Tuesday, 30 September 2014

My new toy

14.3 at Sharrah 
I have a new watch which takes the temperature of the water.  (As well as doing all manner of other things: it has a barometer, an altimeter and no doubt will take my inside leg measurement if necessary).   I am fascinated and am fast on my way to becoming a water temperature bore.  This weekend, at Sharrah Pool, the water was 14.3, and in the sea at Bigbury it was 17.9 - no doubt a reflection of our wonderfully warm and dry September. I am particularly looking forward to using the watch as the temperatures go down in the next few months!  I am going to start keeping a "Captain's log" - click on "Water temperatures" at the top right hand side of this page.....

17.9 at Bigbury

Monday, 29 September 2014

The dog's blog

Today my friend Catherine's black labrador Jessie became the first dog to swim around Burgh Island.  Quite historic I think you'll agree.   She started off by trying to herd us all together, and then realised she was on a hiding to nothing, and so kept as close to Catherine as she could.  She was incredibly fast - none of us could keep up - although she did keep getting out onto the rocks for rests.  She would then re-enter the water with a huge leap, making a massive splosh.  After watching her technique underwater  Kari observed that she looked like a 'prancing Icelandic pony'.   Dogs aside, it was the most beautiful swim, in perfect conditions. The sea was flat calm and warm - 17.9 degrees - with fairly good visibility, so we had the perfect pootling circumnavigation, chatting, exploring gullies and pools, watching the shiny brown kelp swaying underneath us, and watching cormorants and seagulls. 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Queenie's big swim

The SLSC contingent
My friend Queenie throws great parties, so when I heard she was 'throwing' a big swim I was excited.  The concept: a group of swimmers each swimming a section of the 22 miles of the Torbay coastline simultaneously, going all the way from Maidencombe in the north to St Mary's Bay in the south.  Why? No reason, other than it would be a great thing to do.  In true British style, the weather conspired against us, with howling Easterly gales meaning the usually placid waters of the Bay were rolling and rough...but in true British style the show went on.  Fiona and I did the section between Meadfoot and London Bridge - a natural arch.  We got a little bumped getting in but after that we bounced along quite happily, enjoying the feeling that our friends were all - at that very moment - doing the same thing.  It was all a great success - apart from the knickers in the car park incident - about which I will say no more. Afterwards, we all met up to share our adventures and increasingly tall tales about our various feats.  Thank you Queenie, you're a legend!
Passing Corbyn Head
Keeping the show on the road

Fiona at London Bridge

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Mushroom swimming

Penny buns and Chanterelles
Wood Blewitts
 Over the last week my walks to my Dartmoor swimming spots have been getting increasingly slow and meandering, as I keep getting diverted into thickets and under trees by the siren call of the mushrooms.  It seems to be a brilliant year.  Our hotter than average May, June and July, followed by a damper than normal August seems to have created the perfect conditions. In particular, I've found more Penny Buns (aka ceps and porcini) than ever before.  The Chanterelles are looking good, and thanks to Yaara's son Tom, we found the biggest haul of Wood Blewitts ever.  Each swim seems to come with a fungi bonus!