About two dozen people braved the icy cold water of Cobequid Bay to take part in the third annual Noel polar dip Jan. 1.
Greg Grant, an East Hants councillor for District 8: Gore, was the first to rush into the water. Grant has taken part in the polar dip since the inaugural event was launched three years ago.
“How did it get started? Just on a whim,” said Grant as he was getting warmed up in his truck after taking the icy plunge.
Four people took part that first year — Anita Benedict, Kandi White, Angie Laffin and Grant. Since that time, it’s steadily grown in popularity.
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“It's fun. It's refreshing,” said Grant, noting, with a laugh, “It's a great way to get rid of a New Year's Eve hangover.”
Grant hopes the event will grow into a successful fundraiser.
“I'd like to see it get bigger and turn into some kind of event to raise money for a charity or different charities,” he said, indicating he’d swim out further for $1,000.
Factoring in the wind chill Jan. 1, it was about -28 C.
“To put a temperature on the water, I couldn't fathom a number. But, in the three years that we've been doing it, this is the first year that there has ever been ice in the bay when we did it,” said Grant.
The annual event is held around noon at the end of Lighthouse Lane in Noel.
“It's a very cleansing feeling.”