What a day!
I am up from Dartmoor for a few days, staying with Charlotte and Duggie in Argyll.
A Sea Safari was planned and we set off in ‘Turtagro’, Charlotte’s Drascombe, (these wonderful boats were created in Noss Mayo in Devon): Iona, Charlotte, Duggie, three sleek, black sea puppies and a ‘traditionally built’ Devon maid (me!). We headed due south along the Sound of Jura to a spot where three of us were dropped off to swim back up the coast for lunch in the sun.
I cannot, in words, describe the joy of this swim but I will try:
Hugging the rocky coast, gazing down through gin clear water to white sea urchins nestling amongst thick ribbons of kelp, common seals watching us from a distance and gannets overhead. We swam beneath a steep cliff with a ravens nest on a ledge above us. As I lay on my back and kicked my legs I could see the Paps of Jura on the horizon.
And then, as if life in the ocean waves couldn’t get any better, three otters appeared fishing nearby. Probably 2 adults and a cub. I saw furry light brown heads held in the air and then their full bodies arching and diving down, only to reappear seconds later.
I have NEVER seen an otter in the wild, despite years of walking in this area with Charlotte, listening to her saying…..”I often see otters here”, and “ah ha….some more otter spraint”. I had begun to think it was all said to keep the visiting southerner happy!
We ended the swim by coming into a sheltered shallow bay. Thick leathery hides of weed changed into fine strands of weed that stood up from the sandy, wormcast seabed like walking sticks. The water immediately warmed and we wallowed in the shallows, dreaming of otters, seals and sausages!
Luckily the afternoon did actually finish off with (Devon!) pork sausages cooked over a fire, Iona’s Scottish pancakes and Duggies scrummy treacle flapjacks. Perfick, perfick, perfick.