Monday, 21 November 2011

Off the rocks

In the summer we'd swum off the rocks at Kelly's Cove near Kingswear; it was like being in Greece. Perched on a rocky promontary, surrounded by flat turquoise sea, we plunged into beautifully clear water and dived through exciting underwater channels. (previous entry here) Returning in November it still, amazingly, felt like summer; the sun was out and sparkled on the sea. It was a different matter getting in though, as the swell was pushing vigorously against the rocks, foaming angrily. I felt a bit worried about having brought everyone to swim, as it was rather daunting. Nevertheless, protected by boots and gloves and in some cases wetsuits, we bravely got in. We went in one by one, sitting on the rocks and then pushing out with the swell. Once in, it felt wonderful. The sea was warm, and we were rocked up and down by the swell, bobbing around like corks. Despite the lively sea the visibility was good; I dove down and through a veil of blue I could see white rock below, and then further along, white sand. Delicious.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Outwitting the winds

There were Easterly winds today which scotched my plan to swim in Tor Bay. Looking at the map to find somewhere sheltered I hit upon Cellars Beach at the mouth of the Yealm at Noss Mayo. We walked up from the village in a circular direction around the headland, along Lord Revelstoke's Drive. This, as you might guess, was created by the local lord so he could drive his carriage around the coast and enjoy the grandiose views without the bother of walking. The drive follows the massive bulge of the headland, overlooking the uncompromising triangularity of the Mew Stone, and then turns into a path along the estuary where you find the beach. The water was calm, in contrast to the exposed coast around the corner, where huge waves were crashing. Although it didn't exactly feel warm, especially when we first got in, we soon got used to it, relishing the freshness. It is still surprisingly mild. We swam out towards the red buoys (just visible in the left of the picture) and then pottered along the rocky edges of the river mouth.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Spot the swimmer

On the top of Dartmoor we could see for miles; down to Plymouth Sound and over to Hay Tor. As we walked down from South Hessary Tor, we approached Crazy Well Pool from above. It was magnificent, eerie and still. At 10.2 degrees it was most certainly fresh, but I managed to swim across and back. A great way of restoring your factory settings...

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Boat to boat

The Yealm on a sunny day feels like the Mediterranean. Boats of all kinds, from gin palaces to painted rowing boats, bob in the water, swinging around with the tide and the wind. We swam from the mouth of the estuary up river with the incoming tide. The sun shone and it was generally glorious to be in the water on a November day. As we approached the boats we swam 'dot to dot', from one to the next, enjoying the push from the current. We finished at the Ship Inn; their chips come highly recommended.