We are not the only ones swimming. As I was loitering by myself a chap walked briskly by. Then off along the sea wall a bit later someone was dipping by the steps and now he’s walking back looking suitably ‘freshened’. However it looks like it will be just two of us swimming to Shag Rock.
High tide is the best time for swimming at Meadfoot Beach, going in straight off one of the slipways from the roadside promenade above. The road essentially leads from nowhere to nowhere so parking is free and easy and the traffic is light and slow moving as everyone is admiring the view, which is just about the only reason to come along this way. Apparently Ronnie Corbett used to keep one of the beach huts.
It is a near perfect evening for it with only a slight swell which slops across the slipway and bounces off the wall, but it can get rough here as the slightly folded railings bear witness. Sometimes the road is closed during storms to stop fun seekers driving along under the splash of the breaking waves unaware that some of the waves can deliver rocks as big as melons. However, this evening the sea is calm and clear and 9.9C. Rocks not included so to speak.
A few yards out from the slipway and we clear the shadows of the wall and trees. Billowing clouds drift lazily from right to left, one manoeuvers itself into position across the sun creating radiating rays of sunshine that fade upwards into blue sky or stab down to spotlight shore and sea in a dazzling light show. My poor camera is dazzled where water on the lens flares and smears the sunlight.
There is a fair tide running which becomes stronger the closer we get to Shag Rock. Possibly closer to the beach we were in the lee of Triangle Rock, but out here my angle of swim becomes increasingly crab like with my feet trailing towards Hope’s Nose. At Shag Rock itself we find it hard to make progress into the tide.
Pushing along the inside the rock, the side that faces the beach the rock does not seem so big, but it runs further out to sea than is apparent from the beach. It is indeed bigger close up.
The waves wash up the inclined slope, an extension of Triangle Rock geologically speaking, it is covered in the same fossil coral fauna. The rock divides the tide and in a few strokes we are no longer swimming head on into the flow but with the flow at our feet we are now swung around the outside of the rock at a blistering pace. Look no hands!
Mark makes a break for the beach, head down crawl, whilst I make stops to take more smeary photos, I have a blog to write.
Besides this is too nice an evening to rush.