Friday, 15 August 2014

High Tide 02:20 (2.50m)
Low Tide 08:11 (0.70m)
High Tide 14:26 (2.80m)
Low Tide 20:52 (0.40m)
Sea temperature: not taken
Sea conditions: very calm, low tide 
Weather: Sunny, light breeze
Joined by: Mertz and Abs
I haven't swum with the usual group much lately, but there has been a great deal of getting wet; sea water, fresh water and rain, lots of rain between the sunshine. This week we've been on holiday, with friends from the Middle East staying. They've been joining us on the beach and most days we've had at least 3 swims. Late starts have been followed by relaxed mornings at the hut with coffee, breakfast and sandcastles. The Drapers have been around too, so it's been a social time of food and drink and sun. We're back to work next week, so when our friends left this morning, and Abs had been for her shower (she's staying at the campsite again this year), we decided to make the most of the weather, which we thought was going to be glorious, and loaded the dogs into the car to try other places to swim. 
The Deben
The stretch of the River Deben we chose turned out to be too silty so we went on a long and very wet walk, during which we sheltered in a beautiful church at the end of a lane in deepest Suffolk whilst the rain came down like stair rods. Mertz was so wet (he doesn't do waterproofs) that he had to take his shirt off and wring it out and the dogs were drenched.

Twice we attempted to set off again, but each time we returned to the shelter of the church, wetter with each visit. Finally it cleared and the sun eventually came out and there was a stiff, warm breeze so by the time we got back to the car we'd almost dried and felt we deserved a good lunch at The Ramsholt Arms, on The Architect's recommendation. They have a dog friendly bar and the Luna and Willow took to a family beside us on the other side of an unused fireplace. When the dogs eventually settled down it was in the fireplace itself, posing like statues. Someone actually came over to check they were real. 
Another walk in the afternoon deeper into the countryside and on a pilgrimage to a spot I'd been recommended by The Shaman for peaceful and private swimming. It was very hard to access due to the recent rains, which caused some flooding and there were 2 huge oak trees that had recently fallen across the path but I was not going to be deterred. It was idyllic and I'm going to return once a month over the next few months to observe the changes in the surroundings. Something I've discussed with DK is the way in which the sea does not have the same seasonality as his old haunt, the Highgate/Hampstead ponds, this spot has the same aspect, overhanging trees, banks and plants in the water. I feel a photo diary addition to the blog coming on.

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