Yes laidles and gentles, it’s that time of year when lots of peeps turn up at Druridge Bay just a bit before dawn, or, even, the afternoon before dawn, and, at the appropriate time, when the sun begins to peep over the briney horizon from somewhere in the approximate direction of Copenhagenm they all take off their clothes and run screaming and gasping into the North Sea.
Of people already appearing in other places in this blog, these
idiots gentle people included Dawn, Brian and me. LTD stayed sensibly but a bit reluctantly in the car where he had a cosy blanket.
But first, me and Dawn did pretty much what we’d done the year before – we’d travelled up to Ross Back Sands to bivi, a bit luxuriously, on the beach.
Mostly, we ate and slept. Lucky made nests in the prickly grass and did some desultory running about. But he’s not really a running about type of dog. Give seven miles of empty beach and he walks to heel. That is, until he sniffs something dead and rotting and then he runs off and roll in it. Ross Back Sands had two dead seals.
We did very little at all, the most taxing chores being the supping of tea and the thawing of our dinner. Me and LTD had a walk around the point – about three miles of mainly hard sand, a few stony patches and some hard mud. There were geese. Lots of geese. A tractor and land-rover convoy came off the mud and put up several hundred geese in a lump. Other geese just squawked a bit as we passed. Large numbers had been passing overhead at times – heading South. It was time for that sort of thing.
We moved to Druridge Bay on Saturday afternoon and camped in the “quiet/family” bay whilst others gathered around a fire and played drums a bit irritatingly for those who’s supply of merlot hadn’t quite done the sedation.
At stupid-o-clock, we repaired to the beach – Dawn in her professional post-open-water-swimming stuff and me in my nor-a-onesie. There’ we met Brian, armed with coffee, hot and strong and we waited in the pre-dawn gloaming, shivering a bit, along with 400 or so others.
And, on command, we dipped.
In my view, and I can only speak for myself, it was perishing cold. But it was quite good fun. There was much screaming and quite a few people seemed a bit taken aback by the “refreshing” nature of the water and the frequently over-assertive nature of the waves. Some big waves, in my view. I thought some were a bit scary.
The cause is Mind. And it’s just exactly the proper thing to be doing for Mind. It’s a healing thing. And it’s quite good fun. Everybody should do it at least once a year. If you’ve a hankering to do something like this, but are being held back by whatever it is that holds you back, my only advice is to take the plunge and get on with it. Sometimes tiomorrow has an unpleasant habit of being cancelled.
The North-East Skinny Dip is an annual event held at the (very beautiful) Druridge Bay each September as close as possible to the Autumn Equinox. It’s been on the telly and in the papers and it’s not hard to find on Google. It’s a very wholesome event which tends to affect it’s participants in a surprisingly positive way. There’s a small fee.