It is considered a milestone in a very practical sense as I managed to do both feats without the side lane as a scaffold. You know, just in case my body decided to sink to the bottom of the pool.
As I have an immense fear of the water, I had to watch how others did their strokes, and I had to copy and imitate their moves.
It was tiring even with the dog paddling, but I found it easier to manage my strokes and movements in deeper waters.
The floating on my back was also easier in deeper waters as well.
It took a while, possibly two weeks to reach this level of depth, but eventually I reached it.
Slowly by slowly, bit by bit, never to let that fear of the water get to you! I really had to ignore my curiosity on how deep the water was and get on with just the swimming!
It feels really good to have this level of skill, and freedom and I can wait to see how far I go even without learning the proper swimming skills!