Swim 4 - Oct 29th 2015   2015


Back from Paris feeling smudged late Tuesday, so I went for a run before breakfast on Wednesday - but no swim. At 7am this morning Orla was sick, but I went out with my costume at half past 2. No wind. Weak sun.

It’s half term and on the beach there is a family making little balanced rock piles plus a couple lying at the top of the beach holding each other. I don’t like company. 

The tide is higher than I’d anticipated, and the blue lagoon is rough, so I decide to retreat to the round pool which is sheltered from wind and sea by a rock mass. It’s small but deep - I can’t touch the bottom. I bob about behind the rock wall, trying not to look towards the family or the couple - who acknowledge me not at all. As I bob about I look at the cliff that rises to the granite stack above me. In places the rock face is very flat and sheer, but in others it’s almost stepped in large blocks. I think I can climb it, so rather than hop back up the beach toward the romantic couple I decide to climb. I have the right shoes for it - the sock-shoes are perfect for this. So I climb - rather easily in fact - a way I have never gone before. Maybe the beach used to be lower in other years - so it would not have been possible to start the ascent. 

I am very happy with this - I prefer to climb than hop awkwardly back up the beach - it gives me a satisfying sense of a circle even though it’s a very small end loop. At a low tide I can make a loop by going onto the cot beach - but it has to be very low for this. I am aware of the winter storms and that I will have to find a time to swim out when there’s less swell. Maybe if I always hit a low tide it won’t matter, but big waves are worrying if you are swimming in rocky fortresses and I don’t want to get waves dumped on my head or have my feet scraped against a rock. But I can check tide tables for this. That’s 3 things to check: the weather, the tide times, and now the swell chart. Hmm. Or just nothing and go down and deal with it whatever it is. 

I still have not run down in the rain, or indeed needed to wear anything warmer than shorts and a T-shirt. . The autumn is being classically mellow. Wet leaves, wet grass, but not raw at all, and it’s very easy to get into the sea. Today the water didn’t even make me gasp.