Dalintober dippers declare: ‘The beach is not just for summer’

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Words and photographs Mark Davey

Dippers raising cash for two Kintyre water based charities will revisit the Costa del Dalintober on new year’s day 2019.

Kintyre Seasports, the project to create a community centre of watersports excellence and Dalintober Beach Group, the organisation leading the restoration of Campbeltown’s sparkling sands, hope to see numbers swell at next year’s Dip for Dosh on January 1.

The sixth annual plunge, into the balmy waters of Campbeltown Loch, heated by the Gulf Stream and recently compared favourably to the Pacific by visiting Australian author, TJ Johnson, will take place whatever the weather.

A dip spokesperson said: ‘Forget cut price breaks to the sun, head to Dalintober beach for a winter slice of summer.’

This is not the only beach group fundraiser and cash is continuously boosted by sales of Campbeltown author, Denzil Meyrick’s four Amazon starred, DCI Daley short story Dalintober Moon.

Dalintober Beach Group receives all proceeds from sales of the book, which is available as a 0.99 pence Kindle or e-book download.

The last three years have seen excellent conditions and although historically the dip is completed in fancy dress it is not mandatory.

Funds from the previous five dips, originally conceived by Nena McSporran and the restoration group, helped replace some of Dalintober’s sands last July.

At least 16 years, and more than three decades, since sand was added to Dalintober beach on a yearly basis, McFadyen’s Contractors laid 150 tonnes, from Langa quarry.

At the time Councillor Donald Kelly said: ‘Dalintober Beach Group has been the catalyst for the progress of the Kintyre Seasports project.

‘It is great to see this community-led group starting to invest in the regeneration of the beach.

‘It might be a small step forward but it makes a significant statement of intent to see the project come to fruition.’

Mr McLean added: ‘Dalintober Beach Group aims to bring the beach back into a usable condition.’

The restoration, one week before Kintyre Seasports inaugural Community Regatta on August 4, featured on the front-page of the Sunday Post, under the headline: ‘Costa del Campbeltown.’

At last year’s purging plunge many people were slow to emerge and started their New Year detox with a few strokes, across the Loch, in front of Beath Place.

The fun does not end with the sea water soaking which may optionally be sponsored. To give online go to: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/dalintoberbeach

The dip is followed by hot showers, soup and drinks at Campbeltown Sailing Club and has become one of the best Wee Toon post Hogmanay parties.

The precise dip time will be subject to tides. For more information see Dalintober Beach Group’s Facebook page or call: 07796 637735.

Dippers plunge into the sea in 2017. 25_c01dip06_firstdippers

A pair of jellyfish in 2016. 25_c02dip04

Restoration work in July. 25_c31beach01_digger

Sand being delivered in July. 25_c50dalintober02_sand

Beach games, with PC Karen Cairns, at the inaugural regatta in August. 25_c32regatta03_PSYV_PCKaren_Cairns

The front cover of Dalintober Moon. NO_c50dalintober01_DalintoberMoon_cover