One woman's wild swimming adventures in the west country

Bouncing in Bugle Hole

We’re not sure exactly where this natural tidal pool is, but as we descend the cliff path Bugle Hole reveals itself below us. We scramble down and change on rocks like fossilised Cadbury’s Flakes. I squat on the edge of the pool and the sea surges up to meet me so that I’m simply incorporated from damp autumnal air into water.

The sea beyond us is churning and spraying in the gale, but we’re mostly protected by a rock wall that resembles the top of a portcullis. From time to time a big wave foams through a gap like saliva from the mouth of a crocodile contemplating a juicy swimmer. I float over to explore the top of a narrow cave which is also a blow hole in the right conditions, and am sucked backwards into the entrance, before being spat back out.

On the other side is a narrow gully connected to the sea, through which the swell is forced. It’s a topsy-turvy world where the landscape is hidden and revealed randomly, and where from bouncing in deep water you suddenly find yourself stranded atop a rock with the water surface three feet below. Honey is bemused.

I swim from the shelter of the Hole as the sun breaks through and emerge into a glittering, tottering sea.

YouTube video here (apologies for the dodgy quality in the middle, I was shooting into the sun)



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