We have a tradition (well this is the fourth year we've done it so I think it counts as a tradition) of bringing in the New Year with a swim at Hope Cove. This year it was with a little extra panache, as Esther decided to bring along her wind up gramophone, so we entered the water to the strains of the Pomp and Circumstance March. The plan was to swim from Outer to Inner Hope, around the Shippen, a small headland (so called because of all the ships that have fallen foul of it). There were huge waves, murky water and lots of rocks, so most of us decided to turn back and swim in the calmer waters of Inner Hope. We watched and waited for the few who had decided to go ahead. We got a bit confused as it looked as though there was an extra swimmer coming in, but it turned out to be the Hope Cove Seal.