This week has been a wonderful week for friendship.
On Friday three friends from St Mary’s travelled up to Bryher, meeting Ruthie and I for a swim. It’s such a treat for me to have company on my swims, when Ruthie leaves I will be back to solo exploration.
The weather forecast had been awful and the swim nearly postponed but in true wild women style we braved the gloom, found a relatively sheltered spot and went for it.
We chose to circumnavigate Hangmans Rock that sits between Bryher and Tresco. To extend the distance a little we started from the Bar, swimming up channel towards the rock and open water.
Our coloured hats bobbing along, the five of us were soon swimming alongside Bryher’s small fishing fleet, sensibly moored up out of the wind.
Fishing boats, Anna and I
The current was steadily flowing against us but not so much as to stop the swim. Slowly but surly we edged our way around the side of Hangmans, it’s great gnarly barnacle-covered granite rising majestically from the sea.
As we approached the top end my conviction failed me. The current felt powerful and sucking as it funnelled it’s way past the rock.
“I’m not sure we will make it around” I said. Two turned back to swim the lower side. Anna in her usual determined way dismissed my wobble and struck strongly out towards the North. Ah well I thought, if she’s going I’ve got to too. So on went the three of us, into the swell and dark water.
And I’m so glad we did. As soon as we rounded the top end of the Rock, it’s black towering face watching wisely, the water calmed and we bobbed in wild delight.
Despite the numb fingers and toes, the swim home was straight forward, the tide carrying us back past the boats and buoys and into the beach at Bar.
On Saturday a few of us writing folk met with a plan forming for a writing group. Two hours later and buzzing with ideas and future projects that should hopefully support us all with our writing, we left each other, the next meeting date set.
As the year approaches it’s calender end, I think back to almost a year ago. I hadn’t met all these wonderful friends, but through swimming and writing I am lucky enough to be combining creativity, nature, well being and friendship. Here’s to next year, who knows what adventures are to be had.