Mill Bay Cove is quite sheltered today but the sun has for the moment slipped in behind some cloud and the air is freezing and catches at the back of my throat after my run down from Brownstone and Froward Point. Maybe I should abandon a swim. No, it’ll be just fine in the water. I slip my shoes and socks off so I can cross the unusually full stream. The water bites at my toes. This really is a rubbish idea.
The water does not look too appealing either it is full of scrunched up seaweed. How many more excuses can I come up with?
‘It’ll be fine, it’ll be fine, it’ll be fine’; the mantra cycling inside my head begins to take on the rhythmic quality of something from the Rev. Awdry stories, I think it was Gordon ‘I know I can, I know I can’. The water is above my knees ‘it’ll be fine’. It reaches my bum ‘it’ll be fine’ (with a slight falsetto if that is possible for a voice inside your head). A wave slops around my diaphragm ‘it’s not fine!’. But I’m wet now and set off towards the lobster pot float at the entrance to the cove, every breath coming as a short puff that shoots up a spray of water in front of my face.
Calm, be calm.
It’s not working and I am still gasping short sharp breaths as I round the float, I’m sure it was orange once but now it has an all over growth of green weed, ‘I’m sure it was orange, I’m sure it was orange’, it makes a change anyway.
Then for a reason beyond explanation, given that my toes and fingers are burning with cold, I decide it would be a good idea to go and look in the cave. It has a tall slim entrance and I can see a little way back but the tide is too high to go exploring today.
Back on the beach and drying off I have a severe case of the shivers and I’m glad of the warmth of the sunshine now the clouds have drifted off. Looking about the beach is covered with rubbish, it always is, but this is bad. The combination of a narrow cove and then the valley behind must let the breeze blow in so that it pushes rubbish up the beach and there it stays. I stuff a pink croc, a couple of drinks cans, some fishing line and a few interesting bits of driftwood into my small bag. It is all uphill from here to the car park so that and this little load should warm me up.