Tuesday, 10 April 2012
The seal of Bell Rock
April is anarchic. Hailstones rattled down on the car as we drove towards Maidencombe. But on arrival, the sun came out and the sea spread out before us like a huge swathe of ivy-green velvet. We swam south along the coastline, marvelling at the huge red boulders tumbled at the bottom of the cliffs like piles of overgrown bricks. We passed Shackley Bench - a vast slab of rock sticking out at a right angle from the cliff and clustered with seagulls - and swam on towards the Bell - a pointy island topped with a green crew-cut. It was then that I heard the cry "there's a seal"! Not again. I made a beeline for the nearest rock, and sat there, with various other members of the party, trying to spot our blubbery friend. He popped up and down several times. Soon we realised we couldn't sit on the rock all day, and would have to be brave. We got back in, and continued towards the Bell, intending to swim through its "Eye of the Needle". Only one problem - as soon as we got there, Mr Seal popped up again. We scarpered pronto. He then swam away - and we swam back....and through the arch. It was spectacular. Mr Seal accompanied us all the way back to the beach.