Tuesday, 13 August 2013

High Tide03:11 (2.30m)
Low Tide08:55 (0.90m)
High Tide15:22 (2.50m)
Low Tide21:34 (0.70m)
Sea temperature: 17.2
Sea conditions: good
Weather: a very cool breeze, warmer in than out
Joined by: The Usual Suspects but not The Artist - see below
Topics of conversation:
The Artist had been jellyfished yesterday and was not with us through fear of further discomfort. It's true to say that the pesky critters hang about in the shallow water near to the shore, where it's safe and warm and sociable, which is exactly what The Artist sensibly does - hence her having been bothered by them more than the rest of us. Whilst Sara is usually protected by her various levels of wet suit, The Poet, DK and The Pirate always set out away from the shore pretty smartish and The LE, Vicars wife and I tend to motor up and down, just in our depth, where we are usually safe. In fact the only time I've been jellyfished was whilst I was hanging in the shallows chatting. If you are reading this Artist, we missed you! 
Made up verbs, such as jellyfished - We got round to talking about swaddling as a result of a friend's kids taking over my beach hut and turning it into a nursery, where they used turkish towels to swaddle imaginary babies in the hammock (I thought the towels were lost till I went to get into the hammock and had a bit of a shock). There was much debate about whether the mother swaddles the baby or the baby is reflexively swaddled and, as is often the case, by the time we'd finished discussing it the word began to sound ridiculous and reminded The Pirate of an inscription he'd seen from John 1:14 where the translation read "..the word was made flesh and tablernacled among us..." rather than "...dwelt among us...", there are other translations here: http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/John-1-14/
He began to come up with other uses for the verb to tabernacle, not all of which are repeatable. The LE remembered how sea otters wrap themselves up in seaweed like swaddling and The Poet told us about a terrifying experience off the South African coast when he suddenly found himself swimming through a large area of kelp, which was flowing with the current and how he'd struggled to get free, something we could all imagine and that The LE suggested would be on the mind of a brave soul whose daily swims will bring challenges of all sorts at the moment. Endurance Adventurer Sean Conway, who recently discovered the highs of cold water swimming is currently swimming the length of Britain and his progress can be followed here: http://www.swimmingbritain.co.uk
Sean says:

"The most popular question I get asked is:


After 116 days of trying to cycle around the planet as fast as I possibly could – which was by far the hardest thing I had ever done – I was hungry for a new challenge. I wanted to push the bar up. I wanted to challenge myself again. It’s my oxygen. I’ve realised I am good at being hungry, tired, wet and cold. At the same time my mate Dave Cornthwaite was swimming 1000 miles down the Missouri river. I also wanted to do something in Britain and at the time I was writing my Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle book. It was then I thought about swimming Britain but assumed it must of been done loads before considering it’s such an iconic route. I then found out that it had never been done before. No one has ever even attempted it. This made me really nervous so I asked my swimming friends about it. They too thought it must have been done and when they found out it hadn’t were very jealous that they hadn’t thought of it first. It was definitely doable. That’s when the spark was lit and a real excitement for the challenge started to glow.
Another HUGE part of choosing challenges is to do things that I never thought I could to. Before I decided to go for the record for round the world cycling I couldn’t do more than 30 miles without taking the train home. And this challenge is no different. I’m no swimmer. I can swim enough not to drown but my last proper swim was a mile across a lake when I was 12. Throughout my entire twenties I did a combined distance of 3 miles – and half of that was fetching wayward frisbees on Brighton beach. I am a firm believer of Thinking Big. If you think big, people take you more seriously and things tend to work out for the better. This said, Swimming Britain is the biggest thing I have ever conjured up in my wildly over imaginative brain and I am so glad I went through with it because it’s looking like it’s going to be one hell of an adventure."

You can sponsor him here: http://www.justgiving.com/SwimmingBritain

More meteoric star gazing chat - The Ellies and I had seen wonderful displays last night. It had been very clear and very active, which had probably been one of the reasons for the sudden drop in sea temperature and whilst I'd not been very organised and got a cricked neck The Ellies had found their new zero gravity sun loungers very useful at 2.30am. I'll have a look tonight again and steal my Mother's. We talked about the romance of lying in wait for them in the cold of the night and I recalled a night in Northern Scandinavia when the sled team lay on their backs in the middle of a frozen river making snow angels and calling out something that sounded like 'likke, likke, likke' on the recommendation of our sami host, who told us it would bring out the aurora borealis. There again he also told us to scare away bears with our bare bottoms, so it could have been that the aquavit made us gullible.
Double whammy

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