Neer Day Dook
12:30:45 1 January 2024
56.4692° N, 2.8815° W
The piper greets them as they rumble along towards the slip road. Towel robes, speedos, smocks, onesies, superheros, fairies – a slice of Dundee dressed in all manner of getups. Relatives and friends and anyone mad enough to brave the afternoon cold of a new year’s day line the wharf, cheering them on. A man on a tannoy barks and the ‘dookers’ halt at the bottom of the slip road. The sea is grey, opaque. Seaweed rolls in the shallows. Rescue boats bob in the chop of the water. The order comes and they pour forward, splashing into the sea. The air is full of the sound of delighted suffering.
Organised by Ye Amphibious Ancients Bathing Association, Dundee’s New Year Day’s bathe or ‘dook’ at Broughty Ferry has been in play since at least 1891. Costume-wise, the otherwise chaos-welcoming Association draws the line at mankinis.