High water was at 7:15, and we met at 8am (matchsticks in eyes) at Aveton Gifford, to drift, float and swim down the Avon estuary on the outgoing tide. Being pulled down the river, we felt intensely drawn into its world. We passed herons, egrets, cormorants and a nest of sleeping swans. Underwater I saw oyster beds, white cockle shells, and swathes of muddy kelp clinging to the banks. Around us the trees were in electric green bud, and fields of bluebells spread down to the water. Towards the end, the current sped up and it was an exhilarating ride - including being swirled in eddies - down to our final destination, the beach at Bantham.