Serpentine

It is high tide and the beach below the car park has been reduced to a narrow sandy strip.  We assume it is sandy as the remaining people are packed just about close enough to carpet the beach in towels and windbreaks.  Fortunately though we have walked from the campsite and it is just a little extra distance to walk over the headland and down to other part of the beach which is more thinly populated.

The easterly wind is still with us from yesterday and though Kennack Sands is more sheltered than Towan Beach was the surf is no less.  The water however is if anything even bluer and though not as stunningly sandy the rocks more than make up for it.  This beach is within the area known as ‘The Lizard’ and here the rocks are ancient remnants of the Earth’s mantle, the zone starting 70km below the surface, which were forced to the surface by continental collisions.  Geologically speaking this is something of a rarity and the mantle peridotite rock has been altered into richly coloured and much veined serpentine with a little ocean floor basalt caught up and thrown into the mix.  It is easy to see where the name serpentine comes from as great patches of rock surface are cracked, crazed and patterned like snake skin.

The waves here take more of a run up without quite as dramatic an excavation at the surf line and it is far easier to get into the calmer water.  It is clearer than ever it gets back in Torbay and swimming back and forth the ripples in the sand across the sea bed are quite clear even down to a depth of 20 feet, with here and there a dark rock breaking the monotony.  And it feels warm enough to stay in all day though it is now well past 6pm and it’s a fair hike back up the hill so it is time to go.

 

 

My 100 Swims South-West Google map.

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