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Islanders take a chilly plunge to kick off the new year in Charlottetown, P.E.I.



CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Round 100 folks confirmed as much as take a chilling plunge into cool Charlottetown waters to kick off the start of 2023.

After some preliminary concern in December that the occasion might not go forward in any respect, the 2023 Polar Bear Dip drew a crowd to a small seaside close to the Charlottetown Yacht Membership to check their will energy and their dedication as they ready to run into the water.

“It’s my first time,” stated Tim Bolton, one of many members within the dip.

“I’ve been performing some apply dunks main as much as it the previous couple of weeks, so I do know it’ll be tremendous chilly, however actually you get a rush from it while you come out. You’re feeling that adrenaline and it appears like the best manner you can leap into 2023.”

Bolton stated he had accomplished a couple of take a look at dunks in Summerside main as much as the occasion, to provide himself some concept of what it could be like.

“It’s loopy. The second you contact the water, you simply really feel this blast of adrenaline,” he stated. “You simply wish to get out and get heat, however you additionally begin to really feel tremendous pumped. It is enjoyable.”

Over the past yr, Bolton stated he and his brother had been difficult one another to see how lengthy they might swim within the waters in the course of the chilly season. When a pal of his informed him concerning the polar bear dip custom, he stated it turned a brand new purpose.

Eddie Zhou (blue shorts, holding phone) says he was a bit disappointed the water wasn't as cold as previous years, but still enjoyed the swim. Cody McEachern
Eddie Zhou (blue shorts, holding cellphone) says he was a bit dissatisfied the water wasn’t as chilly as earlier years, however nonetheless loved the swim. Cody McEachern

Whereas the wet climate wasn’t best for a fast swim within the water, Bolton was a bit relieved with the 7C temperatures main as much as his time to dive in.

“I used to be planning on doing a Christmas Day dunk, but it surely was like minus 10 with the wind chill, only a bit too intense. So, it’s a small blessing that it’s somewhat hotter in the present day, though I’m certain the water continues to be going to be fairly chilly,” he stated.

For veterans of the custom, although, the nice and cozy climate takes away a number of the thrill.

“I’m somewhat bit dissatisfied about (the temperature) in the present day. I hoped it could be chilly. I believe the water received’t be too chilly,” stated Eric Zhou, who was leaping into the water together with his son Eddie for the third time on New Yr’s Day.

“I keep in mind in 2019, all of the water was frozen. They needed to dig an enormous gap after which folks jumped into it. It was actually chilly then.”

Eddie Zhou (holding his phone for a New Year's Day selfie) says he's done the Polar Bear Dip three times now. Cody McEachern
Eddie Zhou (holding his cellphone for a New Yr’s Day selfie) says he is performed the Polar Bear Dip thrice now. Cody McEachern

Eric confirmed a photograph on his cellphone of him leaping into a big gap within the ice in 2019.

“I needed to put on the identical shorts in the present day I did in 2019, however I couldn’t discover them,” he stated laughing.

For Eric and Eddie, collaborating within the polar dip is a manner for them to start out off the brand new yr proper.

“We benefit from the chilly and rejoice the brand new yr this manner,” stated Eddie.

“We consider that if we put all of the struggling and bother within the first day of the yr, the remainder of the yr might be actually easy. That’s what we consider, so we attempt to do it yearly.”

Jake MacCallum (red shorts), organizer for the 2023 Polar Bear Dip event, hyped up the crowd with some jumping and clapping before leading everyone in a full sprint to the water. Cody McEachern

Jake MacCallum (purple shorts), organizer for the 2023 Polar Bear Dip occasion, puffed up the group with some leaping and clapping earlier than main everybody in a full dash to the water. Cody McEachern

Because the time neared for everybody to dash into the water, organizer Jake MacCallum referred to as everyon to line up on the seaside. With a little bit of hopping and clapping, MacCallum received the group pumped earlier than beginning the countdown.

After the countdown hit one, the group erupted right into a mad sprint into the water. Many have been fast to dive in, get their fill and run out. Nevertheless, others took extra time to benefit from the water, wading additional into the habour and staying in for minutes on finish.

Whereas the temperature of the water didn’t stand as much as years previous for Eric and Eddie, taking the plunge nonetheless left them feeling refreshed and energized for the brand new yr. Subsequent yr, nevertheless, Eric is hoping for a bit extra of a problem.

“I hope subsequent yr, it will likely be snowy, windy and minus 17 not less than,” he stated.

While some people participating in the 2023 Polar Bear Dip in Charlottetown, P.E.I., tried to get themselves out of the water as fast as they could, some took the opportunity to soak in the experience, even making time to meditate in the water. Cody McEachern
Whereas some folks collaborating within the 2023 Polar Bear Dip in Charlottetown, P.E.I., tried to get themselves out of the water as quick as they might, some took the chance to soak within the expertise, even making time to meditate within the water. Cody McEachern

For first-timer Bolton, although, the expertise was all the things he hoped for.

“It was superb. It was a lot enjoyable having like 100 folks diving in there all on the similar time. P.E.I. actually got here out and it was superior to see,” he stated.

“I believe I’m going to attempt to do that yearly, it’s the right solution to kick off the brand new yr.”

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