On a proper low tide it is possible to walk along the foreshore from Short Sands via Long Sands right through to Scabbacombe. However, time and tide and the state of the sea have to be just so or you can only make it around the headland to Scabbacombe with extreme difficulty and a paddle. Today I won’t be able to make the distance so it is there and back again keeping an eye out for useful flotsam and jetsam or at least some firewood. There is sadly almost nothing of interest and surprisingly little rubbish.
The water at the Mansands end of Short Sands is much clearer than at the far end, that would be right, it’s heading on to low tide so the current is headed south taking the sand with it. This end of the beach is also sheltered and in the sunshine. In summer the cliffs and slopes are a patchwork of flowers: narrow-leaf everlasting peas, mullein, cornflowers, sea pinks and others I do not know, but today they are shades of only grey and green with brown dried stems, it is not summer yet.
The sea is ‘frisky’ and throws in the occasional larger wave just for fun, but the water is also bitterly chill, more so than the last couple of days. It maybe that the sea is making one last grab for winter, the first or second week in February is when the sea temperature here reaches its annual minimum and usually that is 5-6C, but 8-10C has been more the average the last couple of weeks.
I swim out just far enough to see down the coast to Scabbacombe Head and that is quite enough. In summer Cod Rock is a good place to swim to. About 400m off shore it stands straight up from the seabed with deep water all around. The sea may well be 10C but the water needs to be 5deg.C warmer before I’ll start thinking about swimming out to Cod Rock again. Roll on summer.