An onshore wind and a rising tide on a mostly overcast day. The blue-grey light flattens the Mewstone into a predatory shark’s fin on the horizon, and a stand-up paddle-boarder seems to walk on water like Jesus. Surfers ride the breakers towards the reef below the Old Mill. The cloud breaks briefly over the sea leaving a silver puddle shimmering like a net full of mackerel in the distance.
We leap through the surf wooo-hoooing; every so often we wimp out in the teeth of a monster wave and dive under, chilly water surging down through the necks of our suits. I hear white noise, and the roar of the big rollers reaches a crescendo as they break. Ducking under, I am surrounded by the same sounds muffled through my swim hat, mingled with bubbles as I exhale. The water is a dull greeny-turquoise, murky with smashed fragments of green-brown seaweed.
We swim for around forty minutes, buffeted by the crazy sea, rising then crashing back into troughs, lips shrivelled with brine. I can feel the wind ripping the warmth from my head. The Mewstone mermaid is calling us, but we’re cold and it’s way too rough for even JJ and his fins to obey. We’ll save that swim for the spring.
JJ, Stephanie, Helen, Joh
Dan, Finn, Honey and Dexter Doodle Posh Poodle.
Painting of the Mewstone
Turner (JJ can be seen to the left of the ship)