One woman's wild swimming adventures in the west country

Soar Mill Cove

A gaggle of us ambled along the coast path from the cliff at Bolberry Down to Soar Mill Cove on a sunny, blowy day. En route we found ourselves level with a hovering Kestrel, which Ninja Elf noticed looked like a flying heart with her curved wings.

It felt like a summer’s day on the beach with the sun, the blue sky and the sand pitted from the passing of many feet. We hung around in swimwear, although it was somewhat nippy in the breeze, and gaped at Jackie who, having swum in all weathers throughout the winter in a swimsuit, had decided to wear rubber ‘to keep the heat out’. JJ changed into his new floating shorts, which actually contained Brazilian secret padded Envy Pants, increasing the size of his arse from two garden peas to a couple of apricots.

I ran into the sea which was warmer than the puddles on the beach, and bobbed around for a bit. Most of the others set off to circumnavigate the Ham Stone, which looked wonderful. As I’m injured I stayed close to shore and then had to rescue Honey, who’d lost sight of me and run off along past the caves in a panic.

It was low tide on a spring, so we were able to explore the caves on foot. One cave went back some distance, but it was too dark inside to see much. There was a faint scent of city car park about it. It looks as though it would be easily swimmable, even on a high spring tide in decent conditions. Nearby, was a narrow crevasse in which a rock had wedged. I thought immediately of Aaron Ralston.

On the way back up, we saw our Kestrel again and watched as she floated on the updrafts like a swimmer in a bouncy sea.


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