Polar bear swim 2014

WanderWoman

How do you welcome the new year with a bang?

In Vancouver, you welcome the new year with a dip in cold freezing winter water on January 1 with thousands of revelers who are as crazy and brave as you. There were a number of other events that took place in British Columbia, including a Polar Bear Plunge, where naked dippers swam in Boundary Bay, in an event organized by the Surrey United Naturalists.

The annual Penguin Plunge also drew several swimmers to the frigid waters of Deep Cove, an hour away from the city.There were also swimmers in White Rock, very close to the USA borders but the most participants were at English Bay, at the heart of Vancouver’s city center.

At Vancouver’s English Bay, a water temperature of 8C, an air temperature of 6C had a record breaking participants of 2,550 this year, breaking the record of 2,246 in 2011. There were other years when there was even snow in the sand. This year is the second “warmest” water temperature at 8 degrees. The warmest was at 9 degrees. But warm is not exactly the right word to put it. With a temperature of 8 degrees, swimmers were encouraged not to stay in the water for more than 30 minutes because of the grave repercussions that can arise from the dip.

Registration started at noon in the famous English Bay in Vancouver, Canada. And by At 2:30 p.m., thousands of people of all ages stormed into the water wearing nothing but bikinis, spandex suits, various headwear like reindeer horns and Santa Claus hats, and even creative outfits and costumes including Gumby, Jaws, Spiderman, bridal dress, and a giant polar bear head. Too bad my photo did not come out very clear.

Thousands more also lined the beaches to watch the spectacle and to support friends and family. Participants were encouraged by the crowd’s chants.They lined up behind a yellow ribbon with the majority taking a dip into the icy waters for only a few seconds. A few brave ‘polar bears’ swam all the way to the marker buoy by the main lifeguard boat.After majority of the swimmers have gone, a few brave people from Slovakia still made it into the icy waters just wearing their swimsuits, and shorts.

Vancouver’s annual Polar Bear Swim is not only the largest in Canada but also among the world’s largest.
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