After enjoying the New Year’s Eve Lantern Festival at Magic Lake on Pender Island, we decided to take in another community event on New Year’s Day. We decided to check out the Polar Bear Swim held at Port Browning. We had heard about Polar Bear swims as they are held throughout the country, but we had never been to one. Quite honestly most New Year’s Eves and New Year’s Days we spend holed up back in Alberta trying to forget that it is -20 C (or -30C or -40C) outside. This New Year’s Day provided beautiful weather complete with sunshine; fabulous by our standards.
As we first approached the area for the Polar bear swim we were greeted by the musical sounds of the Pender Highlanders. I have always loved the pipes so I greatly enjoyed passing the time listening to the music while waiting for the main event. My children had other ideas which was passing the time munching down hot dogs from the stand serving hotdogs and hot chocolate. This worked out well, they kept quiet with their mouths full of hot dog while I was actually able to hear the music (food is a wonderful thing!).
The crowd started to grow, cameras were readied, support staff were in place as the start of the swim neared.
A few brave fellows swam to the dock and then proceeded to jump in. There was a swimmer in a Santa Hat, a swimmer in a tie, a family with both grandma and the grandchildren swimming. Some swimmers took a quick dip while others stayed in far longer than I would have thought.