The Canada Day… Polar Bear Dip!

I’m always saying that we have one of the best places in the world to swim… and we do… a little cold at times (like this weekend was!)… but if having beautiful, cold, clean water is the worst thing… I’ll take it.

sunrise

We don’t have: men in grey suits (sharks… like in Cape Cod!), giant creepy spider crabs (Australia)… and we do have: water (unlike Kelso Lake right now! Thanks Lamb.) and our only wildlife is a cute family of minks (great pic, Adrian)!

Yikes... Kelso is looking a little dry! Lowest I've ever seen it!

Yikes… Kelso is looking a little dry! Lowest I’ve ever seen it!

On a related note… the new “No Salt, No Sharks, No Worries” t-shirts are in… and they are great!  Thanks to my buddy, Ned Denison, who runs the open water swimming in Cork, Ireland for the idea… shirt’s in the mail, Ned!

The new LOST T-shirts are in... and damn they look good! And for $20 bucks you can prove you are a real LOSTie too! You can order in the LOST Store and pick up on at LOST Beach!

The new LOST T-shirts are in… and damn they look good! And for $20 bucks you can prove you are a real LOSTie too! You can order in the LOST Store and pick up on at LOST Beach!

I recall telling Brett this a couple of years ago… that the Lake always rolls over the Canada Day long weekend.  It didn’t last year, but last year was a weird year all around, due largely to the cold winter we had when 4 of the 5 Great Lake froze over completely!

But true to form Lake O rolled over this weekend… as it has 5 of the last 6 years on this date.  Which means it was 50F… okay 48F/9C.  I rounded up a little before the swim.  50F sounds a bit warmer than anything in the 40’s!

great white shark spotting, cape cod

So Mike set up the buoys for a 50m out and back swim (100m total).  I think Loren, myself and maybe a couple others were the only ones to go naked.  I told everyone to go out and swim a loop… then come in, get your head back together and collect yourself and do another.  It is still just as cold, but it’s definitely easier the second time.  Your body and mind know what to expect and it isn’t quite as shocking and it does get easier.  But it’s still freakin’ cold.

Our cute little team mascot... Mikey the Mink! (on the rocks)

Our cute little team mascot… “Mike the Mink”! (on the rocks)… not to be confused with “Mike the Kayaker” (on the water)… not that Mike the Kayaker isn’t cute and cuddly too!

So upon being about the last person in I was quite proud of doing my 2 loops naked.  Then Loren came out.  He had done 25 minutes (vs my 3 minutes!)… naked.  Wow.

Then I was talking to a newer swimmer, Beth, she was one of the last people out and I had seen her get in earlier.  I asked her if she was able to do 2 loops… she had done 10!!!  Wow.

Then she and I walked by two newbies, on our way up the mat, who were among the last to get out too.  I asked them how they had managed for their first LOST Swim.  Typically newbies are pretty shocked to see what we can swim in.  They had done 17 freakin’ loops!!!  Unbelieveable.  My 2 naked loops didn’t seem quite as impressive as what these 3 newbies had done… let alone Loren… but he’s in a different category entirely!

The truly amazing part is that 77 swimmers went into that 48F/9C water!  And in some twisted kind of way… enjoyed themselves!  Well done.

... so suck it up... a little beautiful, clean, clear, cold water is still pretty awesome!

… so suck it up… a little beautiful, clean, clear, cold water is still pretty awesome!

 

On the upside (I can always find the upside… and sometimes it isn’t even bullsh*t)… it was a beautiful sunny morning.  Having a nice sunny day greet you and warm you when you get out makes a world of difference.  And how about the water… that was a crystal clear and clean as water gets… if you could manage to put your face in! haha.

ya, that is a pretty great place to swim... and yes, it will get warmer!

ya, that is a pretty great place to swim… and yes, it will get warmer!

And the final bit of good news is… we are now past the first hurdle.  This is all very normal and typical of Lake O.  It is cold, warms up a little, then rolls over around July 1.  But now it starts warming up.  And any roll overs we get usually aren’t as severe as that first one.  What I’m trying to say is… it’ll be warmer next weekend!  So don’t give up now… you’ve paid your dues, and now is when the swimming starts to get good!  So see you on Saturday!

PS.  sorry about the pics… I left my camera in Miguel’s car, so we’ll have to make due with pics I stole from Loren, Lynn, Lamb, Alan, Adrian and a few others off of Facebook! haha.

Woodbine Beach, Toronto... site of the GSS - North American Championship, Sept 4!

Woodbine Beach, Toronto… site of the GSS – North American Championship, Sept 4!

Also, start planning for the LOST Race and the new LOST Mile… Aug 13.  As well as the Global Swim Series – North American Championship… Sep 4!!!  Both are going to be awesome!

Cheers,

Rob

About LOST Swimmer

I founded LOST Swimming because I like open water swimming and would like to see it grow and thrive in Lake Ontario. I started as a competitive swimmer as a kid and ended up getting as far as a silver medal at Nationals and going to the Olympic Trials in 1988. But I retired after that, I was sick of swimming. So I got into running marathons and have run over 35 to date, as well as a few ultra marathons, including the Marathon des Sables (7 day, ultra across the Sahara Desert). I also kind of fell into triathlons and have done a handful of Ironman tri's too. This gradually got me back in the water and in 2006 I took the plunge and attempted swimming the English Channel. I didn't quite make it across, but the circle was now complete and after 17 years I was a swimmer again! Although I still do plenty of pool swimming, I now much prefer open water swimming and like to say that open water swimming is to pool swimming, what trail running is to treadmill running! As a result I hope to encourage more people to join me for a dip in Lake Ontario as often as we can!
This entry was posted in The LOST Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.