wildwomanswimming

One woman's wild swimming adventures in the west country

Archive for the tag “South West Coast Path”

The Dog Days Are Over

Limpets

Limpets

Honey and I arrived at Wembury and paid an extortionate £4.50 for the privilege of parking before wandering down to join Teri and Michele de la Mer who were staring intently at what appeared to be a nicely-coiled turd, but which turned out to be an adder; another had just vanished through a hole in the wall. The tardy arrival of spring had brought all of us out to bask in the sun.

Director

Director

We set up at the far end of the beach, about a hundred meters from the only other occupants, but were quickly approached by the  National Trust man who threw us off for daring to have a dog with us. Apparently there were some children due. I notice he didn’t throw the polluting traffic out of the car park, or close the lane in case any of them were run over, or spray Dettox around the rocks over which the sewage outfall discharges in wet weather.  Bearing in mind I pick up Honey’s mess, the sea temperature is still less than ten degrees, it’s term time and mid week, I can’t see any problem at all with Honey being there. We pay huge water bills because of the cost of cleaning our beaches, and yet we’re not allowed to use many of them with our dogs from May to October. I live in the country, I have dogs. I wouldn’t subject her to a hot day in high summer, but why can’t I go there at this time of year, or in the evenings? End of rant!

Criminal Canine

Anyway, we moved on up the coast path to a rocky gully where we sat and chatted and swam in pale turquoise water while Teri filmed with her Go-Pro in Slow-Mo. I only managed about ten minutes, but it was so beautiful with the ripples focusing sunlight over smooth, quartz-striped pebbles and rocks. Entranced by the water swirling and lapping around the limpets on the rock where we got in, I was shivering by the time I got out.  Apparently limpets wander across the rocks in very slow motion and try to lever each other off. They reminded me of little Daleks.

Michele Goes In

Michele Goes In

Beauty

Beauty

Hope at New Year

Bobbing Back

IMGP3918I’d thought I was dreaming when opening the curtains this morning to be confronted with a bright sky and no rain! New Year, New Weather? Honey and I drove in hope to Hope Cove. On the beach we changed to the wonderful retro sound of Esther’s wind-up gramophone music swirling, slowing and quickening with the wind and laughter.  At Outer Hope a buffeted Kestrel attempted to hover over the cliff. I’d decided against a wetsuit and was delighted to find that the rather frisky water, opaque with mashed weeds like toast crumbs in milky tea, actually felt warm as toast on my wind-whipped flesh. I dived in, and was swaddled. A series of hilariously tortured faces followed us. Boogie on the Beach

Pixie in the LumpsI struck out and either ducked under the foam or swooped up over the rollers. JJ and Hugo had set off fast, so Sue and I waited for Esther and Claire. We swam round together and watched as waves disintegrated on pointy rocks. The Pop Art sky set off the lumpy water to form a gallery of stunning seascapes.

As we approached the beach we began to struggle with the breaking waves, the undertow and the hidden rocks. It was too murky to see what was coming; underwater, dark strips of weed flashed past like space at Warp Speed in negative.

I felt warm till I stood wobbling in the shallows, at which point the water ran from my body leaving it exposed to the nasty gale. After a shivering change I could still feel the chill radiate from my body as we wandered to the Hope and Anchor. When you’re this frozen, layers of clothing act like a cool box.

Later, having warmed up beautifully, we walked the coast path to view JJ’s latest plan: Round Burgh Island and on to Thurlestone through the arch in one swim. It doesn’t look far from up there! Thank you for reading in 2012, and may your New Year be wet and wild with floods of sunshine.

IMGP3911

Woo Hoo!

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