“Swimming in Antarctica?!” Yes! It is indeed possible but only for the brave (or crazy!) few!! As you have probably already guessed, we braved it because we are crazy of course!!
Yesterday was our 2nd attempt to visit Deception Island (our visit was cancelled on our first trip due to high winds) and we finally made it through Neptune’s Bellows giving us the opportunity to join the most exclusive swimming club in the world, The Antarctic Hot Tub Club! I will be the first one to tell you though that not much about this experience was “hot”!
The water in Whaler’s Bay is heated from the active volcano that once formed Deception Island! At times (they claim!) the water close to shore is quite warm however on this particular day the water was far from hot and not anywhere close to warm! To be fair though if you did a bit of digging on the beach you would indeed reach hot water but nowhere near enough to swim in or even stand in!!
So there we were standing ashore preparing for our ‘swim’; air temperature 32 degrees Fahrenheit, water temperature mid-30’s, wind slightly blowing and snow falling! What on earth were we thinking?! Not much surely!! All I remember thinking was, “let’s get this over with!” And that’s how it all started! Now you can’t do things this crazy on your own so we got together with 4 of our friends and prepared to make the plunge! After discussing our plan we got undressed in unison, ran full speed 20 meters into the water (which felt like miles!), dove under and back up quicker than you could blink, and sprinted back out, all in a matter of 30 seconds!!! And what a fantastic 30 seconds it was!! I couldn’t feel my limbs and I wasn’t sure I would ever warm up again but I couldn’t have been happier! I did it, we did it!!! Yay!!! I never thought I would say this BUT I would definitely do it again!