One woman's wild swimming adventures in the west country

Foaming Sharrah

Foam Art

Foam Art

Painfully cold water at Sharrah Pool today. The recent heavy rain has left natural foam flecks, marking the meandering flows through the eddies in Australian Aboriginal art. It’s a map of the river; unseen spirit currents materialised in ectoplasm.

I’m forced to stand for a while waist-deep in biting water, till I swim upstream. A man sat on the bank smiles and waves, I manage to gurn back. The others perch on elephant rock, past which the tongue of the cascade roars. We each have a go, swooping in ruffled bubbles before spinning out at the bottom.

Allan has a second dip at Black Rock, but it’s too cold for the rest of us. He shivers hard as he dresses.



Gollum on Elephant Rock

Gollum on Elephant Rock

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11 thoughts on “Foaming Sharrah

  1. Thank you for putting a “face” to the name Black Rock. I’ve always just called it the big flat rock!

  2. Hi Lynne Looks very different to the Sharrah I posted about yesterday at http://www.swimminghappyinmyskin.com !!!! Are the rock names your own or more widely known?

    Best wishes, Tony

    Sent from Dr Tony Golding-Cook’s iPad


    • Hi Tony, we just missed you then…we were surprised by how low the flow was after all that rain.
      The rocks were named by various people who swim there, elephant rock is the one pointing along the flow beside the flume that’s dropped really low in the water.
      Black Rock is the slab rock accessed from the glade around 100m up from Horseshoe. There are lots of black rocks around – the Lyd pool opposite Widgery and the deep waterfall pool in Colley Brook are two I know of!
      I’d love to know if they have other names, but haven’t heard any.

    • Kornelia on said:

      Hi, I am just so envious of your cold swimming escapades! I am a London swimmer and have come back from the one and only Ladies Pond in Hampstead Heath this morning which was unusually sunny, yet 3.5 degrees cold. No comparison to the wild waters out your end but still a good alternative when you can’t leave the metropolis.
      Happy dipping and keep posting!

      • Thanks Kornelia, glad you enjoy our swims – I’ve swum at the Hampstead Ladies’ Pond about a year ago, it was lovely but less frisky than our rivers! If you’re ever in Devon, do get in touch and we’ll show you some nice spots.

      • Kornelia on said:

        Hi Lynne, As it happens, us pond swimmers are planning a trip down to Devon in the summer, to visit outdoor pools but some wild waters would be just wonderful to get us hooked. Looking at around 6th – 10th July at the moment. I will be in touch if it all works out to get some tips!

      • Kornelia we have so many beautiful swims, do let us know!

  3. Golly you ARE brave. It must be sooooooo much colder than the sea. Well done xx

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