Lydstep to Skrinkle Haven

Saturday August the 12th

We were up early doing parkrun again at Colby Gardens, and then onto our current favourite café , the Overlander, in Penally for breakfast before starting the swim. Parked in Manorbier YHA carpark, the end point of the day’s swim and walked back to Lydstep and retrieved our kayak which we’d been allowed to stow away with all the other official boats.

We didn’t know exactly what to expect from Lydstep round to Skrinkle Haven. We went out at noon, 3 hours before low tide in the hope that we’d have some of that tide to help us around. The water was choppy and we had a fairly strong Westerly wind blowing straight into us.

Getting out to the headland was fine, fairly flat, but as I eased around Lydstep point, the waves were crashing against the barnacle covered rocks. Not a day for swimming close to the edge today.

I wanted to stay relatively close though as I was concerned at being pulled too far out.

There were a couple of jetskis bombing about as well. When the swell is high and they’re bouncing over the waves, it’s hard for them to see swimmers. You’re so small against the seascape. Even the bright pink visibility float isn’t that visible. Dan wanted to be far from the rocks, for obvious reasons – our boat is a blow-up kayak.

The pictures don’t do justice to the sea’s choppiness! It was tough swimming especially at the beginning, feeling the power of the water. But after a while, I relaxed, and tried to enjoy the sensation of being bounced by the waves. It was like a giant bouncy castle, my body lifted and ducked with the swell of the water. 

We past climbers who were abseiling down giant tilting rock formations, then climbing up. I am in awe of people that can do that. For me, the phrase ‘sewing machine leg’



springs to mind. That sensation of involuntary leg spasms like pressing the treadle on an old sewing machine.

The caves were huge, often with precarious roofs that looked like they would collapse with just one more wave. There are landslides here. I should be more careful swimming close to the edge.

Finally got a glimpse of the sandy beach at Skrinkle Haven. It’s so reassuring to see the destination, and watch it getting closer and closer. There were lots of kids playing in the sea with body boards and paddle boards.

Skrinkle Haven is split into two beaches, one very wide and sandy but cut off from the footpath by a thin line of sharp rocks. The other  (Church Doors) very rocky with a narrow entry to the sea.

We pulled on warm clothes. I left my pebble on a rock in front of all the kids playing in the sea. I can hear Rache enjoying the view, even if sitting on a rock of seaweed might not have been to her idea of comfort. Missing you Rache.

No fish today. Not even one tiny mackerel. So I picked the giant puffball mushroom that’s been growing outside the tipi for a few days, and we cooked it on the fire with rice.  Yum.

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