Sunday, 29 December 2013

Low Tide 00:52 (1.00m)
High Tide 07:13 (2.30m)
Low Tide 13:27 (0.80m)
High Tide 20:01 (2.40m)
Sea temperature: 5.9
Sea conditions: perfect
Weather: heavy frost, frozen dunes
Joined by: The Poet, TBC and The LE
Topics of conversation:
The temperature - both of the air and the sea. There has been a sudden drop, causing a beautiful thick frost, which painted a veneer of beauty over the mud coated marshes. It's not till the thick swathe of brown is dusted white that you realise how overpowering it is and how much the surge has darkened the landscape for the last couple of weeks. Arguably the colours this time of year are always pretty dismal, but we all agreed that this year the combination of the warm weather and the flood has made us feel bogged down. Today there was a sign of the crispness I love, proper cold, the water temperature dropping a degree overnight, although still not down to the usual 4 degrees. Getting in when it's calm and cold is one of the best combinations, allowing the water to dictate how quickly you get cold works for me and as the tide was further in than we expected it was a gentle baptism this morning. When the water is shallow and you have to wade in it can be pretty torturous. When DK used to swim in the ponds he would occasionally have to go through ice, but always the water is at the same level when it's not tidal, this must be a blessing.
Frozen footprints


This was Jagger's first frost and he'd been so excited that he'd forgotten all about breakfast, we speculated about how he will respond to the snow. That should be worth a bit of video.

Congratulations are in order, The Poet and Sara's daughter announced her engagement over Christmas and they are in full celebratory mood, even though the son-in-law-to-be is still up in Scotland, from whence he hails. We asked if he'd asked The Poet's permission, which he hadn't, but those of us who've met the son-in-law-to-be agreed that he's such a great guy that he's forgiven the social niceties of another generation. Being a Scot he's never phased by our cold water swimming and occasionally joins us after a quick 20 mile run before breakfast, so he fits right in.
Football - as Norwich had been playing Man U yesterday and DK's son is an avid Man U fan and Mertz had been at the game there was lots of chat that I didn't understand or care for. He'd been with the vicar, who kindly gave him a spare ticket and all his friends and family were also at the match but, as I understand it, you have to sit in the specific seats and he'd not been able to join the others and so had been on best behaviour. He'd managed not to swear till the very last minute, but as they'd lost he'd finally disgraced himself. He'd been out all day and as a result I'd been able to get stuck into my book and my Film Club partner and I had been down to the hut in the afternoon to watch the sun set. She's recovering well from surgery and feels the cold as a result of not being 100% but she wanted to stay outside for as long as possible so I'd wrapped her in a blanket and leant her a hat. She was concerned that she would look like an elderly relative, who been wheeled out into the fresh air but I thought she looked rather stylish. Her dog was delighted to be able to hunt in the dunes with Luna and Willow, bringing her 2 rabbits during the course of the afternoon.
Having missed the Christmas swim, being away, I was grateful that The LE had sent photos to show me the crowd going in, it looked like a great morning here, as it was in Norfolk. I'd hoped I'd be able to swim at Winterton, where we walked on Christmas morning, but a large number of baby seals had been washed down during the storm, so we had to keep away. The parents were keeping guard in the shallows and we'd missed the signs explaining the pups were sheltering on the dunes, but the dogs told us. They were terrified of them and ran away with their tails between their legs before we'd spotted them hiding in the marram grass. I can't think of a more endearing looking creature than a seal pup, they just stared up at us with those huge eyes and brought a lump to my throat, even though they seemed fine. This guy has taken a couple of great shots there: Andrew Stawarz
My new hand warmers didn't get warm, at least they didn't whilst I was on the beach or walking home, but by the time I'd meditated, had my porridge and shower and Mertz was up they'd heated my gloves up nicely in the coat pocket. We've just been for another walk on the heath and they are still toasty, so next time I must activate them before I leave in the morning. They were a Christmas present and are disposable - which is convenient, but not very ecologically sound so I'll use them sparingly.

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