From the coast path high up on the cliff the waves can be seen barely lapping at the white beach pebbles, which is quite a contrast to Seacombe just a half mile away and where we swam just 20 minutes ago. Looking down from the path the descent looks simple enough along a lazy, shallow zig-zag path. The difficulty is that the bottom part of the slope has moved again and is now a bank of wet, squelchy mud.
The pebbles crunch under my boots. Ironically, despite the name, there is no sand here unlike the beaches in either direction along the coast. The rocks piles along the back beach also collect flotsam and jetsam from the waves but aside from the inevitable plastic bottles and a few broken pallets there is nothing of interest. I have a bag to fill with rubbish after I’ve had a swim.
The water is far clearer here than it was at either Hipples or Seacombe Sands no doubt because it is more sheltered and there is altogether less sand to be stirred up. The bottom initially shelves steeply but then levels off and from past experience is a patchwork of boulders and pebbles, sand or kelp festooned rocks. However after a quick dive down and a ferocious burst of ice-cream head the sea bed can keep itself to itself today.
The late afternoon sunshine continues to play far out on the sea like beams of a searchlight making the sea burn with golden incandescence where the light touches against a backdrop that counters with ever increasing darkness.
Having been later into the water than J or A they are now dried and dressed again whilst I have developed a reluctance to leave the water. Having set out with great promise in January to swim at 100 different places this is merely number 81 and with only 3 days left in 2016 I really do not think there is any chance of making 82 through to 100. Hence the reluctance but there really is no other choice but to crunch back up the beach one last time.
My 100 Swims South-West Google map.