Equinoctial Nude Swim Challenge 2018 in Ireland

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Vernal (Spring) Equinox marks the first day of astronomical spring, the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator. What better way to celebrate this equinoctial event than a nude swim challenge on one of our favourite Wicklow beaches. This was organised by the Irish Naturist Association for its members.

Weather forecast predicted showers so we came prepared. But to our delight the seven of us were met by warm spring sunshine as we made our way along the pathway to Magheramore beach.

Descending down towards the sea we noticed a large text inscribed in the sand: “To be one with nature”. Who was here before us with this welcoming sign?? But the beach appeared empty. Also, we observed that there seemed to have been a recent beach clean-up since several discarded large drums were carefully lying at the entrance. Could it have been that person (possibly a naturist), who had also written on the sand?

We walked northwards along the sand but the incoming tide prevented us from getting to our usual spot. However, it didn’t matter: we had the beach to ourselves! Feeling the heat from the intermittent spring sunshine we undressed to enjoy body freedom and to embrace the sun’s rays.

It was time to brave the cold water, some had charged in ahead of me – no, thank you!!  I hesitated at the shoreline but eventually proceeded. It was arguably the coldest water I had ever waded into. The water was indeed too chilly for recreational swimming, hence we retreated back to the beach to participate in ball throwing to warm up. Miniature rugby balls were flying in the air but the stones on the beach made it difficult to run and catch.

So, we decided to make our way to the other end of the beach (most southerly part). Here the sand was free of stones and we could run and jump freely. However, we noticed rubbish at this end but unfortunately, we had no refuse sacks with us. With immediate agreement we decided our next outing would be a Magheramore beach clean-up (date to be announced).

Before we knew it was nearly noon, as with all outings the time just flew by. We hesitantly got dressed. But there was a problem – a big problem.

A pair of trousers was missing (owner name not to be disclosed). Panic!!! We looked and searched everywhere, even our own bags in case they may have been mistakenly deposited in the wrong one. No sign! We broke into search parties and trawled the beach back towards where we were originally. The trousers were spotted at the shore line just as the incoming tide was about to swallow it – disaster averted. The idiom ‘keep your trousers on’ came to mind.

While returning to the cars the sun relinquished its rays, as if to remind us that we were back into the restrictions of textile life. Reflecting on the day’s events, it was another thoroughly enjoyable outing that left me feeling uplifted and happy. And I could not have been in better company; thank you to my fellow naturists for making it a most pleasant outing!

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