My family was brought up in water. My brothers and I all learnt to swim from an early age, with Dave and I joining our local swimming club and Rich entering (and winning 3 times) the Long Swim in Clevedon. The neices and nephews are all good swimmers; non of them the heady heights of National Age Groups (so they never had to do the early morning training like me) but all very confident. My amazing sister-in-law has gone from not being able to put her face in the water to regularly swimming in the murky waters of Clevedon seafront, entering the Long Swim *shudder* and is an avid Wild Swimmer. And so Sunday became my next micro adventure.
Lou turns 14 this week and her request for her birthday was for us all to go Wild Swimming and have a picnic. We all jumped to that, and after much decision making on where to swim, it was finally decided that Pensford was the place to go. Pensford is a small village in Somerset, which is situated on the River Chew. After finally meeting up with everyone, we set off on a small walk beneath the viaduct and opening out onto fields. Cows were in one field and, as we had 3 dogs, we positioned our picnic away from them and in a perfect entry spot for the river.
We set out the picnic blankets and whilst some of us had a quick snack, Helen went to go and test the waters for us. Along with her dogs 😉
She announced it was perfect and plunged in.
The rest of us were not far behind. Not the dogs though… they’re definitely not water dogs.
And it wasn’t long before James and Harriet were in, with me following… I was a bit of a wuss, in that I chose to wear a wetsuit. But, as I explained, it was a huge thing that I was actually in there, as it was only up until October last year, when my partner and I did SwimTrek in Turkey, that I had a big fear of open water.
The water was definitely cool, but you got used to it pretty quickly. I think if I hadn’t been wearing a wetsuit, I might’ve exited the water a lot quicker, but, as it was, I was content to paddle up and down with the family, watching for dragonflies. No crocs, no leeches, no eels as far as I was aware. I didn’t put my feet down, although the girls were happily diving under (“It’s all yellow when you open your eyes underwater”). H and the girls did a small bit of exploring, but, as she was the only one with wet suit shoes on, that was quickly abandoned. And so the afternoon passed by in a leisurely fashion of floating in the water and munching on picnic lunch. There was a small excursion to the next field as the cows wanted to come and have a check at what was going on. Which was fun. They then decided that they wanted to venture back into the original field, which worked out well for us, as that was the only field with the best entry in to the river.
Swimming done, we all decided to head back to Clevedon for birthday cake and tea and make plans on more Wild Swimming. H (the younger) description of the afternoon was “chilly, challenging with chuckles.” 2 people were greatly missed that day. One of them was in Australia visiting his girlfriend (as you do) and the other? Well, he was definitely there in spirit. <3