prior to moving south, and after reading your plans I would do exactly what you plan to do especially if you can walk home.
I used to stay close enough to the shore to be able to stand up and hustle out of the water.
Many here take safety to the extremes and love to throw out "the darwin award" statement
Glean what you can from some of them and disregard others.
You are the master of your own fate!
Pull-Up Strap Handle Kit
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