One woman's wild swimming adventures in the west country

Biting Beesands

Winter Seas

Heaps of tanned pebbles add percussion to our footsteps as we walk to the sea which is gin clear, dead calm and tinted palest turqoise. Babette’s boys are already frolicking like seals. I wade in and feel the nip as the water creeps up my body. The seabed is steeply shelving and I swim straight away, the back of my neck contracting and shortening my stroke.Beesands

Beesands is a bleak and haunted place with a widescreen horizon, like the setting for a seaside Spaghetti Western. We laugh openly as Babette’s non-outdoor-swimming friends walk in slow motion to their icy nemesis as though to a gun-fight, bodies shrinking and faces contorting with the chill.Queenie's Fly

Swimming butterfly, the top of my head is knifed with cold. I surface with a star-burst acid-high.Palest Turquoise

The Gang


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4 thoughts on “Biting Beesands

  1. Still in togs – impressive.

    • Yep! Trying to keep going, I did regular dips last year, but swam with a suit most of the time. We reckon the sea is around 9-10 degrees, but the rivers are much colder…not down to your levels though.

  2. The water was 9.3C at Froward Point last Wednesday (and the air was a balmy 6C), and 10.8C at Saltern Cove last Monday. But the water was nothing like as clear as you had today. Great pictures.

    • Thanks Chris, it’s certainly variable in the sea – one of the girls said it was 11 ish yesterday in Torquay. The currents sweep around where we were today and I guess that’s another reason for such clear water.

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