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

Settling a Debate About Impeding Traffic

We think it’s the slow drivers that cause problems but it’s seldom the case

SPCA looking for the best of the best wildlife photos

Wildlife-In-Focus photography contest

World’s largest hockey stick getting new lights

New lighting system can change colours and patterns

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

Most Read