It’s a long-standing Findhorn tradition to arrange a New Year’s Day swim on Findhorn beach – the Polar Bear Swim. Regardless of the weather, each year a bunch of intrepid dippers brave the elements and take a quick plunge in the North Sea. This year, as with last year, we were blessed with weather mild by Scottish mid-winter standards – no snow or ice but an overcast day still crisply cold with the temperature not far above zero.
For some, like our guests who are here on one of our programmes, this is a memorable first time experience; for others who live here, this is a time-honoured way to see in the coming year and a ritual which they have carried out for many years.
For Alan Watson-Featherstone, a long-standing Findhorn Community member and Trees For Life founder and Executive Director, it is his 37th! He bused a group of hardy souls to Findhorn beach where they upheld this tradition, greeting the freezing temperatures with whoops of delight. It was low tide this year with the waves hardly rippling up the beach – a long run to reach the water’s edge.
It was then off to the hot tub to complete the ritual and warm up the fingers and toes. Until we do it all again in 365 days time.