I’ve been lying in bed for a while now, listening to the strong winds lifting and clattering the roof tiles, the house creaking and groaning. I’m sure I can hear dripping in the loft. I creep over to the window, lifting the blind. It is still pitch black outside, only the red lights of the telegraph tower on St Mary’s can be identified as they reach their way into the sky.

I have energy frustrating it’s way around my body but it is a little too dark for me to swim, on my own. Instead I sit on the sofa, reading, listening to the silent house. Silent except for the clock above the fireplace steadily tick-tocking it’s way towards 7am.

I am desperate to swim. Awkward tides and Christmas preparations have conspired to keep me from the sea the past two days.

Ten minutes later I have escaped the silent house, making my way down towards the quay. An inky-blue light silhouettes black clouds as they sweep across the bright moon.

Hiding moon

The light of the Bishop Rock lighthouse sweeps gracefully clockwise over the Western rocks and marker beacons twinkle.

Surprisingly I meet a neighbour out walking, her torchlight making me jump. She too has been awake since the early hours and we chat and laugh about nocturnal habits.

As I walk along Veronica farm’s sandy track, all the world feels more alive. The senses are on high alert for strange and magical creatures that may lurk in the shadows.

Dawn light at the quay

When I reach the quay I leave my woolly bobble hat on, no swimming hat or goggles needed today, I won’t be diving down into the dark abyss.

The icy-cold water is dappled silver and black, pinching and prickling my skin. Flurried little waves splatter my face with salty spray as they are caught by the wind. I breaststroke around the harbour for no more than five minutes but it’s enough to get my cold water fix.

As I walk out across the shoreline, my feet sinking deeply into the soft wet sand, I notice my shadow. My moonshadow. How magical I think to myself.

moonlight on the water

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