In the dim and distant past I went swimming in the sea on Christmas Day. This year, I was delighted to repeat the exercise.
I did it with my daughter and nephew in some style at the Mike Moyle Memorial Christmas Day Swim at Crooklets Beach, Bude.
The event was organised with considerable panache by Bude Surf Life Saving Club.
It sounds simple - run in, have a dip, run out. But there were 200+ people taking part and about a thousand spectators.
In past years, the "dippers" have stood on the sand, someone blew a whistle and they all ran into the sea.
This year it was a bit more of an occasion. A wide lane of the beach was roped off. A start line was established at the very top of the beach by the Surf Life Saving Club building. All 200+ swimmers congregated at the top of the beach and a klaxon was sounded.
Then the fun started. We all charged down the beach.
Bear in mind three things, however:
1. No wet suits were allowed.
2. You had to dive in and cover your whole body with sea water.
3. The top 80% of Crooklets Beach is covered in stones.
So we had to run over the stones! (What sadist thought of that?!) And if you had stopped or slowed down you would have had 200 people piling into the back of you.
So, although I recovered from the cold of the sea just after the "dip", I am still recovering from the bruises on the soles of my feet, incurred running across the blessed stones.
However, it was a very fitting tribute to Mike Moyle, who was a founder member of Bude Surf Life Saving Club and the Bude Lifeboat. He was a consistent and loyal activist for both of them over nigh-on fifty years.