By: Blonde Two
I was naughty the other day and went for a swim on my own. This is NOT recommended but I did it very carefully, there were lots of people about, the tide was coming in, I was wearing a bright orange hat and for most of my swim I could touch the sandy floor with my hands.
When I first started sea swimming in October I considered the relative safety merits of my now two favourite hobbies:
Walking (you can break your ankle) Swimming (you might get a cold ankle)
Walking (you can get hypothermia) Swimming (you can get hypothermia without having to wait so long)
Walking (you can get very wet) Swimming (you can drown)
Walking (you might get lost) Swimming (you are more likely to sink)
Walking (there might be a linx loose on Dartmoor) Swimming (there are apparently lots of bitey things in the sea)
I have been surprised (and not a small bit perturbed) by the discussions my new swimming friends have been having about things in the sea that might bite you. Initially all I was worried about (apart from drowning) was jelly fish and as those don’t like winter swimming (I am not sure where they go in the winter, maybe they ride motorcycles) I was feeling relatively safe.
Safe that is until the lists and images of sea-things-that-bite started to appear… well everywhere. Here are my examples so far:
Humpback whale spotted off Start Bay – well to be fair, this whale was never going to bite anyone but I am fairly sure that I wouldn’t like to encounter it whilst out swimming.
Seals across Torbay – I have yet to swim with seals (I have kayaked with them) but I have seen pictorial evidence of seal bites and heard accounts of antibiotic seeking trips to A&E. Apparently seal bites have lots of bacteria in them. The other interesting thing I have recently found out about seals is that their breath smells!
Conger Eels at Hope Cove (abandon Hope Cove all ye who swim here!) – This conger eel was two foot long, had very sharp teeth and powerful jaws and was dead. The bad news is that they can grow up to three metres long, the good news is that they are quite shy.
Crocodile Shark at Hope Cove (I told you to abandon it!) – Now if you were to put two bitey, water creatures together in your head, you would probably go for ‘shark’ and ‘crocodile’ for maximum input. This guy doesn’t need a fancy name, one look at his teeth is all you would need to see that you wouldn’t want to share a pizza (or your leg) with him.
Small Children – No small children have appeared during my swims as yet but the weather is getting warmer and it won’t be long. These perhaps represent the biggest worry of all and can definitely bite!
I think I might join Blonde One floating boats in a ditch. If you ask her nicely she might explain what she is doing; but then again, she isn’t a tame Blonde!