With summer on the horizon. or at least the hope of summer, it’s time to get out a pile of books to read!
With summer holidays on the horizon and the wild swim group continuing to grow it feels like the right time to re-launch the Seabirds Book Club
The next best thing to being in the sea is getting lost in a good book. During our sea swims we often find ourselves talking about the last book we read or which book is next on our list.
Here’s how the seabirds virtual Book Club works;
- Once a Month a new book is chosen for the Seabird virtual Book Club members to read.
- It will be announced on Social Media.
- Ideally the book chosen should be water, sea, swimming, well being related.
- Anyone can chose a book or write a review – just comment away on social media or here.
This month’s book is ‘How to Read Water: Clues & Patterns from Puddles to the Sea’ by Tristan Gooley. It teaches you how to read the sea and forecast the weather from the waves. It also includes how to read the water associated with ponds and rivers as well as interpreting the colour of the water and understand wave patterns as they break on the beach.
There are lots of references to wild swimming in Sussex so it should prove to be a Seabird’s favourite. It also builds on some of the sea behaviours we touched upon in the Safe Swim Q & A series at Sea Lanes. But our best tenuous link is that the author attended Sandhurst Royal Military Academy with Salty Seabird Jo – apparently he was asked to leave after turning up naked to parade! For that reason alone it must be worth a read.
Here are the links to previous reads;
June 2018 read – The Salt Path , Raynor Winn
July 2018 read – The Last Wave, Gillian Best
August 2018 read – The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club by Katie May
September 2018 read – Wild Woman Swimming, Lynne Roper
October 2018 read – I found my Tribe, Ruth Fitzmaurice
November 2018 read -Swell A Waterbiography by Jenny Landreth
Seabirds swimming in fresh flowing water at Wallers Haven
Wallers Haven – Seabird on tour, inland!
Earlier this summer I was attending Camp Abyss
with some of my favourite people in the world; close family and oldest of friends. Sweltering in the heat of high summer and stuck in an exposed, treeless field for the last three days, we needed to cool off and get wet. I turned to my new favourite discovery; (yes the one I’ve been banging on about for ages) the Wild Swim Map
and the Wild Guide
and found out that Wallers Haven
was our nearest swim spot. Hooray!
It is a little difficult, to say the least, to match the spot on the road to the description given. However, we parked on the side of the (very fast) road, waited for a gap in the traffic, then headed over to the bridge to investigate. Unfortunately, we ended up taking the most difficult route, which turned into a battle with nettles and one of our party almost falling down the side into the river. Don’t do that as there is ‘proper’ access via a path a bit further up the road each way!
Stumbling on, hotter and grumpier by the nanosecond, we eventually rounded the concrete jetty described in the map. It really is the most beautiful spot. Peaceful and surrounded by countryside, with Weeping Willow trees dangling down over the silky surface of the river. Mineral tasting water, refreshingly cold in the heat of the day. My first river swim! Having been stung by nettles, almost falling into the river and spotting a ‘snake’ on the surface of the water, one of our party stated that they were just there to watch.
However, it proved inviting enough to get all of us in and having the absolute best free fun that there is to be had! This despite our varying levels of confidence and anxiety about being out of our depths etc. Some stuck to the edges for a quick float, others dived or jumped in and generally messed about. A perfect spot full of simple pleasures. We all returned to the festival invigorated, energised and much, much happier, all fully converted to Wild Swimming too.
We would love to hear of your favourite swim spots in the comments.
Author: Seabirds Catherine