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"The New Years Day Dip at Whitley Bay was the first, coldest and probably quickest challenge of the year, and despite some nerves as I was arriving, it was quite enjoyable too (in an odd way). It was so much fun I ended up doing it twice - but more of that later on. With the celebrations and fireworks at Newcastle Quayside still ringing in my ears at 2am, when I finally made it to bed, a 11am appointment with the freezing cold North Sea was the last thing in the world I needed. Never mind, I duly got up and out of bed and into my 'Daniel Craig style' trunks that you all voted for and headed to the beach. I was quite amazed by how many people were there and ready to run into the water, and as I stripped off, I thought of how many of them were wearing layers of clothes and t-shirts and various fancy dress costumes. I also thought about how few of us were wearing very small amounts of spandex (although it wasn’t just me to be fair!).

 

I was joined by my friend Michael and as we awaited the arrival of another pal, Andy, we stood around semi naked in scared anticipation. Although it was quite sunny and a pleasant day, the wind was still very cold and the temperature around 5-6 degrees. So the countdown started and Andy still hadn't arrived and the hundreds of brave souls dashed into the water, splashing and diving - getting in as far as we dared. there was only one way to describe it - Absolutely Freezing!!

 

It is by far the coldest thing I have ever done, and after about a minute we turned around and ran back out to try to get dry and warm. There were some mad individuals who were hanging about in there and seemed to be enjoying it a little too much and as we towelled down and continued to watch them, Andy turned up!

 

Armed with his shorts and a disappointed face that he had missed it (I'm not sure he wasn't trying to wriggle out of it actually) I suggested that if he stripped off, I would go back in again. Michael, however, wasn't having any of that! So off I trotted again to join Andy, getting freezing cold all over again and all in the name of charity! Luckily, prepared this time, it didn’t feel so bad - except that by the time we got out, my feet were like blocks of ice and I could barely feel them!

 

So bring on the next 39 challenges and events - they will all take longer, more preparation and effort than the first one, but its nice to get off to a flying albeit, freezing start.

 

Big thanks to Michael and Andy who joined me in the water, and everyone else who came down to watch, laugh and support. Lisa, Kelly, Trish, Sean, Frankie, Paul N, Paul W and Karen! You helped make the pain bearable (almost!)"

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New Years Dip

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