Pandemic Pondering #544

Autumn Equinox was marked by some foraging in friends gardens, with permission, of course. We made an autumn wreath for the yard. This time next year it would be lovely to think we could be collecting our own figs from the new tree, but that seems unlikely. The fabulous weather of this week is scuppering all plans of getting on with jobs in the new house and yard. Apart from foraging in gardens there was just too much lovely sun to be enjoyed yesterday to get many jobs ticked off the to-do list.

Autumn really is a lovely time but the slow slide into short days and long dark nights is a definite mood drooper. Our evening swims now require torches in our tow floats and easy clothes to change into. Hot drinks in flasks can’t be to far behind.

Last night we welcomed back Kim to the bobbing group. She perforated an ear drum while perfecting an elegant swallow dive from the platform, anchored out in Plymouth Sound, six weeks ago. Those of us that just bobbed and flopped managed not to injure ourselves but did not bring quite the same style to the event. Style and sea swimming are starting to be reflected in local art exhibitions, we bought this print a few weeks ago.

©Black Pug Press

https://theblackpugpress.com/

Like many jobs it awaits time and bad weather before it will be framed and put on the wall.

Pandemic Pondering #541

The second day of this weekend with lots of colour and a little bit of anxiety. Coupled with some charity fund raising, this time a swim around Burgh Island just off the South Devon coast. Under normal circumstances Jenna would not be abseiling without full family support or Hannah swimming around an island without the same. Pandemic rescheduling has concentrated so much into the 4 weekends of September that everyone is spread a little too thinly to cover all commitments.

An early start at Bigbury gave us two seasons in the space of half an hour, summer glory then autumnal gloom. Thankfully the summer glory won through for the actual swim.

Hugo and his mum heading to the check in

The land bound support team tucked into scones Devon style.

Whilst the sea swimmers confidently circumnavigated the island and returned to us, very happy with their achievement.

©Katie Bobber.

The route, what you cant see is that at least half of the swim was through waves more traditionally used for surfing.

Pandemic Pondering #537

Almost overnight in mid-September the days have got short enough to affect the timings of our evening swim. With one year of year-round swimming done, we are a lot braver than this time last September. Last night was our first planned moonlight swim, it suited the tide and work commitments. Tides this week are very low at our optimum evening swimming time so there is far more contact with seaweed than we would normally choose. While we were swimming a sail training ship slipped into port under the moonlight. No cameras were available to capture the moment. (Waterproof bags have been tried, the bags work just fine but camera phones dont respond to our cold fingers) Witnessing the ship in the Sound did give a little shiver of watching history sail past.

Dar Mlodzeizy ©MarineTraffic.com

Dar Mlodzeizy, owned by the Maritime University of Gdynia is from the Polish city that is twinned with Plymouth. Good timing to arrive as a new Polish supermarket has just opened here. By coincidence we had had blueberry and curd pierogis from the new supermarket yesterday. Hannah lived in Chicago, a city with a big Polish community which introduced her to pierogis, years ago and now we have Polish family members to extend our knowledge and love of the little dumplings.

Too many dumplings would not be good before a swim however. They might fuel an over active imagination which is the only slight downside to swimming in the dark…

Pandemic Pondering #527

©Debs Bobber

Bobbing in 16 degrees water temp nicely finished off Sunday. A day that had started well with freshly baked bread, still warm from the bakery oven.

Bread that tasted as good as it looked. In between these two activities we threw in domestic chores and dog walks as well as a local produce market. All of these things done in sunshine and warmth. Having been proper grumpy on Saturday with traffic congestions the car had a day off and everything was achieved on foot. On one of the walks home I found a lost toy by the churchyard.

I hope his small owner finds him.

A Sunday well spent.

©Debs Bobber

Pandemic Pondering #522

Vanlife Part 3 at Bantham. There were many reasons for visiting Bantham. The prime one was to visit the location of a future sea swim around Burgh Island. Two bobbers swimming, one bobber bobbing, Someone has to look after the dogs and take the photographs…

The practice swim over it was time to visit the village shop and cafe for breakfast. Beautiful Bantham made sure that we will visit again by turning on the photographic charm on our walk up the hill.

And just like that Summer is officially done. The last blog of August!

Pandemic Pondering #512

A day of sweet and sour. Three hours in an actual physical bank and the transaction still not completed by the time we left. Not a businesslike bone in the building! The sweetness that started the day came out of boredom as we waited and waited. I had bought some sunflowers and noticed that there were beads of nectar. I also marvelled at the Fibronacci Sequencing of the seed head. The bank was very dull!

Overwhelmed by Fibronacci excitement and curiosity and with plenty of time on my hands I decided to taste the nectar.

Tiny, twinkling beads of sweetness but oh so sticky!

If banks still had piles of money I could have covered my hands with nectar and plunged them into a pile of money and run around the corner and delivered it in person to the bank we were trying to make the transfer to.

Flights of fantasy and Fibronacci wonderment can only get you so far and there are no longer piles of money, obviously waiting for sticky fingered clients, in banks. After three hours we failed to transfer any money from one account to another. Legally or illegally, with or without nectar . Time to head off for afternoon tea in a barn.

Fully charged with sugar and tea there was only a couple of hours of downtime before an evening of questionable entertainment.

Four bobbers went to an outside performance of Jaws. Screened at our local Lido we were surrounded on three sides by water as we visited Amity Island for the 4th of July. We still jumped and screamed. Tomorrows bob will have an extra texture of frisson.

Pandemic Pondering#507

©PlymouthHerald

Smeatons Tower on Plymouth Hoe turns purple in remembrance of those who lost their lives on Thursday.

We were planning to go to The Hoe this weekend to see a World Premier of The Hatchling. A massive puppet requiring 14 human puppeteers to move it. From the Director of The Warhorse puppet,Mervyn Millar.

https://www.thehatchling.co.uk/

https://www.thehatchling.co.uk/

For obvious reasons an Uplifting Symbol of Freedom is hardly appropriate in Plymouth right now so the Puppetry/Kite event has been cancelled.

We still took a trip to the Hoe last night with friends/bobbers to take an evening dip.

The sea was extraordinarily kind to us and we swam to the new platform for some diving and jumping into the sea. It is pretty hard to see in this picture so below is a close up. For a while we had this great expanse of safe sea swimming and the platform to ourselves.

There was a reward for swimming in the evening. Fish and Chips and this beautiful sunset.

Sunsetting over Plymouth

Pandemic Pondering #496

Back to bobbing in our own bay with some intriguing little sea weeds. At this angle they look a lot like a sorting hat from the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling. At a different angle they looked like a cast of a kiss. Either way quite fascinating.

Back to reality with trips to the tip and supermarket. All improved by an afternoon swim and chatter with the Bobbers, and a good long walk with some friends and the fluffs. Just as the swim was rewarded with seaweed kisses, or sorting hats, the evening walk was embellished by chips.

Our friends that we walked with deserved these chips as they had canoed up the Tamar, Im not entirely sure what our excuse was!

Pandemic Pondering #494

Out with a bang, festival over our van was all packed up and ready to go as the fireworks fizzed and twinkled overhead. Just a few hours sleep before we made a swift departure, before dawn, in order to get an early morning swim at Lulworth Cove.

It was lovely to be somewhere quite so beautiful as nature stretched her sleepy limbs to start the day to a soundscape of birdsong.

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