Updated: Mar 1
We’ve now returned to Bryher from our adventure in the lake District. I have swum a few times since getting home, not written about them, but just enjoyed drinking in that sense of comfort and ease that being at home brings. Enjoying the familiar salty smell and taste of seawater, the movement of the tide and swell and the colours and clarity of the sea.
Over the past couple of weeks I have become more aware of people reading the blog. Some people have asked if I’m Ruth, the wild swimmer, the sea swimming lady, the blogger. I find it makes me utter a nervous laugh and I feel self conscious.
The very first entry on the blog was as much about my writing journey as it was about my wild swimming adventures. I guess this is continuing that journey, allowing what I write to be read, enjoyed (hopefully) and scrutinized.
As I now sit once again on the granite edged shoreline of Great Par, I worry that readers will become bored of yet another description of a swim, another day on Bryher.
For me though, every day, each swim is a unique experience to be captured within my memory and on paper as much as possible. This swim will be completely different to the last swim here. The air is warmer, the gentle breeze a little more to the west. The sea has changed colour, the sand and pebbles have shifted. The wildlife will have changed and how I feel is different.
Today a roaring ground swell far out amongst the Norad rocks provides a constant noise. Oyster catchers and swift skim over the waters surface, chirping and peeping.
I look out towards the rocks of Merrick Island and wonder if I can make it out there alone today.
However my mind is instantly captured as I step into the water as shoals of what I guess to be mullet dart and circle in front of me.
The pinky grey fish, some seem to be nearly a foot long, glide in and out of the sunbeams, occasionally one breaks the waters surface with a “plop” of bubbles and ripples.
It brings back memories of a swim I had last year. Almost to the same day and in the same bay, a mass of these fish swum around me, circling in such great numbers it was like a wall of fish before me. I remember being completely entranced by the wild spectacle of it, their beauty and grace and their apparent lack of concern regarding my presence in the water with them.
The fish today however are much more cautious. As soon as I approach them they dart out of eyesight and remain elusive no matter how still I try to be. Occasionally a grey shadow moves through the water in front of me before once more dissapering into the green gloom.
The plankton that must bring these fish into feed have caused the water to be a misty, eery shade of green and visability is quite poor.
I swim out towards the little rocks of Merrick. Gulls, oyster catchers and shags line the ochre stained granite. A seals head glistens as the sunlight catches the slick wet creature, just briefly before it too disappears.
Everyone wants their space today. I have mine out here in the ocean. Despite the distant roaring swell, the wind in my ears and the seabirds calling, my head is silent. Captured only be the enchanting and eluring feel of the water around me and the sky above me.
No great adventure today to write about but certainly not a boring swim. It maybe a simple swim, but the simple things in life are often the best.
Writing is such a simple act. It takes only a pencil and a piece of paper and yet it does so much to enhance the world. For readers who loose themselves in other worlds and other people’s lives, to writers like me who loose themselves in trying to capture these other worlds, and what better world than that of nature to be lost within.