Winter Water at Spitchwick
Rachel, Honey and I meet for a late afternoon dip at Spitchwick, and are pleased to see another, bikini-clad wild swimmer whom we don’t know. We do know that the water has chilled, but nothing can prepare us for the shock of the winter-level temperature today. The autumn twigs and leaves are piled high on the riverbed, and you might think the soft duvet underfoot would help with the cold; you’d be wrong. It’s like lying naked on the steel floor of a commercial deep-freeze. Poor Rachel slips on a hidden rock and goes straight under, inhaling the chilled water and coughing for several minutes. Eventually we are able to pootle with staccato strokes through dark water in which golden leaves are suspended. Low sun adds dreamy magic.