Saturday, July 07, 2012

Sea in the Rain

""Bring me sunshine" I wrote at the end of my last post - and to my surprise, the sunshine appeared.  Wednesday and Thursday were glorious, proper Tenby days and we went on a boat trip to sea some seals and then on another trip to Caldey Island and we did proper Tenbyish things such as swimming in the sea and it was all wonderful.

Yesterday we knew that the rain was forecast to return in the afternoon, but having had some good weather we didn't mind so much.  So in the morning we wandered round Tenby, revisiting our favourite places, and then in the afternoon Olli and I were determined to swim in the sea, rain or no rain.

"Mum," he said earlier in the week, "Why did you bring me up to enjoy swimming in freezing cold sea?"

I had no explanation, except that I love it.  So down we went to the beach.

The tide was far out and the sea was almost flat calm.  It began to drizzle slightly as we walked towards the sea.

The previous day, a huge number of moon jellyfish had appeared in the sea.  They are round and white, rather pretty, and vary in size from an inch or so to about six inches.  They don't sting people but it can be a bit unnerving to be jellyfished all over, as Olli had discovered the previous day.

Now there were dozens of them stranded on the beach and because I can't see very well, even with my prescription goggles, I kept treading on them with a rather unpleasant "pop - - squish".  I do appreciate that this was worse for the jellyfish than it was for me but it was a very strange feeling.

Into the sea we went and we were the only people on the whole of North Beach - we could see right to the harbour.  I wouldn't want to swim in an unknown place when we were the only ones in the sea, just in case there were hidden currents - - but North Beach is my "home patch", I have swum in it for years and years and if you're careful and don't do anything daft it's a really safe place to swim.

It's a Blue Flag beach (which means the water is really clean) and has a delightful view of the harbour to one side, the cliffs to the other.

The rain got heavier and heavier, but we didn't care, and stayed in, swimming and floating and looking at the view and the passing jellyfish until we began to get cold and thought we really should come out.

Olli is much thinner than I am so I knew he'd need to hurry up and get warm - - and also, let's face it, he's twenty-two and I'm fifty-five and he could climb the hundred and thirty-three steps rather faster than I could. (We'd usually go up the zig-zag cliff path, which is in a beautiful setting in a kind of near-vertical forest, but it would have been too slippery.)

So on he went ahead.  I dawdled along the beach in the heavy rain in my swimsuit and goggles with a very wet towel round me, and I thought well, I can't get ANY WETTER so I can take my time.  I found an interesting piece of driftwood, which I brought home, and I found a very strange sea creature which I'm still trying to identify - a kind of sea anemone is my best guess.

I was the only person on the beach, and it was tipping down, and I was meandering along, doing my best not to squish the jellyfish, and I was as happy as could be.

As I came up the steps and approached Park Hotel, I thought I'd like to swim some more, in their delightful open-air pool.

Steam was coming off the pool, in the rain.  Olli was already in the water.  My mother had been swimming and was just getting out.  Clearly, whatever it is that makes me love this kind of thing so much, it has travelled down the generations.


Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

I do not swim well at all and I do not like cold weather, but I do enjoy reading your posts on both topics.

11:56 pm  

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