Vancouver’s 93rd annual Polar Bear Swim draws thousands

Thousands braved the frigid waters of English Bay for the 93rd annual Vancouver Polar Bear Swim on Jan. 1, 2013.

Thousands braved the frigid waters of English Bay for the 93rd annual Vancouver Polar Bear Swim on Jan. 1, 2013.

After surviving a New Year’s bash for the ages at my (former) place of employment Monk McQueen’s restaurant, which happened to be shutting its doors after 26 years that night, I crawled out of bed to make it to the tale end of the 93rd annual Polar Bear Swim in Vancouver’s English Bay. Unfortunately, I missed the epic shots of the 2,233 registered participants all running into the water at the same time, but I still managed to capture some of the action along with some of the colourful characters who make the event in Vancouver one of the biggest and craziest in North America and the world. Next year maybe I won’t be drowning in pricey, aged cognac the night before and I’ll make it down a little earlier.

Thousands braved the frigid waters of English Bay, which were measured at 7 degrees Celsius, for the 93rd annual Vancouver Polar Bear Swim on Jan. 1, 2013.

Thousands braved the frigid waters of English Bay, which were measured at 7 degrees Celsius, for the 93rd annual Vancouver Polar Bear Swim on Jan. 1, 2013.

The Vancouver Polar Bear Swim gives locals and visitors a chance to dress up and ring in the New Year with laughter.

The Vancouver Polar Bear Swim gives locals and visitors a chance to dress up and ring in the New Year with laughter.

The Vancouver Polar Bear Swim began in 1920 when a handful of brave swimmers took to the cool waters English Bay. Today, over 2,200 partake in the event, while an estimated 20,000 spectators soak up the action on the sidelines.

The Vancouver Polar Bear Swim began in 1920 when a handful of brave swimmers took to the cool waters English Bay. Today, over 2,200 partake in the event, while an estimated 20,000 spectators soak up the action on the sidelines.

Arty likes to party at the 2013 Vancouver Polar Bear Swim on English Bay.

Arty likes to party at the 2013 Vancouver Polar Bear Swim on English Bay.

"Yes, miss reporter lady, that's a real bullhorn on my head."

“Yes, miss reporter lady, that’s a real bullhorn on my head.”

No it's not a zombie apocalypse, it's the 93rd annual Polar Bear swim in Vancouver.

No it’s not a zombie apocalypse, it’s the 93rd annual Polar Bear swim in Vancouver.

Sing, lady, sing.

Sing, lady, sing.

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2 responses to “Vancouver’s 93rd annual Polar Bear Swim draws thousands

  1. We would love to post the top picture at toemail if you do not mind? http://toemail.wordpress.com

  2. I did the swim once only.Apparently that day the ocean temperature was as cold as it could be without forming ice.I have photos (somewhere) of my legs which were bright orange when I got out. Brrrrr…

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