I woke up to sunshine this morning and was immediately excited for my swim, but then I went outside and felt the howling wind. As I walked Lulu I had to brace myself against it; it was the kind of blusteriness that has people running down the streets chasing after their hats. I thought, no way is anyone going to be swimming this morning.
Still, I gathered my gear and trekked out to Bikini Beach, a little spot in Stanley Park where I was told folks gather to swim at 8:30 each morning. I expected to arrive at a deserted beach and started thinking about googling public swimming pools when I saw the whitecaps and churning energy of the water.
But there they were: At least a dozen women in woolly caps, laughing and chatting as they got changed into their bathing suits. Relief flooded through me and excitement bubbled up; also a profound sense of connection: here were my people, the crazy cold water lovers, the ones who want to be in open water whatever the conditions.
Waves rollicked around the little beach, but even with all of the movement, the water was clear and gorgeous. It was 8 degrees (46.4 f); much colder than I’ve experienced in a while and it felt great. It was a jumping through waves, playing in the surf, whooping and hollering into the wind kind of a swim rather than a head-down swim swim. That was fine with me (and my fear of getting sucked out to sea). I look forward to joining them again tomorrow morning.