Monday, 28 September 2015

Ooh er Reverend

I've always been fascinated by the Parson and Clerk rocks at the northern end of Teignmouth beach.  The name, their position, the arch which cries 'swim through me' and the mystery of what is on the other side, all conspire to draw me towards them.  So it was unfortunate that the day we wanted to swim to them (and through them) there were Easterly winds, meaning the sea was choppy and brown.   Still, I was determined to give it a go, and the lovely Martin came too.  Although the sea looked a little daunting from the shore, in fact once we were in, it felt fine, it was just incessantly bouncy with waves coming at us constantly. We ploughed on and eventually reached the gap through the Parson, where we were swirled around like clothes in a washing machine.   It was exhilarating, though I am looking forward to going back on a day when there is flat calm and crystal clear sea.  Here's a short video.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Birthday luck

Birthday tradition dictates that I MUST swim around Burgh Island if at all possible, but it's always a toss-up as to whether it happens.  In past years we've had driving rain and huge swells, but this year, well, we  lucked out.  The sea was flat calm and we pootled around the island, clockwise, which is controversial but my favourite way of doing it.  As we approached the chasm at the back, the cormorants lined up to salute us.  There was a bit of scrambling towards the end of the gulley, but then it was out and through and into the most diverting maze of channels and slowly swirling seaweed.  Towards the end we saw carpets of snakelocks anemones covering the rocks, almost like pink moss.  I have never seen them in such profusion. Back on the beach we warmed up in HOT sun, so welcome after a lot of dreary weather, and ate oodles of cake.   Perfect.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Where has the summer gone?

Near Start Point
North Teign
Well, I know where it's gone, I've been busy swimming, and working on a new book of wild swimming walks with my pal Matt Newbury, assisted by all our amazing Devon swimming friends.  It's been an uphill task at times, as the weather has not exactly been helpful.  Trying to find routes and look at ancient Dartmoor monuments in thick fog - in August - well, we had to give it up as a bad job in the end, but not before getting a dip in  (we're made of stern stuff).  At other times the sun shone and we had great times camping, getting burnt and finding new routes along the incredible Devon coastline.  Here are a few (unedited) photographic highlights which I think illustrate the vagaries of the Great British Weather. I hope to resume normal blogging service soon.
Woodcombe Sands

Red Lake
Home turf: the Dart