Hi Talvi from the Southern Hemisphere.
I'm in no position to give advice and others do it much better. I desperately need a weekend of coaching. Most of my summer swimming is in a river estuary in salt water near high tide. In those conditions I float easily and the only limitations are my dodgy shoulders and getting cold. I have been working on Coach Dave's catch and think I have got much better grip on the water to the extent that I feel very pleased with myself. I am even playing with stroke rate. To bring me back to earth the last swim was out against a 20 knot breeze and into chop, great fun. The trip home was totally uncomfortable, the troughs bent me banana shaped and breathing was hazardous. I actually stopped a couple of times to gather my wits. I still can't replicate the same ease in freshwater, obviously my horizontal balance is not good so I concentrate on gentle and effortless but slow in pool or lake. Enjoy your swimming. It's a great adventure isn't it.