Quick splash enough for most
"It was nice and refreshing."IAN ALLEN
Hundreds of "daft" swimmers took the plunge off Picton's foreshore yesterday for the annual mid-winter swim.
And the water was either lovely and warm or freezing cold, depending on who you asked.
Airforce survival instructor, and Zorro for the day, Joe Regan, was unsurprisingly undeterred by the chilly temperatures.
He has taken part in the yearly dip since moving to Blenheim five years ago.
"It was cold but not too bad," he said. "It's a bit of fun and there is plenty of community spirit. Everyone is as daft as each other."
Sandra Fish said Marlborough's winter was nothing compared to her home country of Canada.
She was just looking for something to do at the weekend.
Her friend Tanja Schaefernolte, of Germany, said the swim was good for shaking off a hangover.
"It wasn't as cold as I expected," she said. "It was nice and refreshing."
Seven-year-old William Rowse went as far to say the water was warm.
"I did it no problems. It was fun, I'll probably do it every year."
However, his sister Jessica Rowse, 10, wasn't so keen. "It was freezing," she said. "I'll not be doing it again."
Blenheim woman Racheal Turner said the water was colder than last year.
And she certainly wasn't making the same mistake as 12 months ago.
"Last year, I thought we had to swim out to the buoy and I wondered why no-one was swimming out with me," she said.
"This year I ran in, got under and ran back out again. There's no way I could have stayed in any longer."
The water was so cold it was painful, Ms Turner said.
And she couldn't get warmed up properly afterwards.
"Just as I went to get hosed down the water turned cold."
Picton woman Margaret Collins was looking after her grandchildren as her son took the plunge and his wife tended to the sausage sizzle.
"He did it for years as a child, I think he did the first swim. He had all the certificates up in his bedroom. As a toddler he was always falling in the water in winter. I learnt to carry spare clothes."
The mid-winter swim was a great family occasion, she said.
"It's a great event for people of all ages, right across the social spectrum."
Mrs Collins was watching people collecting their spot prizes after braving the water.
"I think they're all anxious for the heat pump."
- The Marlborough Express