Pandemic Pondering #489

What lies beneath? From personal experience all sorts of bobbing paraphernalia that we somehow manage to lose during a dip. Even if a bobber notices immediately we never seem to be able to recover the missing item. We joke that there is a cave where the seal keeps all the human trinkets that he finds in the sea that is either lost or caught in the rising tide. Yesterday something caught the eye of a bobber in about 80 cms of water. Someones precious Apple Watch. No one else on the beach and no clue to the owner. We took it home and placed a message on a local lost and found site and a swimmers page.

Nothing happened all day but in the evening a man knocked on our door. He had been tracking his watch and had tried many houses before he got to us. Watch and man were reunited, seemingly very happily.

Pandemic Pondering #483

When does Bobbing become swimming? Probably when we stop chattering. At its least active bobbing is just about being submerged in the sea and chattering. Any bobbing session contains a variety of distances and topics covered by Bobbers. Last night 4 Bobbers bobbed away from our usual bay, just to the left of the iconic Tinside Lido, pictured above. It wasn’t a traditional Bob because the target activity was actually getting a fish and chip supper, but when we are this close to the water it would be rude not to, and there is nothing tastier than fish and chips after exercise.

The sea swimming portion alongside the Lido is in the process of being refurbished so it wasn’t most scenic location to bob but it was a lovely place to get an easy bob without the tricksy currents that are a feature of our usual location. The Fish and Chip Bob was in fact the second of the day.

Earlier,in our usual location, the nearby tidal pool was getting a wash and brush up. Making our swimming water a little murky further down the coast.

The empty pool was an almost exact colour match for the sails of a sailing school.

©Melinda Waugh

Very little wind and the tricksy currents mentioned earlier led to these novice seafarers being rescued moments later by their instructor in a motorised rib. Vivid green was also a feature of this lovely window on our walk away from the beach.

©Debs Bobber

Pandemic Pondering #475

Yesterday the hardware for our domestic WiFi was installed. Today at some point we should be back in the world of Broadband.

©Debs Bobber

The last three weeks have been frustrating. When we told our network at the old house that we had a moving date the company switched us off immediately. Installation at the new house has not been a smooth operation. Coupled with a very poor 3/4g signal at the new house we’ve been out of the loop. All news and entertainment was provided by a radio. We blagged our way into a friends house to watch the Euro 21 final on TV. Curry, football and a discussion about African Wax cloth was a great experience.

Emails and WhatsApp arrived in a bunch whenever we left home. It has been a great leveller, we are as out of touch with people a mile away as we are with friends and family all over the world. Face to distant face chat outdoors has been our most reliable form of contact.

©Debs Bobber

Yesterday more than 6 book group readers met in a garden to talk about a specific book. This is going to hurt by Adam Kay. ( mixed reviews) Then we shared our good reads of the past month.

All the lovely pictures in this blog were provided by Debs, a Bobber. Bobbing has probably kept us in the loop more reliably than anything else over the last few weeks. Three days a week, at least, regardless of the weather we all meet up at Tranquility Bay and swim and natter. Last night the bay reflected its name.

And there may have been underwater seal activity.

Is this a seals eye. ©Debs Bobber

We await activation!

Pandemic Pondering #469

©Debs Bobber

Screaming man rock. Not on our usual beach this evening. The tide was high and the wind was blowing in the wrong direction, so we moved to the more popular beach near the tidal pool for a safer swim.

©Debs Bobber

We were a split pack this evening with some Bobbers swimming an hour after the larger group set off. Lucky that they did because they caught sight of the seal swimming just behind the earlier group. Not realising such a special swim was occuring would have made the evening a whole lot more dull. Although, as usual, time spent with the Bobbers is far from dull even in the worst conditions.

©Debs Bobber
©Debs Bobber

Dogs were also enjoying a swim. Not ours of course because they get left at home during swimming.

The popular beach even has facilities.

Very useful for hanging Bobbers jumpers.

After a warming shower we returned for the evening dog walk just to keep them happy. Which it did, until the rain returned.

Pandemic Pondering #465

Bobbing with bubbles is not a regular piece of behaviour at all but this had not been a normal bobbing week. Even more unusually we managed to use a Winston Churchill quote in the after swim nattering session. Friday bobbing is the most regular session and happens at about 10:30 each Friday morning.

This was our first Friday swim since moving house. Apparently we need to hurry up because the water is lovely once you get in!

Our first Wednesday day swim after moving featured a pod of Dolphins. Friday featured Pol Roger Champagne!

Bobbers getting giddy before noon is definitely not normal. New house owners getting giddy before more unpacking is surprisingly effective. Although not in all corners of a room.

A tidy sofa is essential for a little post-bob, post Pol Roger siesta. It is almost certain that Winston Churchill would not have needed a siesta after drinking Pol Roger in the morning. It was his favourite champagne and he drank it with a traditional Full-English breakfast often. Thankfully we don’t have his responsibilities or the budget for such a lifestyle. But just once with the lovely Bobbers after a sparkling swim was just perfect. Our bobbing friend Helen provided the Champagne. She also gave us the chance to hear her sharing her voice in a graffiti- decorated disused grain store not far from our Bobbing Zone.

Follow the link below to hear her voice paired with great acoustics and gorgeous Street Art.

