Smoke, Stones and Sea Swimming

With a summer full of disappointingly rainy days, I’ve seized every chance I can to relish the dry moments – by getting wet! This day trip to Cornwall was particularly sunny and following a fab afternoon tea with some fellow Cornish bloggers, Adam and I picked up my brother Harry, his girlfriend Charlie and enough BBQ food to feed at least fifteen people then headed out to one of my favourite secluded beaches along the Helford Passage, Durgan (a beach I also included in this post) for some sea swimming and stone skimming.stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-5stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-1stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-3stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-17stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-2The day had been rarely very warm, and although arriving quite late on, the beach was still bustling with families and dogs (perhaps more so as the tide was really high which narrows the available space significantly!). Harry and Charlie apprehensively entered the water and stayed in for all of 5 minutes (wimps!) but I was determined to make the most of it. I’ve always found the trick with the sea is to walk in and not stop, the longer you linger half in, half out, the colder it feels. Once you’re out of your depth and force yourself to actually move in the water (kind of a sink or swim situation by then…!) you soon become accustomed to the temperature and it’s actually quite pleasant. September and October are the months with the warmest sea temperature so perfect for sea swimming.stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-15stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-9stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-4stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-8stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-6stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-24stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-11As the BBQ coal glowed on, cooking up our sausages, the crowded beach emptied and we were joined on our patch by a tiny little shrew that was perfectly camouflaged in the leaves, followed by a fantastically scruffy dog that Harry was desperate to take home. The flat stones warmed our backs from the days sunshine (and provided entertainment in the form of skimming) and we only started packing up when the sky faded from bright blue to dusky pink and dusk brought a chill breeze.
stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-7stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-14stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-20stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-18stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-21stones-sand-and-sea-swimming-durgan-bbq-19Evenings like this are one of the things I miss most about living in Cornwall, the proximity to such calm and beautiful places and the feeling of going to bed that night feeling slightly sun burnt, sandy and salty.