Tuesday, 13 January 2015

An English rainforest

I have long been curious about the waterfalls at Colly Brook, so got in touch with Wildwomanswimming who knows that neck of the woods around Tavistock really well.  Naturally she offered to show me. The anticipation built as we approached, because we could hear the frantic rush of the brook before we saw it,.  When it finally came into view it was stunning. Ferns and luxuriant green mosses were everywhere, with white water foaming down a series of waterfalls, steps, holes, pools and jacuzzis.  There was an exhilarating sense of buzzing energy, of ozone filling the air.   We climbed up to the top to admire all the waterfalls, before coming back down and picking our pool, where we plunged and and got a pummelling in the deep area around the bottom of the waterfall.    A veritable natural spa.

Monday, 5 January 2015

What a difference a degree or two makes

The Dart is well known for being a flashy river - up and down like a tart's drawers as someone remarked.  When we arrived for our regular Sunday dip there was a tide mark of twigs on the grass, showing that the river must have been really high in the last day or so.   When we got in it felt distinctly warmer than our last swim a week before.  For a start, I didn't have the feeling of millions of tiny daggers pricking my legs as I took the plunge, which I've had the last couple of times we've swam.  It turned out to be nearly three  degrees warmer - 7.7 - which made a big difference.

Into the Juliet Cave

It was grey and wet, a not very inspiring day for a swim, but Anne had suggested a dip at Oddicombe, Torquay.  When we got there the sea was flat and the sun was trying to break through...though it was still drizzling.  We changed under the shelter of the boarded-up cafe, and walked down to the water, where the shingle shelved sharply as we got in.  The sea was lovely, not too cold and we bobbed about for a bit before heading to the northern end of the beach to look at the old Gentlemen's Bathing Place and the Juliet Cave.  The latter is so-called because you can climb into an 'upstairs' which has a 'balcony' overlooking the sea below.  It was very dark inside but a great thrill to get in and look down, like Juliet, from above. I did a little video which you can see below.  I decided to walk back along the beach as I was finding it very difficult to swim as I was wearing a wetsuit, and on the way noticed the perfect little natural footbath - it even had indentations around it for 'seats'.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Hello 2015

For several years now we've been 'swimming in the New Year" at Hope Cove, and it just gets better and better (though it has to be said the weather hasn't improved over the years).  It's become a tradition, and has led to precious friendships, because we've all got to know each other so well, swimming together not just at Hope Cove but in many other places. This year, after watching the Morris Men, who, like us, always meet at 12 noon in the village, we braved the wind and the rain to swim from Inner Hope.  A lady who saw us getting changed was inspired to join in, and stripped off to her undies and took the plunge. The final total in the water was 21 swimmers, 2 dogs and 2 seals.