Hey, was I stupid, or what? Nope, don't answer that. Let me explain: my friend and I, not wanting to be out-swimmed by the other, both agreed to pop into the sea every month throughout 2010. All very well if you live somewhere up the line or in Auckland, but we're in Wellington (so 'nuff said, yeah?)
It was okay in January, February, March and April, of course. We always swim in these months. I tentatively slipped into the water in the first week of May. Mmmmm, not too bad, lovely in fact. It was balmy weather.
During the weekend before the shortest day in June, we looked snootily down our noses at the majority of the mid-winter swimmers (me, from in front of my tv, my friend before actually coming out of the water to be interviewed by a tv reporter). Most mid-winter swimmers hopped in and out of the sea with such alacrity, they could scarcely have got wet. We were determined to beat this.
We went into the water on the actual shortest day (21 June) - see photo. Swam to quarter way across the bay, and back. We decided on another swim on the 22nd. This time we were determined to get to halfway across the bay. Boy, it was cold both days. Still, we grinned at the shore, pretending the cold icy water wasn't worrying us, just in case folk - younger folk! - were watching from behind curtains. Outside temps for successive days, 13 and 14.
And, now, we've just done our July swim. Cold-cold-cold-cold-cold.... Brrrrrrhhh.... Outside temp 10. I got to quarter way across the bay and then remembered an aquaintance telling me about her uncle who'd had a heart attack during his own mid-winter swim. I swam quickly back to shore.
The water's going to be probably colder in August (we're-going-to-do-it-we're-going-to-do-it-we're-going-to-do-it- there's nothing like positive reinforcement!). So wish us luck, huh?