wildwomanswimming

One woman's wild swimming adventures in the west country

Foam and Bubbles: Autumn at Sharrah

I drove across the moors through splatting showers, sunshine and rainbows. Heavy rain overnight had raised the river considerably. Foam billowed on ginger and dun water, and kayakers littered the surface by New Bridge. We walked up the track through squidgy mud and the scent of leaf-mould, once rendered speechless by a glade of zinging yellow leaves still clinging to the trees.

Sharrah appeared through the warm, woodland colours, black water speckled with white flotsam. Today the pool had lost her tranquility, and the surface was in a slow boil.  Upstream towards the waterfall the river surged and spray misted the view. I swam towards the falls from the nearly submerged rocks, feet like ice. The cacophony of the cascade intensified and swirled around. The river fought me, forcing me backwards and so I switched from breaststroke to front crawl, puffing from the cold, and with an icy chill reaching my brain through my face.  When I made it to the eddy, it was filled with turrets of beery foam like drifts of partially-thawed snow.  I reached the central rock, grabbed it and then flung myself into the rapid, shooting downstream among strange little bergs formed from bubbles the size of my head.

Maretta shoots the rapids

As I swam, gold and orange leaves flashed past my hands like autumn fish.

Fellow Swimmers

Maretta, Becky, Dan, Maggie, Honey

Swimming Nearly Naked Upstream But Never Getting to the Rock

Dan the Fish

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