If you live along Lakeshore Drive, or have driven by recently, then you may have seen the odd sight of people swimming in Okanagan Lake in nearly freezing temperatures.
What started as a way of staying active and swimming after the community centre pool was closed has become a sort of endurance contest for three dedicated swimmers.
“We wanted to see how long we could do it without wet-suits, then we wanted to see how long we could do it with the wet-suits, then we got the neoprene gloves and gear, and here we are in December,” said swimmer Lynda Jones Layng.
Layng, alongside Lisa Spaulding and Steve McKenzie are planning to keep the freezing dips going as long as they can.
In addition to the wet-suits, which went on in September, they make sure not to swim alone, and thoroughly researched the dangers associated with swimming in cold water.
“Our swims are definitely shorter than they were in the summer,” said Layng. “They’re probably just a half-hour now.”
Now, the swims have become a bit of light-hearted fun that the trio is bringing to the community. They are often cheered on by passersby and hear cars honk in support.
Just how cold the water is in Penticton is hard to tell, as there isn’t a temperature reader that’s public, unlike in Kelowna.
Friday’s water temperature if they had to guess though?
“Probably about three degrees,” said Layng.
Out of the water, the daytime high in Penticton was 2C on Friday, Dec 11, according to Environment Canada.
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