Jenny of Oldstones performed by Helen Bobber.

A remarkable day in the Tamar Valley.

Pandemic Pondering#454

Summer solstice, the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere has been rather a damp squib. ( A squib is a small firework, a damp one does not go off. Thus a damp squib of a day fails to live up to expectation.) The dawn swim occurred with a backdrop of gently changing greys and raindrops landing on our salty faces. The Bobbers, of course, were a brightly coloured pod of swimmers all there to be in the water at sunrise to support the three Bobbers who were in the water to swim a kilometre for a local charity. Dry land supporters were also there. Visible sunrise, or not, the elite Bobbers raised just over £800 for local charity Barefoot Project.

https://www.barefoot.org.uk/

The gap between sunrise and sunset continued to be a damp and grey day but a solstice is a solstice and Bobbers who could not make the early morning dip commited to swimming at sunset.

The sun turned up just in time to set, like a friend who makes it to an agreed meeting five minutes before everyone else has to leave. Not one to just slip in quietly the sun was spectacular.

Even blessing the Madonna with a large coffee cup with some rainbow bathing, what a difference 16 hours makes!

Eventually only two Bobbers made both a sunrise and sunset swim.

But it was a day well lived.

Pandemic Pondering #453

Solstice swim part one, we got up at 4am to swim at sunrise for the summer solstice. A second swim tonight will mark the end of the longest day.

The torch in a dry bag was the closest we got to seeing actual sunlight. The longest day crept in under the cover of rain and clouds, let’s hope sunset is a little more photogenic.

Pandemic Pondering #451

Recycle, repurpose, reuse

This reused headstone gave me all the excuse I needed to repurpose the same outing into another blog. The gravestone forms part of a beach footpath that is regularly damaged by winter storms and high tides. Another reason for recycling is that bobbing at Wembury is far more gentle than our usual locations and I could take the camera into the sea using my dry bag/float without worry of mishap.

St Werburghs Church from the sea.
The South West Coastal Path heading to Heybrook Bay from the sea.
Wembury Beach from the Sea

We met another Bobber this morning, she lives just round the corner from here but chooses to swim the rougher waters of Plymouth Sound because the company of other bobbers on a regular basis is an experience not to be missed.

Cornish Bobber, Local Bobber

Sea weed and sea water from the sea were also small excitements of the morning.

Back on dry land we found a coastal lily and a pretty piece of driftwood.

Then after a quick peek at the view from the car park…

Looking towards the Mewstone.

… we set off to visit some friends who are in the middle of a big building project. Having lived through the big rebuilding project that was @theoldmortuary a few years ago there is something nostalgic but not necessarily in a good way about seeing people trying to live their best life in an atmosphere of disruption and concrete dust. The thing that is great about visiting people in the middle of a big build is their expertise in making ‘ builders tea’ which is the perfect way to drink tea after a swim.

A quickly recycled blog for a Saturday. The original one will follow this, as these things do in a newest on top way. Have a great weekend.

Pandemic Pondering #449

Pondering one of the positives of a Pandemic. The past 18 months have been a tough trot for most humans but for the Bobbers and their guest bobbers a somewhat drenched Phoenix is rising from the unlikely ashes that is a small beach in a city.

Plymouth is known as the Atlantic City. The Bobbers were mostly unknown to each other a year ago. A tiny group of old friends swam together once last June and thought no more about it. Then in September as it became obvious that the Pandemic was a more permanent feature in our lives we did it again. The next stage is as random as a new variant emerging. The tiny group of friends were all dog owners and because we were in a pandemic and talking for longer with people we met on our dog walks, we inevitably started chatting about our swimming activity.

This was happening on either side of the River Tamar, the border between Devon and Cornwall. Talking with other dog walkers covers a wide variety of random subjects with strangers. Strangers who also liked the idea of swimming in our local patch of the Atlantic. Bobbing became a thing, a WhatsApp group was formed. Initially we didnt even know each others names. As dog walkers often do we only knew each other as Ralph’s mum, or dad, Stan’s mums or even the lady who borrows a neighbours dog. About 25 people have swum with the Bobbers now, there is a core membership but guest bobbers are a regular occurance. Dog ownership is not essential, talking to people you don’t know is helpful. We have swum several times a week right through the winter, we have shared life events together. Last night was the first Summertime Birthday Bob, a far less clothed or huddled event than the Wintertime Birthday Bobs.

And for once warm enough for people to pose as a group without freezing their bits off.

Happy Birthday Kim Bobber

Pandemic Pondering #447

Bobbing with guests. Yesterday was the warmest day so far in 2021. Three guest bobbers arrived for the morning dip. Two with the normal two legs but one with four legs and he bought his own body board.

Stan took to the sea very calmly. There was a lot of fussing to get his life jacket on but even though straps went in some curious places he was a confident man when standing on his board.

Not much serious swimming happened with Stan around. He was very eager to lick the salty faces of his fellow bobbers but beyond that he just took in the views and let the light wind ruffle his ears and whiskers.

Swimming with Stan and his board gave a lovely youthful glow to the face of his mum. We may all swim with a yellow float in future. In other bobbing news there was much activity on the bobbing whatsapp group about another potential new member…

Boris Johnson takes a dip at G7 over the weekend.