A group called the Mile Zero Minnows do cold dips year-round no matter the weather. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
A group called the Mile Zero Minnows do cold dips every day. (Black Press Media Files)

A group called the Mile Zero Minnows do cold dips year-round no matter the weather. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff) A group called the Mile Zero Minnows do cold dips every day. (Black Press Media Files)

Jump into the new year with polar bear swims in Greater Victoria

Various polar bear swims are being held in Greater Victoria on Jan. 1

There are multiple opportunities for Greater Victoria residents to jump in the ocean as part of polar bear swims on New Year’s Day and beyond.

The Peninsula Celebrations Society is holding a polar bear swim on Jan. 1 at noon. The group can be found through the beach access at the end of Beacon Avenue at Glass Beach. The last two annual events were cancelled because of COVID-19 concerns.

The sixth Victoria Narwhal Freedive is also taking place at noon on New Year’s Day at Ogden Point. The event is being hosted by Victoria diver and photographer, Mark Cantwell.

The Cold Water Addicts are also putting on a polar bear swim at noon on Jan. 1 at Willows Beach.

Participants are being asked to bring party horns and wear New Year’s hats, dresses and umbrella hats to help celebrate the new year.

More details can be found on the Vancouver Island Freediving, Snorkeling and Spearfishing Facebook page.

Sooke Trail and Road Runners are hosting a run at Whiffin Spit Park at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 1 followed by a dip at noon.

Anyone interested can find updates on the Facebook event.

A group called Mile Zero Minnows meets for a dip at 9 a.m. every day by Mile 0.

They keep swimmers up to date on their Instagram account.

Justin-Ryan Wells regularly goes for polar bear swims at Hollydene Beach in Saanich with whoever will join him.

“It’s about bringing people together,” Wells said. “It really helps with my mental health. I can’t help but smile. It makes my mind crystal clear and feels great.”

Wells is encouraging people who have never taken part in a polar bear swim to give it a try.

Those wanting to join Wells can send him a message on Instagram.

READ MORE: Rare footage shows sea pig swimming in depths off Vancouver Island


 

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