The annual Christmas sea swim has been taking place for almost 60 years on Clacton beach, Essex, United Kingdom. The low mumble of excited folk, showing off their Santa hats whilst sipping mulled wine, increase the tension as everybody stands, half naked and raring to go.

Without much warning, hilarity sets in and the crowd go storming towards the calm sea’s chill – the low-risen sunshine flickering on the tide, screaming his invitation to jump right on in. Arms flail and cameras click; toes hit the water and it is now or never, keep running or quit? Within what feels like seconds, it is all over.

Looking out to sea it’s hard to believe anybody had disturbed the water this morning.
Except for that one head I can see still bobbing around, his body now comfortably numb; he must look back at me and my quick escape, and think by god how incredibly boring.