I am very late writing this but last year, on the 22/23rd September 2017, I, along with 400+ people did the annual North East Skinny Dip at Druridge Bay, England. Men and women of all ages and different shapes and sizes stripped off their clothes and ran into the freezing cold North Sea to raise money to the mental health charity, MIND and to celebrate the autumn equinox.
This was my second time taking part in the NESD, as I had done this dip in 2015. When I did the first dip, it was my first time stripping off and running naked into the sea with hundreds of people that I didn’t know. At the beginning of the event, I was so nervous about the occasion and if people would look at my body but once I got into the sea, it was fine and I found it exhilarating. It was an experience that I would never forget and something that I would have to do again in the future and maybe considering doing naturism.
Fast forward 2 years later, I am back in the campsite at Druridge Bay on the Saturday evening wearing my Irish hat and necklace, being greeted by new and familiar faces and arrive to a massive, roaring fire and people playing guitars, singing along, having a drink or two and a dance and enjoying the warm up to the event. I met numerous people from different parts of the country who arrived for the first time telling me how they heard about the event, why they wanted to do it, etc. It was very interesting hearing some of the stories that they told and how they’ve overcome adversities in their life and want to have a new experience. I felt very sympathetic hearing their stories and although they were very nervous as first timers, I was able to share my experience of the event and told them that “once you do it, you will be back here again.”
At 6.15am on Sunday morning, revellers started to gather in packs preparing to make their way to the beach to bare all. We were welcomed by beating djembes, beach barbeques, photographers and fire dancers. Whilst the time was ticking, I brought face-paint with me and decided to get the words “Póg mo Thóin Depression” on my back in the Irish colours with the help from a few volunteers. Many people were asking what it means especially the organiser of the event, Jax Higginson and taking pictures of my back.
Not long to go, I noticed a woman with her kit off posing for the cameras, I decided to join in and get my bare Irish bum and my Irish hat into the picture whilst looking into the glorious sunrise.
It comes to 7am and Jax, the organiser is getting us to do scissors jumps and warm up whilst others are already taking their clothes off. Next thing…..3…..2…..1…..strip! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Hundreds of naked people men, women and kids are screaming, laughing and sprinting into the baltic North Sea. While trying to hurdle the freezing, incoming waves, I started receiving high fives, hugs and kisses from people I had met the night before and when I did the dip two years ago. I don’t remember how long I was in the water for but I can tell you that I was frozen to the core and could barely speak due to my teeth chattering.
It was again a fantastic experience and never fails to disappoint. It doesn’t matter how old, what shape or size you are, anyone can take part. I’d highly recommend you to do the North East Skinny Dip for the invigorating experience and for a great cause. Hopefully we get a few Irish people to come over as apparently there is a planned naked Mexican Wave taking place at this years dip. You can’t miss it. 😉