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Even real polar bears would be watching in amusement as swimmers plunge into the Charlottetown harbour

Only the top of his head can be seen as this swimmer plunges into the frigid water of the Charlotettown Harbour Monday.
Only the top of his head can be seen as this swimmer plunges into the frigid water of the Charlottetown Harbour Monday. BRIAN MCINNIS/THE GUARDIAN

The air temperature hovered around -11 C with a wind chill about -21 C New Year’s day as several hundred spectators lined the little beach adjacent to the Charlottetown Yacht Club to watch in amazement, and perhaps bemusement, as close to 100 people gingerly walked out onto the harbour ice and plunged into frigid water.

 

He wastes no time in taking the plunge. BRIAN MCINNIS/THE GUARDIAN
He wastes no time in taking the plunge. BRIAN MCINNIS/THE GUARDIAN

This was the annual Polar Bear Dip that some hardy Islanders have been using to ring in the new year for a long time, but unlike other polar swims, there was thick ice that had to be navigated before swimmers could take their dip. Organizers cut a hole in the ice and swimmers lined up to wait their turn. The water was about four feet deep and a small step-ladder was placed in the water to aid the swimmers as they climbed out of the water and onto the ice.

 

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Walk out onto the ice, stand in the cold for your turn and then jump! That was the order of the day Monday during the annual polar bear dip. BRIAN MCINNIS/THE GUARDIAN
Walk out onto the ice, stand in the cold for your turn and then jump! That was the order of the day Monday during the annual polar bear dip. BRIAN MCINNIS/THE GUARDIAN

 

 

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