing water,
taking its measure, mastering currents, riding on the swell" (513-515).

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