Brollies at Bantham
It’s Kari’s idea to float down the the Avon (or Aune) estuary to Bantham carrying decorated umbrellas, partly for the spectacle, and partly to see whether we can! We slip into cool water just after high tide on a warm evening. Most of us are carrying umbrellas adorned with everything from fish and ribbons to christmas-tree decorations.
The water is still and deep aquamarine, and reflects the few puffs of cloud. As we swim out from the shadow of the boat house we are warmed by hazy sunlight. I carry my brolly in one hand and swim in side-stroke, swept along by the current like Mary Poppins. I hear laughter as the others stream water and beads from their brollies like rain in the sunshine. Honey follows, chasing flotillas of seaweed and pouncing as the mood takes her. She trails gory green sea lettuce from her mouth.
As I reach the remaining small square of sand I float face down, and watch empty shells and balls of seaweed scud by over the wrinkled sand. Wavelets hit from three directions pushing my body hither and thither, and moving the submarine flotsam in sympathy. My view is intermittently clouded by little sandstorms where opposing waves hit. I roll over and watch a couple of umbrellas drift round the point to the beach.