By: Blonde Two

This evening (Wednesday) I shall settle down on the sofa and catch up with the BBC’s Blue Planet II. I have to admit to nearly being put off by the rather disturbing trailer but I am determined to persevere despite the possibility of ‘things in the water’ being rather unappealing to an outdoor swimmer.

We have had our fair share of sea creatures down here in Devon this summer (I declared the season to be officially autumn yesterday when I had my first ‘ice cream swimming head’ experience since February).

I have already told you about the jellyfish (and my fear of them) but I think I neglected to mention the shark. Its true! I wouldn’t make this stuff up. I was swimming along the seafront on my own one morning when I swam over a shark. It is also true that my reaction to this 1 foot, dead and rather pathetic looking sea monster was slightly disproportionate but, had I had my camera with me, I would have gone back to take a photo, honestly!

The tennis playing crab shouldn’t go without a second mention but I would prefer to forget the Portuguese Men of War or PMOW as they have become known to anyone who thinks four words for an animal name are three too many. I have wondered where all of the Portuguese Women of War have been but I am guessing that they had the maps, were paying attention and didn’t get blown miles of course like their ill fated male friends.


There were the ‘Jumpy Sea Critters’ as well, whose name I didn’t know whilst they were trying desperately to get inside my bivvy bag (one did manage to get up my nose). I still don’t want to know their names, they were far too friendly without that sort of intimacy. What I do want to know is whether or not I imagined the fact that they went to sleep at night and woke at dawn.

Mr B2 and I met a fair collection of ‘Jumpy Sea Critters’ along with some ‘Flying Sea Critters’ when we decided (I am now not really sure why) to try and take night photographs of the PMOWs. Night photographs necessitate head torches and head torches apparently attract all 600,000,000.93 ‘Sea Critters’ jumpy or otherwise that inhabit a square metre of beach. We managed to stay on the beach for approximately 5 minutes, I upped my protein count for the day by at least 1 ‘Critter’ and my photos failed to demonstrate the serene, translucent shapes that others had taken and resembled instead… well you judge for yourself.

To my mind, the biggest sea monster of them all is the sea herself. This week she is in a friendly but playful mood but last week swimming was exactly how I imagine wrestling a sea monster would feel (a friendly, tooth-free, soft sea monster). The waves were all over the place and boofing me around so much that I found myself laughing under water. Who knows how many calories sea monster wrestling burns… I certainly wasn’t swimming much distance!