Saturday, 16 July 2011

Sally in the Woods - the swim that sort-of-wasn't...

What is it about weekend expeditions? You go to bed and it's a lovely evening, moon shining, promise of fair weather to come; then wake up in the morning and hear the rain thundering on the roof and think, "O no! I'm going to get horribly wet."

Thus it is this morning. And thus it was last Saturday, when we had planned the Sally In The Woods Wild Swim.

Sometimes, though, you've just got to get on with things and hope for the best. And the best often ends up happening, and is made even better by its being plucked unexpectedly from the jaws of anticipated misery.

And so it was last week.

I picked up Mal and Gina. And Pig. Mal wasn't swimming because she'd got a nasty deep dog bite in her leg. Gina was showing how keen she was by already being in her wetsuit. Pig was a dog. And still is, for that matter.

By the time we got to Claverton, the day was brightening up considerably. And people began arriving, in dribs and drabs. And finally we walked up to the Dundas Aqueduct. By this time, the only swimmers present were Gina and me; everyone else was a walker; and I needed to paddle the canoe, really. So, just Gina. Who decided, quite sensibly, that she didn't want to do the swim on her own. So she and I paddled the canoe together.Link
It was a good paddle down the river. The current seems sedate along this stretch, but really moves along at a fair old lick. Especially as the water was a little higher than usual. You'd hardly notice; but when we got to Warleigh Weir, the canoe tried to edge itself over the weir when we came alongside it, so we had to do a bit of smart manoeuvring to avoid going over it sideways.

This is a useful link to the Environment Agency's river level monitoring service, by the way. It shows you the current level of the Avon at Bradford on Avon, which is just upriver of Warleigh.

And then we got down to the serious business of the afternoon, which was picnicking.

And Gina and I finally did get to swim. Look! That splash is me, going in!

We're planning to do another swim on Sunday 24th July. Be there or, well, don't be there!


  1. Nothing puts a curse on a summers day better than planning an event with a group of friends.

    Early warning, 14 August will be wet and windy in the north!

  2. Fudge the chocolate Labrador loves the water but Pig is not so keen - she decided to join her chum by trying to step into the canoe!