One woman's wild swimming adventures in the west country


Honey and I squidge up to Sharrah just as the sun begins to make tentative appearances. It’s bright, juicy green everywhere after weeks of rain, and we’re walloped with the usual crescendo and energy surge as we cross the stile above the lower rapids. The pool is black and the currents are patterned with fine foam like paisley fabric.

Today I swim through water like iced black coffee, silver bubbles trailing from my hands and mouth. The upper cascade foams and sprays and I float face-down through ginger ale fizz. I have ice-cream neck, but it soon passes. I practise my strokes heading upstream, and feel the current pressing against my arms and body; I try to streamline myself but the water direction is too random. Floating on my back, I watch wisps of white wander across a slice of bright blue sky.


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