Is there a trick to experimental swimming I keep missing?

Tried to build a bridge in the water and drowned before I knew it because it is so hard to stay at the surface for more than a second. Is there a button to press to stay up or is everyone trying to do a reverse skipping stone motion not to drown?

space?

I just built a massive bridge connecting two of the islands to the mainland on the Amsterdam server this weekend, (and I mean a proper horizontal bridge with foundations and supports, not two enormous stairways to heaven, meeting in the middle, as most people seem to be building).

I gather there are different ways of doing it, but I swim by holding down forwards (w) and fast-run (shift), and using the mouse to control direction, up and down, popping up to the surface every 7-8 seconds to breath like a duck.

At first I would die every 4th or 5th attempt, from staying under too long, but you soon get a feel for it, and remember that, no matter what you are doing, you have about 5 seconds to do it, then head back up to the surface, regardless of whether or not you are finished.

I found that I could build most tiles in 2 dives, firstly with the building plans selected, dive and place the foundation or wall, surface for air, select the hammer, dive again and smack it a few times, re-surface, job done!

Load up you inventory with some cooked meat first, and every time your health starts slipping, eat some meat to bring it back up again.

Also, the golden rule, and where you might be going wrong … don’t swim at night, or the cold will kill you quick. Do all your swimming / underwater building during the daylight hours, and use the night time to collect wood, stone and meat.

Hm maybe it was the cold ô.o then again you get damage the moment the drowning bar appears so there is no warning until you are loosing life.

That was my guess, too but I kept jumping out of the water, sinking to the ground, jumping, sinking […] so controlled movement to place a foundation is…hard-ish?

The space bar makes you kind of jump underwater, can be useful for reaching the surface fast, but on the whole, just fast-run and point forwards / upwards with the mouse, as I said before…