Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Lion's Mane

Just got back from my annual holiday in Helford, Cornwall. Had an amazing time. Snorkelling, rowing, walking, exploring the coast in a kayak, just lying on a beach- really made the most of the time off.
Stayed in a thatched hut- a converted Apple store (the fruit, not the computer retailer). 
Saw plenty of squirrels and birds in the garden (even a falcon) and a massive fireworks display over the river.

Swimming across the river at it's widest point proved too much of a challenge, this time, but on the attempt I approached a beautiful old wooden sail boat with a pale blue hull and tried swimming down the anchor rope. It just disappeared down in to the green depths. There were some great underwater sun beams.
At this point it began to seem sort of like a recurring dream I had as a child. In this nightmare I'd swim out to sea at night and dive a little way down. Suddenly, in the darkness far below me, one vast squid-like eye would open and I'd race, lungs bursting, for the surface.

I came back up the anchor rope feeling something akin to vertigo. The water was so clear it was almost like flying over an undefined depth of sunlit green fog.

Eventually, I got about halfway across the Helford then tested how hard it might be to turn back. It was much harder to make progress the other way. About three times as hard. Figuring the current against me I headed back in, exhausted and feeling quite unadventurous.

Getting stung by a Lion's Mane jelly fish further in to shore soon changed that. I've often thought about jelly fish when swimming at sea but never seen a live one. Many years ago, there was a host of them on the beach in my home town, all dead. I was stung by a tiny one, only 5 inches across, though they can grow up to 7 feet.
It's no worse than a bee sting and, oddly, it really made my day! :)

The lions Mane jelly fish features in a great Sherlock Holmes tale- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventure_of_the_Lion%27s_Mane

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