Ever since Michelle reminded me of the delights of an ocean dip earlier this year, I’ve been seeking out saltwater whenever possible. In celebration, Tom gave me this beautiful book for my birthday.
Peters shares stories of his various wild swims through each month of the year, interspersed with his thoughts on recovering from depression and the healing powers of water. He is clearly a water rat: searching out the hidden swimming holes on even the most unlikely of trips, and diving in with little regard for inclement weather. The photos are beautiful and the clear passion he shares for this pastime had even me, the most fair weather of wild swimmers, braving the depths this autumn.
Freshwater Bay is the perfect grown-up swimming hole: a steep shore that plunges quickly into deep water, with pebbles that leave the water crystal clear and encourage noisy families to head off to sandier bays.
The harbour is sheltered and there’s a small contingent of lifers: hardy old swimmers who are out here every day, their presence reassuring you that diving in is not completely bonkers.
I’m starting to see how addictive this wild swimming business can be. The ice cold shock of the first plunge pulls you in to a single moment, before the edge of the chill subsides and you’re left rolling about in the buoyant water like a giggling fish.
This is pure and simple joy, with added tingly-fresh skin, and the promise of coffee and cookies on the beach. Can’t get much better than that. It’s a revelation to me that this adventure needn’t be the sole preserve of the summer holiday.
Dip was a book that soaked in to my blood and gave me the courage to take a quick paddle even in this autumn chill. And I doubt I’ll be able to stop at one.