Victorians can take the plunge into icy cold water for the Polar Bear Swim on Jan. 1, 2020 in Colwood, Sooke, Saanich, Sidney, and Metchosin. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victorians can take the plunge into icy cold water for the Polar Bear Swim on Jan. 1, 2020 in Colwood, Sooke, Saanich, Sidney, and Metchosin. (Black Press Media file photo)

5 places where you can do a polar bear swim in Greater Victoria

‘It’s got me hooked for life,” says Metchosin man who’s done it 47 years in a row

It’s an experience that’s exhilarating with the slightest amount of insanity – at least that’s what Andy Mackinnon believes.

The Metchosin man has been doing polar bear swims on the 1st of January for the past 47 years. The first time the 63-year-old jumped into icy cold waters was at the age of 16.

“If there’s one thing for certain, nothing worse will happen to you in 2020,” Mackinnon joked.

“Having a group of swimmers out there encourages people to do the silly task of running into the ocean together. It’s an awful lot of fun and it’s got me hooked for life.”

ALSO READ: Sooke’s polar bear swim a shiveringly good time

READ MORE: Annual New Year’s Day tradition sees Metchosin swimmers grin and bear it

Mackinnon will be at the Metchosin Polar Bear Swim at Taylor Beach, 1052 Taylor Rd, at 2 p.m. on Jan. 1, 2020.

Last year, a group of nearly 60 people came to take a dip themselves. Before the swim, there will be a Polar Bear 6 km run and 3 km walk at 12:45 p.m. Warm drinks and snacks will be shared after the swim at a nearby residence. For more info, contact Andy at 250-889-6453 or metchosinmacs@gmail.com.

Metchosin is only one of five places hosting a Polar Bear Swim in Greater Victoria.

In Colwood,Smart Dolphins IT Solutions and Athletics Illustrated suggest donating $5 for the swim, with all proceeds going towards Victoria Women’s Transition House. If you donate $30, you get a commemorative shirt, unlimited chocolate, and a reservation under the portable heaters.

In Sidney, the Peninsula Celebrations Society will be hosting their event at Glass Beach near the end of Beacon Avenue at 12 p.m. to take the plunge.

In Victoria, the Swim-A-Month Club has planned to be at the dock in Banfield Park, 521 Craigflower Rd, at 12 p.m. for a cold dip. More info can be found on the Facebook page, Gorge Swim Fest.

In Sooke, the Otter Point Volunteer Fire Department will be at Whiffen Spit Park at 12 p.m for the chilly swim. As always, some participants are expected to dress up in outrageous costumes when they enter the water. Hot chocolate will be provided to warm the crowds.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

Greg Chow is the 2021 Local Hero of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Fighting fire a family affair for Colwood Assistant Chief Greg Chow

With 38 years of service, Greg Chow is the 2021 Hero of the Year

This rendering shows plans for the new “flyover”overpass connecting northbound traffic on Highway 17 heading west on Keating Cross Road. Plans currently seeking public input propose two options for the median along Keating Cross Road. Option 1 will prevent left turns onto Tamany Drive and Buena Vista Road. Option 2 (seen here)will allow for left turns onto Tamany Drive and Bujena Vista Road. (Screencap/Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Public asked for comment on proposed overpass for Pat Bay in Central Saanich

New flyover overpass proposed for Highway 17 and Keating Cross Road

A pedestrian pushing two children in a stroller was struck by a driver while crossing a Highway 1 off-ramp at Burnside Road West on Feb. 24. (Google Streetview)
UPDATED: Pedestrian with two children in stroller struck in Saanich crosswalk after driver failed to yield

No serious injuries reported, driver issued $167 ticket under Motor Vehicle Act, police say

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. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

A Nanaimo RCMP vehicle in the Woodgrove Centre parking lot. (News Bulletin file photo)
Woman groped by stranger in mall parking lot in Nanaimo

Incident happened near bus loop Saturday, Feb. 20, at about 4:45 p.m.

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

Most Read