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

Kelowna families honour the dead by releasing butterflies

The Nicholson matriarchs release 33 butterflies

Course veterans seize victory in Peach City Classic

The first place titles in this year’s triathlon belonged to returning competitors.

Your reviews: John Fogerty rocks the South Okanagan

Photos and reviews from fans in Penticton at John Fogerty’s concert in the SOEC

Sparks fly after dirt bike accident near Tulameen

Trail society says the RDOS should have prevented crash

Visitors see what a veterinarian’s work entails

BC SPCA Penticton Veterinarian Hospital hosts open house.

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

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

Kelowna families honour the dead by releasing butterflies

The Nicholson matriarchs release 33 butterflies

Vernon writers launch online workshop for teens, young adults

Storymakers’ Raise Your Voice workshop seeks to help women writers uncover and use voice

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

East Shuswap Road wildfire’s fire line being controlled

Firefighters saved an eagle’s nest and eaglets while controlling fire lines

Most Read