Number two on the Dacey’s Cornish tours list of things to do is to paddle in the ocean—and no, it has nothing to do with kayaking. The definition of “paddle” as supplied by The Oxford English dictionary is as follows:
“If you paddle, you walk or stand in shallow water, for example at the edge of the sea, for pleasure.”
So here is your 5 step program to a great paddle experience:
1. Find a great beach. Porthcurno, for example. Porthcurno is one of the best beaches in Cornwall for paddling. This beach is everything a beach should be; spectacular views, golden sands, sheltered, and in some ways hidden away from the main thoroughfare. (Those going on Dacey’s Cornish Tours will get to see this impressive view firsthand after a short walk from the car park. Get ready to encounter one of the many wonders of Cornwall.)
2. Remove all footwear as soon as you arrive on the sand, and if wearing long trousers roll them up to about the knee.
3. Walk to the sea, tuning in to the sounds of the ocean. (Note: if you’re at an Atlantic beach like Porthcurno this is the moment to mentally prepare, as the water is by no means warm.) Pick your paddle spot. How far from the shore? This aspect of the paddling experience is a matter of taste. I prefer to stand at the tide line and wait for a wave to break and roll in to cover my feet.
4. Now you will feel the delicious pleasure of wet sand beneath your feet, squeezing through your toes. To maximize the sensation, jump up and down a little. Some say the reason the combination of beach sand on your feet and paddling in the water makes us feel so alive is because it brings us back to the roots of our very existence. It elicits something in us embedded millions of years ago when our ancestors first left the sea and made their journey up the shore. (Okay, that “some say” part is really me, Dacey, talking, but while there is no scientific evidence to back my hypothesis, I think I’m onto something.)
5. Close your eyes and enjoy the sensation of the water pulling at you to go in farther. A true paddler resists that lure and stands firm. As your feet sink slowly into the sand, relish the moment.
If it is a typically cool English day paddle for only 5-10 minutes, maximum 15. The fun of paddling quickly disappears when your feet turn blue.
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