wildwomanswimming

One woman's wild swimming adventures in the west country

Archive for the tag “Autumn”

Flaming Sharrah

She hasn't Even Been In Yet

She hasn’t Even Been In Yet

Another visit to the deep south west by Fiona and the Urban Fox Terrier, and also by Helen’s Mum Anna. We had promised a trip to Sharrah, and so that’s where we went. In another of those nature-based sense conflicts Holne woods is aflame and bespattered in a pointillist celebration of hot colours. Aish Tor rises like an over-proved loaf behind Wellsfoot, rusted with autumn bracken. The water, meanwhile, is chilling rapidly. Today it looks almost black.

Sharrah is icy and voluminous. We gasp and swim staccato to the rapids, which we descend in clouds of foam. Our newbie cold water swimmers do well to get in at all. 8ºc, but it somehow feels colder. Perhaps that’s the effect of fiery autumn woods raising our expectations. Anticipatory thermogenesis, one of JJ’s pet theories, certainly came into play today.

Into the Foam

Into the Foam

Whooosh!

Whooosh!

Whooshing

Whooshing

Pointillist Autumn

Pointillist Autumn

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Misty Magic

 

Jackie, Honey and I wander through dank woods and mist to Sharrah Pool. The deep water is slow and black through splatters of orange and yellow still clinging to the trees. The pool is less cold that we were expecting, and we swim gently upstream in water the colour of an old penny; its usual paisley pattern of foam is accented by fallen leaves. The rapids glow the colour of urine. All about is a blueish mist, heavy and veiled, through which the woods burn with autumn flames.

Salter’s Spirits

The air’s not that cold, but the water nips then burns like horseflies. It’s dead calm, and autumn colours mist the trees. Lazy bright leaves wend downstream in the copper-black water. As I swim my breath condenses and creeps along the surface like a spectral breeze. I float across the current and my body swirls around and down towards the distant cascade; its music surges like rainfall as I pass. Honey fossicks under the bank. Her cream fur silhouettes hanging tree roots like giant ribs so that she appears to have been swallowed by a fossilised whale.

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