Sophie Tanner and the Sea | Outdoor Instructor
Growing up by the sea has affected every part of my life.
I have, briefly, attempted to live away from the ocean but soon got drawn back and have now decided never to leave.
I think that breathing in the sea air, walking along a sandy beach and swimming in cold salt water has a huge positive effect on me – mentally and physically
As a kid my summer holidays were spent at the beach hut come rain or shine.
Long days spent playing on the beach; building, digging, made up games, deck chair dens, naff inflatables, swimming, diving, body boarding. All fuelled by ice-creams and hot dogs made on a little gas stove in the beach hut.
Grey Days and Deck Chair Dens
Even grey days were great at the beach; braving the waves, swimming in the sea in the rain and making cosy forts to shelter from the wind on an empty beach.
We had a lovely beach hut community, six other families had beach huts near ours.
Friday ‘hut evenings’ became a tradition, the beach hut clan would stay late after all the day trippers had gone.
We would have huge games of volleyball, kids vs adults, there were endless games of rounders and cricket that only ended after it was too dark to see the ball.
In the summer holidays there were fireworks launched from Bournemouth pier and we had a grandstand view from our little patch of the sea front, sitting cross-legged on the sand watching fireworks light up the whole bay.
Growing a Little Older
Somehow I’ve become an adult since then but very little has changed.
I’m still drawn to the sea, holidays or dog walks – it makes no difference. I love playing in the ocean, rain or shine, endless games of rounders with friends and bodyboarding when it gets choppy – always fuelled by ice-cream, and always with a flake.
I’m really lucky to live in Swanage, I have beautiful beaches a few minutes walk from my front door, rocky coastlines to jump off at work and secret spots I get to enjoy on days off.
Get to Know the Sea
I’m even more lucky to have experience and knowledge of the sea and how it works; tides, swell, weather, rescue, good equipment and local knowledge means I can stay safe and help other people enjoy the coast .
There is something incredibly soothing about watching the sea, the tumble of water running up a shingle beach waves barrelling onto shelving sand, spray being thrown skywards heavy as swell hits solid rock
Or a sunset turning the ocean from deep blues to a blazing horizon of reds and oranges.
Words by Sophie Tanner
Seaside maker of great coffee: https://www.carvecoffee.co.uk/
27 May 2020 by Owen Senior