It’s obviously fun to shiver in Shawnigan. Are you ready to give it a try? (Citizen file)

VIDEO: Polar bear swimmers prep for icy plunge in four Cowichan hot (cold) spots on Jan. 1

Jan. 1 is when Cowichan’s most enthusiastic boosters take to chilly waters to celebrate a new year.

Want to take the plunge on New Year’s Day?

There are several polar bear swims around the Cowichan Valley on Jan. 1 for those enthusiasts who just can’t resist a chance to cool off as the holidays wind down for another year.

• In Cowichan Bay, the die-hards gather at Hecate Park at 10:30 a.m. to register for the polar bear swim, which starts at 11 a.m. At this event, crazies run, dance, walk, or saunter down the boat ramp into the ocean at the park. Most are outta there pretty quickly but a few like to swim around a bit. The fire department, which organizes it, is on hand in case of emergencies.

• At Shawnigan Lake, there’s the Fifth Annual Shawnigan Shiver at Government Wharf Park. Registration begins at 11:15 a.m. and everyone takes the plunge at noon. Registration is $2, or $5 if you want a Shawnigan Shiver tuque. There’s an annual “Shiver” button for swimmers that get wet to the waist. Afterwards, enjoy the included hot drink and cookies.

• Maple Bay’s yearly polar bear swim has probably been going on the longest, and attracts a big crowd to the beach by the Maple Bay Rowing Club, where everyone makes the dash into the ocean at noon. If you’ve a yen to wear a wild costume to take your dip, you’ll find plenty of company at Maple Bay.

• At Crofton, the annual swim is held at the boat launch beside the ferry terminal. It begins at 12 noon. Last year, the wind howled up the beach, buffeting the bravehearts who ran into the water.

Note: There will be no Blue Bear Swim at Youbou’s Arbutus Park this New Year. It has been cancelled due to construction at the park, organizers say.

Just Posted

Cowichan Senior C lacrosse revival in the works

River Rats spearheading effort to get team in Victoria league

Snow still stymies sports schedulers

Soccer and rugby games cancelled and postponed due to weather

Duncan woman calls for better bylaw protection in off-leash parks

Jane Rosenberg knocked down by friendly dog

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Coming up in Cowichan: Bowl for Kids; Leaders of Tomorrow

Bowl for Kids Sake coming up in Cowichan Valley on March 3… Continue reading

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Most Read