Monday, 27 February 2012

Moody blues

Down near Prawle Point, we rounded a corner on the cliff path and were stopped in our tracks. A turquoise cove glowed before us, like a picture postcard of a scene on a Greek island. This is Elender Cove, tucked behind Gammon Head and so extremely sheltered, like a lagoon. As we approached the water from the clifftop the colour faded, but then once we were in it reappeared; we were immersed in blue. A kind of blue that stretches around you; an instant mood-enhancer, as was the salty freshness of the sea. We frolicked for quite some time.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Gentlemen bathers and nudist beaches

Today we swam from a Gentlemen's Bathing Place to a Naturist beach. Just how exciting can swimming get? We were at Oddicombe in Torquay. At the northern end of the beach is the area where the men used to swim in the days of segregated bathing. You can see the platform above and the staircase down to the water. Despite being a mostly female contingent we boldly swam off from the Gents' area, along the rocky coastline towards Petit Tor Point, where we found a spectacular cavern with extraordinary pink Dead Man's Fingers squished in among the crevices. We swam on, over a colony of starfish, until we got to Petit Tor Cove, Torquay's nudist beach. At this point, as they say, we made our excuses and left.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Brilliant Bugle

Might Spring be on the way? (I'm only asking - tentatively). As we walked along the coastpath the sun kissed our faces and we were actually quite hot by the time we arrived at Bugle Hole. It was a gift of a day for swimming there; there was hardly any wind so the water was calm and gleaming. At high tide there is a natural chain of swimming pools linked by snaking channels and gullies, which you can meander around and explore; there are caves too.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Sensational swimming

At Blackpool Sands, when the sea is calm, it drops away and into the oblivion of the horizon with an infinitesimal beauty. We arrived on a very cold, still, day. As we crunched down the beach and into the water, the shingle echoed and swirled. There is a big shelf and in we plunged, suddenly aware of the depth. We swam towards the southern side of the beach, past a hidden cove, and along a grey, smooth flank of rock. Looking up we could see grand houses at the top of the cliff, and a path leading down, which seemed to end in the rocks above us. We climbed up to have a look and found two hidden tidal pools. There was a tiny rectangular one, which looked like a paddling pool, and a much bigger one, where most of the wall had fallen away. It had metal bars in the wall, including one at the top, where lots of old rope had become entangled. In its heyday it must have been spectacular; you could sit in it high above the sea and look all the way down the coast to Start Point. Thanks to Geoffrey Harcombe for the rock-exploring pictures.