The benefits of sea dips are well known. The activity improves circulation, reduces stress, boosts your immune system and is a great way to socialise with like minded people.
This rather wonderful group of friends dip together weekly and warmly invite and welcome others to join their meet ups. The group get together in front of The Southsea Beach Cafe every weekend, catch up, go for a swim and enjoy a post dip cuppa and a chat.
Everything about this group sings health. Mindfulness, wellbeing and joy are at the forefront of these meets. The main prerogative being to feel good and to spend a bit more time doing something that makes you happier. The mental health benefits are enormous and the sense of community and that charming addition of bringing people together to enjoy something they love is evident.
As an ocean lover, the very thought of it brining people together in this way warms my chest. I love to promote the positive ways in which people interact with water and was inspired to share peoples experiences after spending several years attending the Ocean Film Festival. An amazing production of short films by normal people doing incredible things in the sea, lakes, rivers and other watery environments.
There are may different threads to how people met in this group from hello’s at the beach amongst strangers to introductions at menopause seminars. There are also long standing friendships in this group with some of the ladies knowing each other for 18 years! I caught up with lovely Dawn Hope-Davis to find out more…
‘Carole met Phil at a menopause seminar and a couple of days later she joined us. I’ve known 2 of the group for 18 years; Yasmin Dove and Valerie Thompson (who can’t swim). I’ve known Kate Angus for around 14 years but we only became good friends when I moved to Southsea 8 years ago … we kept each other sane during the lockdowns. I met Nicki Whelan at Rock Choir 4 years ago and we became good friends. She started regular season swimming just before me with her friends and joins us as often as she can. I met Kate Gibbons at WTMWTD 18 months ago and really liked her from the very first dip (well she was giving cake to us all ). I’ve lived in Southsea for 8 years but it was only during lockdown that I realised how many people were swimming all year round. My friend Kate Angus and I covered a lot of miles on our early morning, socially distanced walks and jokingly talked about joining them. The only problem was that I don’t swim very well, I’m frightened of water and, while I love the UK seasons, I’m not a big fan of being cold.
In June 2021 Kate asked me if I fancied joining a group she had been meeting up with called Win The Morning, Win The Day (WTMWTD) who met at 05.30 every Friday in Southsea, did a 3 mile walk then an optional dip. It took a couple of weeks for me to become undeniably hooked. Fast forward to November 2021 and I decided that walking and dipping in the dark wasn’t for me so a few of my friends joined me for sunrise dips on a Saturday and or Sunday. By January 2022 there were 4 of us dipping most weekends.
In the March I bumped into some of the WTMWTD group and mentioned I was still dipping weekly and they asked if they could meet up with us … and the rest as they say is history. We now have 24 members of The Tipsy Dippers and around 14 are meeting up regularly. They really are a super group of ladies and I feel privileged to know them all and enjoy their company enormously. As much as I love dipping, in the colder months especially, it’s the people I dip with who are the reason I love it so much’.
Images by Dawn Hope-Davies