Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Low Tide 03:59 (0.60m)
High Tide 10:31 (2.40m)
Low Tide 16:19 (0.80m)
High Tide 22:34 (2.40m
Sea temperature: 11.7

Sea conditions: deep and calm, a bit murky
Weather: cloudy, cooler with the sun trying to break through
Joined by: The Usual Suspects (full team)
Topics of conversation:
We hadn't all been together for a while so there was catching up to do. Although I'd been in London last week and not swum at all I'd had Andrew Fusek Peters's book Dip: Wild Swims from the Borderlands with me and had dipped vicariously as I read the monthly chapters, finding myself floating in unknown waters of the west. The book had me by the heart from the first page and it became clear, as I made my way through his year, that the author is a kindred spirit. So much resonated with me, his sense of  a profound connection with nature upon submerging oneself and the urge and compulsion to swim outdoors rather than in a chlorinated pool in particular. His daughter's photographs of his swims, along with those he's taken of the local inhabitants of riverbanks and lakesides all add to the accessibility of his story, although the Kindle probably doesn't do them justice. I haven't swum in rivers much since I was kid and the book also served to remind me how very different and deliciously terrifying it is. I have very clear memories of swimming in rivers and lakes in the grounds of a stately pile in North Suffolk with friends and being totally relaxed and carefree till that moment when we all suddenly realised we couldn't see the bottom and the reeds below the surface were at least 6 ft long. As I travelled home with my river swimming memories refreshed I became so much more aware of the seductive silvery veins of water that criss-cross the straight route I so often take through East Anglia, noting clear water and nettle free banks for weekend adventures with my towel. My first plan is to start exploring the River Deben in June, if it's good enough for shellfish to thrive in it's good enough for me.
The sea was welcoming today though, as if to say "don't be unfaithful, I'm always here for you", but the draw of freshwater is strong in me now. The sea had warmed to a very delightful 11.7 and the tide was just right, allowing us to get up to our necks quickly and then levelling out; perfect for swimming and walking against the current.

The others encountered a photo shoot on the way down to the beach and there was much speculation about what it was all about, was she famous, was it a model showing a collection? etc. but as she only seemed to change once, in full view but the boys missed it, we decided it must be an actress. The Pirate said she looked familiar, but then that didn't mean much, everyone pretty and blond looked famous to him. The Poet told us about his son's classmate, Lily Cole, earning millions modelling during her time at school and everyone agreed she was somewhat more than a model these days, having such a successful cultural career. She also supports World Land Trust Indian Elephant Corridor appeal, so she's got to be OK. 

The LE and TBC were off on a practice walk today, I hope they made it home safely and without blisters...

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