Sunday, 5 February 2012

Sensational swimming

At Blackpool Sands, when the sea is calm, it drops away and into the oblivion of the horizon with an infinitesimal beauty. We arrived on a very cold, still, day. As we crunched down the beach and into the water, the shingle echoed and swirled. There is a big shelf and in we plunged, suddenly aware of the depth. We swam towards the southern side of the beach, past a hidden cove, and along a grey, smooth flank of rock. Looking up we could see grand houses at the top of the cliff, and a path leading down, which seemed to end in the rocks above us. We climbed up to have a look and found two hidden tidal pools. There was a tiny rectangular one, which looked like a paddling pool, and a much bigger one, where most of the wall had fallen away. It had metal bars in the wall, including one at the top, where lots of old rope had become entangled. In its heyday it must have been spectacular; you could sit in it high above the sea and look all the way down the coast to Start Point. Thanks to Geoffrey Harcombe for the rock-exploring pictures.

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