shark attack on english bay
We had fun at the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim this year. More pics at flickr.
This was our 6th year at the Vancouver swim. Our tradition has become to attend a party or two in Seattle on New Year's Eve, head up to Vancouver by 1am or so, and arrive at the Sylvia Hotel by 4am depending on weather and coffee breaks. We sleep in, get breakfast, and head to the hotel lounge to march out with a bunch of other polar bears, most of them singing a version of "High-ho, high-ho." We join over 2,000 costumed revelers, all hyped up to jump in the water and start the year off right.
My favorite part of all this is seeing people you don't know just once a year in this huge celebration. Over the years, you become annual friends. We seek out the viking guys (now with little viking kids), the Elvis, the reindeer and santas, the "Neptune" guy with the horn who stays in over 20 mins, the balloon boy, the towel guy.
It's the opposite of online social networks (people you know but don't really see in real life). It's a visceral celebration with strangers drawn together for a moment once a year. A relationship with one simple dimension that somehow means a lot.