While I was tempted to watch the sunrise at Willow Beach again today, there was another cold water swimming group (the Cold Water Addicts) going to a beach further up (down?) the island and I thought it would be a good idea to be adventurous and explore somewhere new.
I arrived quite early and took some pictures. It was beautiful, misty, and cold.
Nelson, the swimmer who set up the event and with whom I’d corresponded, arrived next, and then Wendy. We ventured down the steep steps to the beach.
It was a pleasure chatting with them and I learned that today’s swim was the Cold Water Addicts 43rd adventure together—while many of them swim together (or apart) every day, they started organizing swim field trips further afield each Sunday and this is their 43rd. As we chatted and I slowly (very slowly—it was already cold!) got undressed, others trickled in. Each one welcomed me warmly and I’m starting to feel like I should just move to Victoria and hang out with cold water swimmers all day.
By 8:30 there was a decent crowd and we started to get into the water. Again, there wasn’t a wetsuit in sight; these Canadians are a hearty bunch! For me, today’s immersion was more challenging than yesterday’s. Maybe because the air was colder and it was lightly raining. Also, I don’t think I did myself any favors by lingering in a state of half undress blabbing to all of the friendly people for so long.
Even so, after a couple of minutes in the water, the warm glow took over and I felt fantastic (except for my hands—if I were going to become a regular swimmer in 7-degree C water, I’d need to invest in warmer gloves).
The water was incredibly clear and fresh.
Afterward, most of us met up for coffee and treats at a delicious farm-to-table bakery called the Fickle Fig. It was a delicious way to end a lovely morning and the company and conversation were as good as the food.