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First swim of the season

June is upon us, and that means the start of swimming season. This year we've started a little later than usual because the first week of the month saw an inundation of unusually non-stinging jellyfish along the coast.

The jellyfish aren't the normal types we see in the water, but Aequorea forskalea or the 'many-ribbed jellyfish' which reports suggest are more normally found in deeper waters. The jellyfish were so harmless that children were scooping them out of the water onto the sand with their bare hands - not something to be advised for the stinging kind.

However, despite being harmless, their presence is still a bit off putting, so we delayed going swimming until this weekend with the air temperatures heading into the thirties (celcius).

We normally start with La Fosca area as the bay is shallower, and so the water gets warmer earlier in the season compared to some of the deeper bays. However, this year, our surprise was how much the sand had shifted over the winter. In previous years, the bay has a sandbank which allows for swimmers to stand even quite a way out from the shore. This year the sandbank has been levelled, so the water is deeper all the way out.

We also tried at Platja de Castell, and here too the sand has moved over the winter period. Our favourite spot at the far end is normally soft sand, but now entering the water requires stepping across rocks exposed on the seabed.

The changes are entirely natural. Coastal environments shift and change all the time. One of the delights is to walk on beaches at places like the Gola de Ter to see how the pattern of sea and sand shifts with the seasons. It's quite possible the sandbank will return, and the sand will return to Castell as the season progresses. The beauty of the sea is that it is always changing.

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