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)
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)
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)
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)
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 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)
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)
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!

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