Thursday, 8 November 2012

Women at Mansands

As we walked to Mansands we wondered about the name.  Maybe something to do with the very muscular, virtually vertical hills which lead down to the shore, or perhaps the man-sized pebbles which clutter the beach.  Whatever, it was just us women swimming (with an all-male onshore support team).  It felt like a remote part of Scotland, especially with the croft-like cottage overlooking the beach. The sea was flat apart from surprisingly gentle rollers breaking; they looked much fiercer than they actually were.  We swam over to the Southern side of the beach where we found  caves, before swimming around the headland, through a rather choppy gully, where we got an enticing glimpse of the next deserted beach.  


Elwood Blues said...

Going south the next beach has no name, I call it Gull Sands because they are always there swooping down off the cliffs. (I've also heard it called Short Sands). It is a lovely beach, lots of rocks to swim around to the next little bay and some caves too. If you're up for it, swim out to cod rock at low tide. The beach is sand with lots of nice white pebbles.

To get to it walk from Mansands up behind the cottages, follow the middle path up through the bracken (it will be obvious when you get there) and at the top there are a couple of bits of wood nailed together as a stile over the fence then there is a sort of path down, quite safe, I go that way at least every couple of weeks.

If you go at low tide you can carry on walking along the shore right round to Long Sands and if you get it just right on a spring low tide you can then walk round to Scabbacombe Beach. If not you will have to tackle the path up the hill at the far end of Long Sands Beach and that is both very steep and also a bit unstable towards the very top after the recent weather.

I'm very envious of you because you could get your support team to walk the coast path to Scabbacombe from Mansands with your kit and you could very easily swim Mansands to Scabbacombe in one go, it's only just over a mile and 3 hours either side of low tide and the current is with you all the way. Perfect on a warm August or September day.

Sophie said...

What an interesting and informative post, thank you so much. Will definitely take a note of your idea/advice about swimming from Mansands to Scabbacombe in the summer - useful to know about the current too. Thank you!

Elwood Blues said...

The tide currents pretty much follow the pattern that 3 hours up to high tide and 3 hours after they go north. 3 hours either side of low tide they go south. I know that works from Dartmouth to Teignmouth. It is not quite what you'd expect, you'd think slack water would be at high and low tide not between.

A sailing almanac will give you more detail and speed of the current but there are localised places where it almost doesn't apply and others where the current is very quick.; Meadfoot to Hope's Nose, Durl Rock to Berry Head, Froward Point, basically where there are shallows between the land and an offshore island.

The effect is much less in Torbay where it feels like the currents go in and out.

St Marys Bay is however a law unto itself.

Sophie said...

Brilliant, knowledgeable and detailed information as always. Thank you so much