Monday, 22 June 2009

Enchanted cave

When you are in the water, you are somehow paused in an otherworldly time and place. Today, at Start Point, the sea was turquoise and we swam over gently waving jungles of weed to a cave that felt like the central atrium of a fairy castle. It was full of white polished pebbles, and clear blue water, with shafts of sunlight dropping through.

Monday, 15 June 2009

The Long March

You really have to want to go to Red Lake. It is miles from anywhere, in the middle of Dartmoor. We tramped over mire, marsh and ancient barrows to reach it. There are actually three lakes. We swam in the biggest first. The water was very soft and dark and peaty. Two of us, keen to christen all three, then went into the others; the smallest was very warm and surrounded by reeds and bog cotton. We felt enclosed and safe.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Catch of the day

It's always a bonus when you go out and come home with something delicious. My brother James and I were snorkelling off the coast near Kingsbridge, and enjoying swimming around the underwater forests of weed in rainbow colours, when I spotted a large spider crab sitting on a ledge. James dove down and grabbed it, and we took it home to eat. It weighed two pounds - about a kilo. We ate it with home-made mayonnaise and salad.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Adder encounter

Today we shared our swimming pool with an adder. We were cooling off in the Dart when we saw a snake swimming across our path a few metres ahead. It was about two feet long, and unmistakeable with its graphic markings. It was heading determinedly for the bank, where I managed to take a picture of it slithering up and away. After this episode you can imagine we needed a little calming down, which we did by floating around and swimming underwater.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Liquid refreshment

The heatwave continues. I didn't have much spare time today but managed to make it down to the Dart for a quick dip. The water was delicious: cool and soothing. We wallowed happily, and then had fun diving off the rocks and swimming around underwater, looking at the world of cliffs, mountains and boulders hidden under the surface.