Cornish Surf

From the campsite high on the hill yet a mile distant from Towan Beach we can hear the endless rumble of surf driven by the warm, easterly breeze.  The sound fades and rises again on the walk down the hill and by the creek behind the hill there is no breeze and the sound is carried high over our heads so instead all we can hear is the swish and plop of the countless grey mullet that are feeding over high tide on the unwary creatures that have come to the surface of the mud in response to the encroaching water.

The beach is a wide expanse of golden sand, the sky is deep blue in the early evening sunshine and the water is clear aqua-green except where it erupts in white foam in the short, sharp surf.  Each crashing wave scoops away at the sand so that one moment we are knee deep in foam the next waist deep in the battering waves.  This is the best sea I think I have seen all year.

It proves surprisingly hard to get beyond the surf.  The waves suddenly increase in height lifting us up and throwing us back towards the beach.  This explains why no-one else is swimming, but on the other hand we are not going to get swept out to sea.

And I’m back at the beach.

I’m going to try that again only with more determination this time, if I can just get out beyond the breakers.

The last wave threatens to throw me back to the beach again, it lifts me up and just begins to break as I tumble over the crest into the choppy but otherwise clear water.  As I rise up I can see the beach as I fall back all I can see is blue sky and swooping gulls.

Eventually though I have to ride back through the surf to be tumbled back onto the sand only hoping there will be more of the same as the week goes on.

Before we leave however I notice right by the footpath 2 prominent ‘frost fingers’ in the compacted material of the little cliff, signs that this area was once subjected to tundra conditions when swimming would have been far more challenging.


My 100 Swims South-West Google map.


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