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Some hardy souls went swimming

January 1 saw dozens of people come out for the annual Polar Bear Swim at Whiffin Spit. - Britt Santowski
January 1 saw dozens of people come out for the annual Polar Bear Swim at Whiffin Spit.
— image credit: Britt Santowski

This year's polar dip into the ocean happened on a warm, windless day with calm waters. It made for nice(ish) conditions for the more than 100 brave swimmers donning swimwear fashions that ranged from itsy bitsy bikinis to full-bodied wet suits. Yellow polka dots were not spotted.

"The only uncontrollable thing was the high tide," noted Otter Point fire fighter Dave Gollmer, "robbing us of our beach area." Consequently, the brave (or something) swimmers were huddled up along the rocks on the edge of the waters.

"In spite of the tide, we had our best ever swim," reported Gollmer. "The 113 registered swimmers and the crowd of on-lookers exceeded the Y2K attendance and set a new record. The event keeps growing every year. That was our 21st year of this event." Only one has been missed since its inception because of heavy snow.

At exactly 12 noon, the canon blasted. It's startlingly loud BOOM (strong enough to shake the air) probably triggered what is known as the adrenaline stress response to crisis, inciting the fight-or-flight response. The automatic flight response probably helped these these polar swimmers make this mad dash-and-dip into the wintery ocean.

Very few lounged in the water. This reporter did note that while the last runners were dipping in, the majority of swimmers were already running out, heading back to shore where their friends, family and dry clothes awaited.

The annual dip is coordinated by the Otter Point Volunteer Fire Department. Additional photos of the Polar dip can be found on Facebook's Otter Point Bulletin Board at facebook.com/OtterPointBC

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