Summer swimming on the Copper Coast 3 – More arches, more caves, oh my!


Continuing to take advantage of unusually warm water that is completely out of sync with the crap summer we are experiencing, I’ve been revisiting some of the caves and arches from last year’s Project Copper now that I have a waterproof camera (oop, just realised I must do a review of it) to take some photos of the more memorable and less accessible locations. And in the course of this you’ve seen that there are also some new discoveries.

Since so many enjoyed last week’s cave swim, here’s a longer more detailed video I took a few weeks ago. Without a professional camera rig and lights, it’s hard to film on a handheld camera 60 metres from daylight. This isn’t national Geographic you know. Shoestring budget and all that. And when I say shoestring, I mean the one holding my swimsuit on.

While not new for this year, there’s also the shark-fin of St. John’s Island, a former promontory now separated from the mainland.

I passed John’s Island a couple of times last year before I noticed the arch entrance. It’s quite narrow and like many, if you breathe to the other side just at that moment, you miss it.

It was only that last year I decided to swim around the island that I noticed the island had a hollow heart, not noticeable even from out at sea where I’d gone past it.

But the island is an island in truth only at high tides. I swam around the back on a lower tide and discovered there were two reefs leading away from and protecting the hollow heart at lower tides.

In fact how do you decide what’s a cave and what’s an arch? The hollow heart of John’s Island is like a natural place of worship for swimming pantheists, a church of rock and sea to worship the wonder of nature. At one side of the island is a narrow entrance, at the other the entire side of the island has been scooped out and washed away, the minerals swallowed by the Celtic Sea, like a cone or a funnel laying sideways through the Triassic sandstone.

Swimming through St. John’s Island video 

The tunnel through the island can only be seen from one fairly inaccessible place on the cliffs, on a day with blue sky, and with a telephoto lens and gives a good sense of the fragile heart of the island.

Want to worship nature with an atheist/pantheist? Come swim with me! Some of the Sandycove Island swimmers are starting to talk about it. Organise a bus trip!




3 thoughts on “Summer swimming on the Copper Coast 3 – More arches, more caves, oh my!

  1. I said it to Claire on Saturday at Spike while we were talking to Lisa, that if Ballinagaul is to be rescheduled that would be an ideal weekend for a group visit to the caves. Might have been a mention of a party in your house …..


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