And so it is. Summer was a huge success when it came to bathing in the delights of the sea (and river). Thank you to all of you who showed up to dip or support, to laugh and cry, to smile, form new friendships, try new things, travel to other locations and of course, drink tea and eat cake. I feel so, so cherished to have you and this joyful community in my life, and I'm pretty sure you all feel the same. Here are some of the highlights of the past few months, mostly because I've not been very good at putting everything on here with the increased use of social media!! So please accept my apologies - I'll be better in 2022 (I think ;)
We mostly all got our beach shoes on (who can survive the Selsey shingle without them!). Some of us wrapped ourselves in post-waste plastic swim suits and all the latest sit suits and post-swim paraphernalia. Some ate fish and chips on West Beach (that was a memorable exercise in ever-refining spreadsheet skills!). Some met up with our swim-club friends by the Thames whilst luxury gin-palaces glided by. We ahh'ed at our furry mascot, Hazel who wobbled happily up and down the beach behind Gillian. Some got up at 6am to walk a mile in the dark and dip as the sun rose. Some gasped at the Red Arrows flying overhead. Some rushed off to help launch the Selsey Lifeboat (well, Melissa did!). And some clung onto the slippery sides at the end of Warner Road to bathe in the full moon one evening.
All in all, it's the stuff memories are made of and the photos of our times together are some of the most joyous I know I will have to look back on as the years go by. We formed in May 2019, so this coming May will be our fourth year already. Lockdown and social distancing has impacted at least half of our existence, but thank god for our community and for the sea - I for one have come out the other side a little less scarred as a result. Here are just a few of the images captured. I'm sure there are many more, but I hope these make you smile and bring some joy into your day, months and years as you look back upon them.
I am also going to put the monthly dips back in the calendar as it's all got a bit discombobulated since the lockdowns, just so you all know where you stand. So far I'm up to February. Over the winter we're also going to have some non-sea related events like we did with the Zoom talks we did last year. These include Crafting With Mary in January, which has been postponed several times, plus of course a Bathe For The Brave beforehand (but you can just do one or the other of course). Numbers are limited for the Mary activity as we'll be running it at Clayton Court. I've also convinced Joan to give us a talk on the Manhood Peninsula Partnership as that's hugely interesting and useful to know what's going on, so that will be scheduled in shortly. I might see if Mark Sharman will give us another talk on his incredible life and trips around the (underwater) world and also finalise something I've postponed for 2 years - a talk or walk with Anya from Mulberry Divers.
There is a Bathe For The Brave dip added in now for Sat 4th December. I'm sorry about November, life just took over - other than Lockdown it's the first month we've missed and I feel terrible about it, so will never do that again! And there will also be an Xmas Dip & Gathering on Sunday 19th December! I do hope you can make it.
See the events page for all of the above and if it's not in there it will be shortly! And if you have any suggestions of what you'd like to see in 2022, please email me back - I'd much rather this was a collaborative affair with input from you all!
With love to you all on what has been a beautifully sunny, gorgeous day today.