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.
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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