The best thing about being in Plymouth for me is being surrounded by the sea. When you add that in with all this gorgeous weather, there is a lot of fun to be had! My friend Anna had a spare paddle board so whilst the sun was shining she decided to teach me and our other friend Emily how to paddle board. We took off to South Milton Sands, which is a beautiful area. The water is shallow and crystal clear; we could see small fish darting around and even a few young jellyfish right on the edge of the beach.
I’ve never tried paddle boarding before but it was amazing! We took turns to learn on the spare board, staying in the shallows by the shore. The first task was actually getting on the board, it sounds easy but when the board is floating around next to you rising and falling even with the tiny ripples it feels really tricky. But, it only took me two attempts! I stayed sat on my knees at first getting used to the feel of paddling along. Then came the biggest challenge of all, actually standing up. My legs have never shaken so much before! Trying to switch from kneeling to standing whilst holding on to your paddle and trying not to fall off was really REALLY tricky. It took loads of attempts for me to stand up and even then I was really shaky. It felt like any moment I was going to be swimming not standing. But with my friend’s encouragement I paddled around in the shallows getting more and more comfortable with balancing and paddling.
It was an amazing feeling when I got the hang of it. To just float around on the water and gently paddle along, it didn’t even feel that strenuous either, not compared to activities like kayaking. Once me and Emily got the hang of it, we re-grouped and set off. For anyone who has ever been to South Milton Sands you’ll know that it is a very sheltered area and is shallow for quite a way out. It also has a beautiful rock archway right in the centre of the Bay.
We grabbed the boards and a snorkelling set, and headed out together with me perched on the front of Anna’s board as she paddled with Emily next to us. We headed out from the shoreline to the rocky arch way. It was a beautiful day and really busy on the beach, but it was deserted out on the water. We were far enough away that it was quiet and felt like we were the only ones in the whole Bay. We bobbed around on the water taking turns paddling and slipping off the boards for a swim (which did not class as falling in) or going for a snorkel. There were loads of rocks providing shelter for fish so the snorkelling was excellent and we were able to visit spots that we couldn’t have reached by simply swimming from the beach.
We played around paddling through the archway, over the rocks and skimming the tops of seaweed. At one point we pulled the boards together and the three of us laid across them and chilled out lazying in the sun with the waves gently bobbing us up and down.
It was an amazing trip out and a great way to enjoy this wonderful weather. I loved learning a new sport and it was even better to be able to learn with two great friends.