Sun shines for Cowichan’s polar bears on New Year’s Day

Swimmers run into Cowichan Bay to celebrate the start of 2020 on Wednesday, Jan. 1. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Swimmers run into Cowichan Bay to celebrate the start of 2020 on Wednesday, Jan. 1. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Jackie Harrison and daughters Anna and Camryn brave the chilly waters of Maple Bay during the annual New Year’s Day polar bear swim. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)Jackie Harrison and daughters Anna and Camryn brave the chilly waters of Maple Bay during the annual New Year’s Day polar bear swim. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Left: the sun shone brightly on swimmers but the water was plenty cold for these polar bears. (Russell Rothbauer photo)Left: the sun shone brightly on swimmers but the water was plenty cold for these polar bears. (Russell Rothbauer photo)
Swimmers run into Cowichan Bay to celebrate the start of 2020 on Wednesday, Jan. 1. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Swimmers run into Cowichan Bay to celebrate the start of 2020 on Wednesday, Jan. 1. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
The cold didn’t seem to affect some during the annual Cowichan Bay polar bear swim. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)The cold didn’t seem to affect some during the annual Cowichan Bay polar bear swim. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Swimmers gasp at the cold of Cowichan Bay while they celebrate the start of 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Swimmers gasp at the cold of Cowichan Bay while they celebrate the start of 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Swimmers gasp at the coldness of Cowichan Bay while they celebrate the start of 2020 on Wednesday, Jan. 1. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Swimmers gasp at the coldness of Cowichan Bay while they celebrate the start of 2020 on Wednesday, Jan. 1. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
The youth led the way at the annual Maple Bay polar bear swim at noon on the dot Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)The youth led the way at the annual Maple Bay polar bear swim at noon on the dot Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Many braved the chilly waters of Maple Bay during the annual New Year’s Day polar bear swim. Some even kicked it up a notch with costumes. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Many braved the chilly waters of Maple Bay during the annual New Year’s Day polar bear swim. Some even kicked it up a notch with costumes. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Many braved the chilly waters of Maple Bay during the annual New Year’s Day polar bear swim on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. Some even kicked it up a notch with costumes. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Many braved the chilly waters of Maple Bay during the annual New Year’s Day polar bear swim on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. Some even kicked it up a notch with costumes. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Happy New Year from some of the Duncan Stingrays swim team. They opted for the salty sea instead of the pool on New Year’s Day at the annual Maple Bay polar bear swim. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)                                Happy New Year from some of the Duncan Stingrays swim team. They opted for the salty sea instead of the pool on New Year’s Day at the annual Maple Bay polar bear swim. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Happy New Year from some of the Duncan Stingrays swim team. They opted for the salty sea instead of the pool on New Year’s Day at the annual Maple Bay polar bear swim. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen) Happy New Year from some of the Duncan Stingrays swim team. They opted for the salty sea instead of the pool on New Year’s Day at the annual Maple Bay polar bear swim. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Many braved the chilly waters of Maple Bay during the annual New Year’s Day polar bear swim on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. Some even kicked it up a notch with costumes. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Many braved the chilly waters of Maple Bay during the annual New Year’s Day polar bear swim on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. Some even kicked it up a notch with costumes. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Many braved the chilly waters of Maple Bay during the annual New Year’s Day polar bear swim on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Many braved the chilly waters of Maple Bay during the annual New Year’s Day polar bear swim on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
The youth led the way at the annual Maple Bay polar bear swim at noon on the dot Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. This young fellow went in twice! (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)The youth led the way at the annual Maple Bay polar bear swim at noon on the dot Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. This young fellow went in twice! (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

It was a beautiful Wednesday with the sun shining bright on New Year’s Day. Swimmers gathered en masse at both the Cowichan Bay and Maple Bay annual polar bear swims. Though the sun was shining, the water was still cold. Congratulations to all who braved the chilly drink!

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Island Health is expected to begin public consultations soon on its controversial plans to open a new wellness and recovery centre at 5878 York Road. (File photo)
Public consultations on Duncan wellness and recovery centre coming in February

Controversial facility on York Road scheduled to open in June

Jerry Dyck plans to purchase a new RV to drive across Canada in, once it’s safe to travel again. (Courtesy BCLC)
Victoria man plans post-pandemic cross-Canada RV trip after $2M lottery win

Retired electrician bought the winning ticket in Duncan

Providence Health Care has teamed up with partners, including Island Health, to launch the first remote cochlear implant (CI) mapping program for adults in British Columbia. Duncan’s Alan Holt was one of the first to test it out. (Submitted)
Remote cochlear clinic offers shorter commute for patients like Duncan’s Alan Holt

Duncan man one of the first to test virtual mapping program

Larry Fiege, right, from Fiege’s Farm shows a rapt audience the old-fashioned way to tap a Bigleaf Maple during the Maple Syrup Festival at the BC Forest Discovery Centre Feb. 1 and 2, 2020. (Andrea Rondeau/Citizen)
Maple Syrup Festival in Duncan cancelled

The annual syrup festival is a popular event at the BC Forest Discovery Centre

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Most Read