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Polar swims draw brave waders

Polar swims draw brave waders

It was a sunny New Year’s Day on the Sunshine Coast, perfect for a dip in the ocean. Here, more than 50 people took the plunge at Armours Beach in Gibsons in the annual Polar Bear Swim. Another 75 jumped in at Davis Bay in Sechelt, where age-group races meant many actually went “swimming”. Environment Canada listed the high for the day at 3.3 degrees, although a thermometer at Davis Bay showed the air temperature at 5 degrees, with the water a couple of degrees warmer. Just to make sure it was cold enough, organizers from the Lions Club dumped a couple of buckets of ice cubes into Davis Bay. This a sharp contrast to other areas of the country:  in Toronto – with a high of -9 degrees and wind chill in the double digits – the Polar Bear Swim was cancelled because the ice conditions on Lake Ontario made it too dangerous. Donna McMahon photos


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