Today I want to share with you Part One of the The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club by Katie May, her new book.
The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club by Katie May
Source: Orion Books
In the gorgeous seaside town of Whitstable, brokenhearted Deb begins to swim each day and gathers a new group of friends around her. But can the magic of sea heal the hurt of the past? Or will family ties drag her underwater again?
A heart-warming, funny and poignant story of romance, friendship and second chances. It’s also a song to the author’s home town of Whitstable, where the sea is smooth, the shingle is painful on bare feet, and the air is full of possibilities.
Interested? Here’s a little extract to make you want to read it…
It’s not easy to swim at Whitstable beach. At low tide, the sea retreats so far that it almost vanishes, and the water is barely deep enough to cover your ankles. Locals joke that you could paddle all the way to the Isle of Sheppey. I have no idea whether that’s actually true, but I do know that you’d have to wade through an awful lot of mud to find out. Not that there’s anything wrong with low tide; all kinds of strange and beautiful things are waiting to be found on the seabed. But if you want to swim, then you’ll have to wait for high tide when the sea rises halfway up the beach and is suddenly deep and tantalising. This only happens twice in twenty-four hours. Miss it by an hour, and you’ll find your knees brushing along the bottom as you attempt a front crawl.
No, to swim at Whitstable – properly swim, without your feet touching the ground – you’ll need a tide table and a military sense of punctuality. And, probably, a pair of swimming shoes, because the shingle beach is a killer on bare feet. Even then, if you time your swim to perfection, you’ll find muddy-brown Channel water rather than the clear, sparkling waves of the Atlantic.
However, if you’re willing to brave all of these things – the tides, the shingle, the looming suspicion of uncleanliness – you’ll find that the Whitstable sea has its rewards. It’s never as cold as the Atlantic, and nor does it have those crashing waves that can suddenly overwhelm you, leaving you spluttering and spitting out seaweed. By midsummer, it’s as warm and smooth as bathwater, and you’re never far from a cup of tea (or a glass of wine) when you’re done. There’s a lifeboat station just around the corner, which is a comfort. But best of all, you’ll come out of the water with the distinct sense that you’ve found a secret passageway through life, one that leaves you feeling renewed and restored. It may take a certain kind of person to appreciate the charms of Whitstable beach, but for those discerning souls, it’s almost perfect.