#45 theoldmortuary ponders

Todays blog was knocked off the front page by another story of bobbing. This is how tranquil the area was when we went for a dip last night. But what lies underneath?

A playful seal! Spearmint the seal joined the two distance swimmers at the furthest buoy and swam back with them to one of the other swimmers. They calmly warned her that they were not alone. Not trusting them at all she disbelieved them. Calm, was not, in truth, how any of them were feeling . An onlooker who was alerted by their excited chatter said she had never seen anyone swim back to the shore so fast. On arrival back in Tranquility bay Spearmint played around with two other bobbers before noticing that the others were getting out, she joined them in a rush for the beach and the video that follows was her being calm with a background soundtrack of excited chatter.

©Teresa

Teresa, the quick thinking onlooker who filmed this also had a video of Spearmint having her supper.

©Teresa
©Teresa

I think it is safe to say that the whole encounter was a lot more exciting for the humans, Miss Spearmint just takes the whole thing very much in her stride.

©Teresa

Soon after she returned to the sea the water if not the ‘ bobbers’ was entirely tranquil.

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 #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 #427

This over saturated sky is not benign. Todays ‘ Bob’ was always a risky call, the weather is just dire currently. No one could have anticipated a hail storm in May. It was the weirdest sensation to swim with piercing needles of ice bombarding our out of water flesh and continuing to penetrate well below the waterline. Not an experience we need to repeat any time soon. In other bobbing news many of us are doing two swims on Solstice Day 21st June. 4:30 am and 9:30pm. Maybe a snooze sometime between the two!

This was how the weather looked as we got out, calm, friendly, welcoming. Do not believe these visual lies …

In other news I have read a book in less than 24 hours.

This is a page turner!

Beyond that a day of domestic admin and a little socialising. A friend also made this cool video of the art exhibition we set up last week. The link is below

Tuesday is my day for visiting as a regular punter. I guess we already know what the blog will be about!

Pandemic Pondering #422

About this time of year @theoldmortuary are sometimes to be found at the Chelsea Flower Show. Picking up gardening inspiration for our own patch of horticulture. Our next project is going to be a courtyard garden and with the Flower Show cancelled for a second year we will have to go it alone using photos we’ve take in previous years. The Islamic garden above is quite beyond our talents but we could get close to something similar to the one below.

You might think that gardening and sea swimming have very little in common, and you would be right, but in our post swim natterings the subjects we cover are wide ranging. Some would make a nun blush, and quite possibly do, as we swim and natter just below the walls of a convent. Gardens though do feature a bit in our conversations because that has been the only place we have been able to meet friends and family. Bobbing has become a bit of a social club and we are looking forward to gathering together, with our clothes on, in each others gardens during the summer. The picture below popped up on our bobbing WhatsApp page, most bobbers thought it was a garden designed to be open to the public. But it is actually a Bobbers Garden!

© Kim and Andy Bobber

Also featured this week, in the the Bobbers Whatsapp group photos, is Flossy, a guinea pig, who has recovered from a recent illness, which kept her mum away from bobbing for a while.

©Helen Bobber

Bringing the subject back closer to actual bobbing, the picture below is a Bobbers portrait of a fellow bobber with her daughter.

©Marianne Bobber

And finally given the unusual location of our beach a warship and an assault vessel.

©Andy Bobber

Have a fabulous Thursday !

Pandemic Pondering #327

It was a ‘Tiara Bob’ today. In other words a Bobbers Birthday.

Also a two bob day.

Our informal ‘Bobbing’ group only has one rule. There always needs to be one non-swimmer for safety and photograhy.

Two bobs were called because Birthday Zooms were needed at the optimum tide . So we split into two groups, one for birthday zooming and one for optimum tide grabbing.

The birthday group were bouyant. The birthday bobber got gifts and Pandemically acceptable hugs.

In the afternoon the Optimal Tide Bobbers were obliged to not swim in the sea as the currents at our favourite beach were a bit too strong. Instead we opted an Atlantic Infinity Pool with a wave splash feature.

Looks like summer, feels like -6

Pandemic Pondering #320

The sea swimming community in Plymouth is very welcoming.

When you drive along Durnford Street at 10am and see a woman walking along wearing a Tiara, it is a fair assumption, and in this case correct, that she is a sea swimmer celebrating something.

A double celebration as it turns out, a birthday and retirement.

The beauty of this lovely community is that everyone looks out for each other, in or out of the water. It is entirely normal to ask a complete stranger why they are wearing a tiara. Talking to this particular stranger gave me the heart image at the top of this blog. Her husband had made this heart on their gate to celebrate her birthday.

The smiles are not just reserved for Tiara wearing. Just doing a sea swim makes us smile inside and out.

Some other facial expressions!

But mostly smiles.

People are always willing to share their expertise. On this occasion, not swimming related, how to use drainage holes to frame photographs.

Two of our images.

And someone using their newly acquired knowledge.

As it happens within our ‘Bobbers’ group we have had two recent birthdays. Unaware of the informal Tiara rule, we just exchanged cards. (In future, tiaras will be involved!) ‘Bobbers’ also do original art.

Hugo and Lola by Debs Bobber

Sea swimming is an amazing activity. We plan ours using Tide times and weather forecasts.

For local and constantly updated information, we often refer to Plymouth Open Water Swimmers. Link below.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/214153495854310/?ref=share

Some of us have had swimming lessons from Jason at Ace Swimming

https://www.aceswimming.co.uk/

Cold water swimming, it makes us smile. We Love It.

Pandemic Pondering #286

Rescued Gerbera see PP#343

Today started earlyish, a dog walk prior to another morning swim. These are ponderings in a pandemic there will be a certain repetitive nature to my ponders. Dog walks, coffee and some wittering- on are the skeleton on which a pondering is built. As luck would have it a new habit of ‘ Bobbing’ started during the first lockdown, something new to bore you with. Often any of these activities occurs within the beautiful landscape that we are lucky enough to live in. Usually any activity can create a photo opportunity but not today. Greige was the state of the weather this morning. My excuse for using a bright Gerbera picture as the header image.

©Andy Cole

By the time we got to the ‘ Bobbing’ part of the day the greige had lifted a little. On the way to our beach we spotted a pod of dolphins cavorting in Firestone Bay. If we had swum a little earlier they would have been playing in our swimming area. Sadly they were attracted away by stand up paddle boarders. SUP’s. One of them captured this amazing picture. Something we would never have managed during our cold, submerged activity.

©South West Sup

Time for this ponder to stop and just appreciate this beautiful creature.

Pandemic Pondering #277

This was supposed to be the last December swim , presuming that we would ( The Bobbers) be off celebrating Christmas with our familial/friend bubbles. But Boris and the Virus changed all that at 4:30 pm when Britain announced sweeping new restrictions that would change Christmas for all parts of Britain.

Now we have the rest of December ahead of us to swim at sunrise.

And reward ourselves with tea and mince pies.