01/01/2008 New Years Day!
Now we had been going on about going for a swim all week. Of course Helen had been in several times in her wetsuit for surfing but Dave, Alan and I had always backed out, usually citing poor weather as an excuse. Well, if we were going to do it at all, it was now or never. Start the year as you intend to go on as it were. I’m seriously hoping that this means that I’m going to be keeping my promises and commitments more rather than that I’m going to spend the rest of the year wet and freezing cold!
As promised, Grace got us up (reasonably) early and after a quick breakfast we put on our swimming things and went to call on Alan. Alan, of course, was not ready so we headed down to the beach to wait for him and Katie there. Just when we were starting to think that we were going to have to get in the water to prevent us from dying of cold on the sand, Alan appeared over the dunes with Katie.
We got some odd looks from people walking their dogs on the beach as we stripped down to our costumes and prepared to enter the water. No point in hanging around so as soon as we were all ready we charged into the sea. By Christ was it cold! I could feel every drop of water burning against my skin, my pulse went up and breathing became very rapid as my body tried to burn enough fuel to keep me warm. When I mentioned the idea to a friend of mine at work a few weeks before Christmas she speculated that my testicles may get lodged behind my ears somewhere. I can say that she was not wrong!
We were soon out where the waves were breaking over our heads which at least meant we were cold all over! Some surfers were laughing at us, not sure whether with admiration at our bravery or with contempt at our stupidity!
Alan had enough and headed out. I followed a minute or so later and Dave and Helen caught me up on the way out. In all we were in the sea for less than 5 minutes but it was worth it. After drying off it was back to the house for a hot shower and a massive breakfast. The amount of energy we used up was incredible, I had to eat much more than usual that day to keep my energy up and did not stop shivering until the evening.
We’re thinking of maybe making this an annual event (in years when we are in Croyde) and putting signs up in Croyde the days before inviting others to join us. Dave suggested the meeting point could be the amusingly named Cock Rock which stands in the middle of the beach.
After recovering from this ordeal, we took a walk up to Baggy Point. As you’ll see from the pictures, everyone else in the entire world also decided to do so. Usually when we walk up here on balmy summer days we see nary a soul along the way. On a cold, windy winters day which promised rain there were hundreds of them! Wonder if it is a local tradition.
After the walk we headed into Croyde for a drink in the pub and to show Grace the sights. Then it was time to take her back to the station and pack her off back to the Big Smoke.
After the excitement of New Year, the rest of the holiday was mainly spent chilling out and trying to use up the remains of the food and booze we brought with us. We didn’t manage either of these things in the end despite quite a lot of drinking and an enormous breakfast on the last day!
Now I’m back home and 2008 is speeding along at a worrying rate. It will be February soon and then before I know it I’ll be writing about what we did to usher in 2009! hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures and potted diary. See you all soon.