One woman's wild swimming adventures in the west country


We are in need of some magic, so Helen and I, accompanied of course by Honey, slide through the mud and puddles to last week’s fabulous discovery – the bewitching, whirling pool on the lower Tavy.

The river is brown and swollen, and the pool looks different from last week when it was smooth and still. Today I sense the latent energy of a coiled snake, making me slightly apprehensive. We scramble down the bank and are enveloped by the scent of wild garlic so pungent I can taste it. Slipping on pebbles, we wade in and float upstream, in a womb of arching boughs birthing tiny, frilled leaves.

As we circle round, the downstream current picks us up and spins us briefly on the spot. I swoop round and then swim forwards, but travel sideways. Earlier we’d discussed our failure to remove our leg-hair, and I feel mine being ruffled beneath the surface by watery hands. Above the rapids whirls a pool of midges.

We talk as we waft and spin, and our skin tingles before warming up, stroked by water-nymphs. I feel my stress melt into the river and float away.


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5 thoughts on “Bewitched

  1. clmooreesq on said:

    Lynn, I don’t always comment on your posts, but I want you to know that I am always enchanted by them. Your writing is so beautifully descriptive, and I can hardly wait for your first(?) book!

    • Thank you so much for your encouragement. It’s lovely to know that someone enjoys reading about my feelings as much as I enjoy exploring and swimming (and writing). As for the book, I write loads but never finish, so maybe this is the right way to do it!

  2. Another beautiful description of your watery world! I’ve been away travelling for 2 days (breaking down on the way to London) and can’t wait to plunge into the sea at 8.30am tomorrow morning, at high tide…

    • Thanks! That’s a long old trip, even without breaking down – where are you off to? Enjoy the southern sea, it’ll be like bath water to you! x

      • Just going to collect my daughter but if I get a chance I will swim in Tooting Bec Lido and I have been promised lots of cakes if I do! Had a beautiful 30 minute swim in the sea here this morning (West coast of Scotland) – it is still 8 degrees but wonderful and fresh.

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