Swimming with seals

Sutton on Sea

Actually, it was swimming with 1 seal, but still it made me smile. Whilst on my jollydays at the seaside and after 2 mornings of lying in bed trying to psyche myself up for a swim before breakfast, I managed to overcome the little voice that said "Nah, it's too cold in the sea.....do it tomorrow" and settled into a routine of morning swims. Every morning I had the sea to myself so was considerably surprised when I glimpsed a head out of the corner of my eye, and when I jumped up to get a good look at it over the waves I could see it was a seal looking at me as I was looking back. It dipped below the sea and resurfaced a little further away and of course I said "Hello" and waved (as you do). It made me giggle for ages.

It was a most relaxing holiday with hexagon sewing in the sun whilst listening to Harry Potter punctuated by cycling along the promenade, visits to the nature reserve and playing with photography. The nature reserve generally seems devoid of birds (we don't call binoculars "bird scarers" for nothing), but I contented myself with picking (and eating) bilberries. 

For a couple of days we cycled as far as we could along the promenade and surprisingly we managed about 3 miles before the path turned into a sand dune. Over the years we have seen the sea defences change from being concrete steps up to the promenade, to big boulders (in places), and then to 'beach nourishment' which is essentially pumping a load of dredged sand onto the beach to form a big bank of sand up to the promenade. This is repeated every year to replace sand washed away by the tides, but now the sand is becoming increasingly populated with dune grass and sea holly. Sand dunes are on their way back! It is still really strange to see so much sand and grass on the beach after years of concrete steps, wooden groynes and sometimes squishy mud flats. Another thing which still surprises me is the sight of all the wind turbines out to sea which seem to be steadily marching nearer to 'our' beach.