45/100 – Camping and Caravanning club beach, Folkestone

Sunny sands beach and the harbour bay are packed by the middle of the day so we keep on walking, up over the cliffs and along the edge of the golf course. The bays string out ahead, crescents of pale beige against the tall white cliffs. We follow the path down through the bracken and brambles and come out onto a sandy bay. We stop at the next one along, a quieter spot.

The water gets deep quickly and I go out toward the horizon. There are a few people bouncing through the waves where they break, but further out it’s empty. The cliffs seem bigger from further away, from the water, and I look back at them over metres of steely blue. The waves tip up high, rocking, pushing in toward the shore on a diagonal.Often I want to spend a lot of my swim looking around me, but today I long to stretch out and really swim. My sides yawn with the pull through of the crawl, and the salt gets through to my mouth and nose. The water is dark and I can’t see much below the surface, but every time I turn to breathe I see the steady blue-grey sky above me, lace patterns of white on top.I swim parallel to the distant shore, slicing through the waves. On the upward surge of water, foam rises to meet my face and I have to time my kicks to rise above it. I turn and swim the other way, the waves at my back this time, urging me forward. When I can touch shingle again I stretch and the water washes around my waist. I get out happy and hungry and eat cake on the beach.

I’m raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society. Please sponsor me at http://www.justgiving.com/swimbonnieswim

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