A chilly, still, slightly overcast afternoon and a very low tide. The scent of seaweed and fish. A dog charges round, chased by increasingly frantic owners, playing with a long-dead rabbit. The peach-coloured light brings out the steely blue-greys of the sea, and the sun forces her way through intermittently with wondrous effects. Beams of light splay around the Mewstone, and the horizon is briefly lit by a line like burning phosphorous.
The water is cold, around 7.5ºC, and my face freezes painfully. Several people are seriously under-dressed for the occasion, and even Pauline grimaces for several seconds before launching into a solo synchronised swimming routine. Joh, on the other hand, appears to be entering the water wearing a puffa jacket while the Ninja Elf is recognisable only by her squeals, muffled through the balaclava.
We swim out, then return fairly quickly with cold hands and numb toes. A fast change and we refuel with two types of cake. As we leave, we’re enveloped by the distant sounds of kids laughing and the slap of Honey’s feet as she gallops along the wet sand.