Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Swimming to the pontoon

Rachel, the boys and I set off through the bluebell-adorned woods along the River Yealm, to the mouth of the estuary at Cellars Beach.  The plan had been to swim there, but the strong south westerly winds were blowing straight in and it felt a bit too exposed.  On the walk out there we'd noticed a wooden fingerpost saying "Kilpatrick Steps" so decided to try swimming there.  We followed the path which indeed led to some pretty stone steps where several rowing boats were moored.  The steps made the perfect changing place.  We waded in, avoiding the moorings, and swam towards the pontoon where a man and a woman were aboard a large red yacht, getting ready to sail down to Plymouth.  We exchanged the usual friendly pleasantries on the lines of  'is the water cold?/you must be mad!", before swimming back to shore. 

Sunday, 12 May 2013

West Dart

Anna and I set off down the path by the gurgling stream which leads down to Week Ford, picking our way across boulders and trying not to get our feet wet in the boggy bits.  This bit of the Moor always makes me think of scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream, with its small twisted oak trees encrusted with silver lichen and velvety green moss.  When we got to our swimming place the river was full, with a heavy current.  We waded in and swam upstream, enjoying the softness and the particularly silky quality of the water in this part of the West Dart.  The skies were overcast and everything felt soothingly faded and muted.   On our way back we found an inscribed pebble that someone had left nestling by the path.