Thursday, 1 June 2017

Snorkelling Blog

By popular demand I am starting a snorkelling blog. If you wish instead to look at my Professional Details click here:

I have been snorkelling for years and during 2016/2017 I decided to carry on doing it in winter too. Cold-water swimming is great for the health. I also find things. Last year´s snorkelling kept the males of the family in underwear. I plan to update this often with my finds.

My husband, who henceforth shall be known as Beast, only swims in the summer. Here he is, far out at sea, talking to cormorants. There were six at the beach on this occasion which is an absolute record. Some sort of cormorant conference going on.

June finds included a fidget spinner, an orange shoelace (still looking for its pair) and hair scrunchies which I will donate to son as he is the only one in the family with long hair. We also acquired another snorkelling mask. On the 14th, I found 12 dead sea bream. They were obviously fresh. Someone had made a nick in the stomach and not gone any further with gutting them. I took them home, cleaned them and cooked them for the cats. I also clean up the sea a little, removing things like abandoned fishing line and plastic bags. At the end of the month got pair of pants with !I´ve got a big banana" on the front of them. They are a perfect fit for Beast.

July sea is a smegtail of small life. Hard to tell what it will grow up into. Finds included pants and T-shirts and some useful goggles which was just what Beast needed.

August brought extremely hot water temperatures, almost felt like a swim in the bath. There were stories in the papers about hungry saddleback bream attacking swimmers, but I take these with a pinch of salt. They all looked quite peacable to me.

In September, I first saw needlefish at my local bay. These usually only turn up on the other side of the port. I try to keep out of their way as they are slightly aggressive and have been rumoured to prod the odd diver with their sharp probosces.

October was a good month for recovering fishing lures. I prefer fishing with bait but my son likes them. Most of the lost lures turned up off the little beach known as San Pedro. Presumably a rather amateur fisherman kept losing them on the rocks. Their loss my gain.

November temperatures were still pretty good so I kept going with ease. Not many knickers or fishing lures out there though.

Getting cold now at the start of December. The Full Moon always brings the temperature down. I am now entering the part of the year when will-power is needed.

Didn´t get desperately cold till the end of Jan or start of Feb. Defimite willpower needed now. I have learned to stop shivering. I take a certain twisted joy in luring others in. Young men are often tempted then leave with a yell as the water reaches their bollocks.

March and April were still cold. There have been occasional sightings of small Portuguese Men of War off La Manga. Hope they don't come here. Have realised that I did see one off Cortina years ago. Did not know what it was at the time and searched a jellyfish page. They are not true jellyfish so it wasn't there. Recognised it recently when I saw photos in the paper.

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Goethe Girl said...

I am a writer living in NYC who spends summers on a small island in British Columbia. Having just returned to NYC, I am catching up with all the printed matter that accumulated, inc. the LRB, and read your lovely piece on Santerias. I was initially drawn in by the description of your many finds while out snorkeling. Out in British Columbia is the elderly fisherman Billy Proctor, who has spent a lifetime "fosseling" and has even constructed a "museum" to house all his finds, e.g., artifacts of non-Canadian sailors as well as of native Indian life:
I also included a few pictures from Billy's collection on my Goethe blog last year:
The water out in B.C. is very cold, but by the time I left it had reached 18C/64F. I had a layover on my return last Thursday in Vancouver and took advantage of the sunny day to take a long walk along the seawall until I found a small beach where a few adventurous souls were swimming and I also had a wonderful swim. I liked what you said about the possible benefits of a slight drop in body temperature. I used to snorkel a lot in younger days.

Fiona Pitt-Kethley said...

Interesting. Give the snorkelling a go again. You don´t have to be young for it. I am 63. Hope to keep doing it all my life.

Jo said...

I have just found your blog. Can you help me as to the identity of an artist? Many years ago, I suppose just after you left Hastings, I bought at auction three paintings. Two were by you: one signed on reverse, of reclining nudes, the other was an unsigned hinged triptych with a grey back ground and a string-like design - reminded me of Barbara Hepworth's wires in her oval shapes. Your two nudes were, unfortunately too large for my home and went on to others who appreciated them. I still have the grey three-part painting which has no clue as to it's author. Did you paint it or perhaps one of your friends? I should love to know it's history.
I'd love to be in Spain again - it's freezing here! Jo

Fiona Pitt-Kethley said...

I painted it. These days I paint surreal cats, small ones, which are also for sale. Will post a blog with them soon. They are on Facebook at the moment. Different styles for different times in my life.