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

Reel Reviews: The Commuter arrives, but The Post delivers

We say, “The Post is taut and electric. The Commuter is clever.”

Tychonik continues scoring run

Vees chalk up another win with Pink in the Rink

Mamas for Mamas founder survives with new lease on life

Kelowna’s Shannon Christensen escaped a dangerous situation and lived to tell about it

Brentley’s journey with autism

A three-year-old Penticton boy has a new direction in life

Gas thieves using spigots to help themselves again and again

Gas thieves drilling holes in vehicle tanks and inserting spigots or screws

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Most Read