One woman's wild swimming adventures in the west country

Dumpy Lumps at Blackpool Sands (Devon)

A beautiful November day; cool blue sky and a faint mist, and blowing an on-shore hoolie. Fine, ginger-coloured shingle and opaque, greeny-turquoise sea met in a foaming clatter of shore-break; the retreating waves left with a sound like summer rain.

We porpoised through the surf to the waves that rushed diagonally across the bay. They grew in stature as we swam out to sea, cresting through white horses and dropping into troughs. In the distance, spray splattered the reefs marking the edges of the bay. I felt I could swim forever out to sea, cradled by waves.

Turning back reluctantly, I aimed for the group on the shore and swam along the waves, rising then dropping precipitously. Finally I raced for the shore between breaks, and avoided being slapped into the beach. It looked and smelled like summer.


Allan, Jackie, Joh, Helen, Jo, Stephanie, Jonathan

Shore Support

Isabella, Mr Helen, Honey

Comedy Moments in the Surf

Jonathan, Jo


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