The annual polar bear dip in Peachland. - Image: Kathy Michaels

Okanagan polar bears hit the water

The annual polar bear dip tradition carried on in the Central Okanagan thanks to some hearty swimmers

It was 2 C in Okanagan Lake Monday afternoon when close to 40 men, women and children plunged into the waves for the annual Peachland Polar Dip.

Those 40 were joined by adrenaline junkies throughout the Central Okanagan who swear by the annual ice-cold ritual.

For some it was a good way to start the new year, others it was a personal challenge. For a growing number of participants it is simply a tradition that’s worth keeping.

“It’s my fifth time,” said Peachland resident Shirley Duckitt. “It’s a good way to start the New Year … you feel really refreshed when you do it.”

Over the years Duckitt has learned the best way to get in and out in good shape. The first year she wore overalls, and that was not a good idea.

Now she gets down to the bare essentials and takes a hand from her husband Phil, who waits on shore with some warm clothes in hand.

As for why he doesn’t make the plunge himself, Phil said he’s happy to go in the lake from April through October, afterwards all bets are off.

“I’m not as confident as the women,” he said.

Other couples partaking in the day’s swim were Rik and Suzie Stephens.

Monday was their fourth run at the event, but their first as a married a couple so they dressed for the occasion.

It was a hit among those gathered, but unlikely to take the sting out of the swim.

“It gets worse every year,” said Rik.

Vince Boyko is another faithful polar bear dipper and said this year was a lot colder than previous years.

Usually he can stand the frigid waters for a couple minutes, but that wasn’t the case this year.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

The annual polar bear dip in Kelowna. - Image: Douglas Farrow

Just Posted

Chief Clarence Louie earns induction to Canadian Business Hall of Fame

Osoyoos Indian Band chief recognized as one of the country’s most distinguished business leaders

Hang glider pilot rescued from Pincushion Mountain

Pilot was able to help guide rescue crews to her location

Town of Oliver receives award for annual financial report

The town’s finance department is being honoured by the GFOA

Penticton Hospital Auxiliary donates to mental health

Canadian Mental Health Association received a $1,000 donation from the Penticton Hospital Auxiliary

Balmy winter forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

El Niño is anticipated to develop later this winter

Video: New Penticton studio is a playground for creative types

We toured Penticton’s newest creator space

Razor burn: Gillette ad stirs online uproar

A Gillette ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash

Hang glider pilot rescued from Pincushion Mountain

Pilot was able to help guide rescue crews to her location

Thompson Okanagan potential hot spot for lung-cancer-causing gas

Kelowna public forum addresses excessive radon radiation exposure dangers

Feds poised to bolster RCMP accountability with external watchdog

Long-anticipated move is the latest attempt at rebuilding the force following years of sagging morale

Canada needs a digital ID system, bankers association says

The Department of Finance last week officially launched its public consultation on the merits of open banking

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Most Read