Digby Neck Polar Bear Club: record number at Sandy Cove swim

Jonathan Riley jriley@digbycourier.ca
Published on January 1, 2017

SANDY COVE, N.S. – A record number of swimmers took the big plunge in Sandy Cove for the 16th annual Digby Neck Polar Bear dip.

A total of 34 dippers jumped in the water of St. Mary’s Bay at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2017, two more than last year.

For the second year in a row the club set a new participation record despite colder temps this year compared to last year. The air was +3ºC this and +4 water this year while last year the air was +4ºC and the +5 water.

Rain early in the morning discouraged some swimmers but the weather was mostly dried up, if still overcast and calm by swim time.

Published on 01 January 2017

A total of 34 dippers jumped in the water of St. Mary’s Bay at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2017, two more than last year.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 01 January 2017

Janet McNeill president of the Digby Neck Polar Bear Club checks the water temperature with a submerged thermometer before the swim.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 01 January 2017

Anna Marie Mackenzie Kelly arrives with insulated bags of prewarmed towels and bathrobes.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 01 January 2017

Anna Marie Mackenzie Kelly tests the water temperature with her toe.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 01 January 2017

The Digby Neck Polar Bear Club builds a little bonfire on the beach to warm the swimmers.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 01 January 2017

The Digby Neck Polar Bear Club builds a little bonfire on the beach to warm the swimmers.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 01 January 2017

A total of 34 dippers jumped in the water of St. Mary’s Bay at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2017, two more than last year.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 01 January 2017

Dorothy Tidd, 77, was the oldest dipper in Sandy Cove and her grandson Lucas Tidd, 7, was the youngest.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 01 January 2017

Dorothy Tidd, 77, was the oldest dipper in Sandy Cove and her grandson Lucas Tidd, 7, was the youngest.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 01 January 2017

A total of 34 dippers jumped in the water of St. Mary’s Bay at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2017, two more than last year.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 01 January 2017

Dorothy Tidd, Anna Marie Mackenzie Kelly and Joan Halliday are all smiles after the Digby Neck Polar Bear Dip in Sandy Cove Jan. 1.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 01 January 2017

Paolo Fernandez calmly walks out of the water after the Digby Neck Polar Bear Dip in Sandy Cove Jan. 1.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 01 January 2017

Swimmers warm up by the bonfire after the Digby Neck Polar Bear Dip in Sandy Cove Jan. 1.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 01 January 2017

Tony Kelly prepares some hot strong coffee for the dippers and the audience after the Digby Neck Polar Bear Dip in Sandy Cove Jan. 1.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 01 January 2017

Anna Marie Mackenzie Kelly serves up some hot and spicy chili to warm the swimmers and audience after the Digby Neck Polar Bear Dip in Sandy Cove Jan. 1.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

A last swimmer actually arrived too late for the big group swim but DNPBC president Janet McNeill volunteered to take a second dip and accompanied the last lone swimmer in the water.

Dozens of spectators lined the beach and Hwy 217 in Sandy Cove to watch and photograph the event – or hold towels and warm clothing for the dippers.

Old hands bring their cardboard or tarps to stand on while changing, plus big towels and plush bathrobes prewarmed in the dryer and packed in insulated shopping bags.

Swimmers and neighbours built a large bonfire on the beach.

[Photo and report from record setting 2016]

 [Photos and report from 2014]

[Story and photos from 2012 including the origins of Digby Neck dip]

jriley@digbycourier.ca