Hundreds gather to help kindy, suffer the pain of a thousand knives in bodies at Plimmerton midwinter swim
The cold wasn't too bad, Kris Gough said. In fact, once you rapidly went numb below the waist you didn't have to worry about feeling anything.
Gough, dressed in the prison stripes of an Alcatraz inmate, was one of about 100 people defying nature by running, walking, or shuddering their way into the waves at Plimmerton's Karehana Bay.
The 21st running of the Plimmerton midwinter dip went ahead in fine weather at midday sharp on Sunday, raising cash for Plimmerton Kindergarten.
Gough said his last midwinter dip was about five years ago, and this year he got talked into taking the plunge, with his son Cody Gough, by mum-in-law Chrissy Lyons. She never missed a midwinter dip, he said.
Further along the beach, Dianne Khan made the dip as a recycled jellyfish after she spotted three costumes for sale in a charity shop - perfect for her family.
When she took them out on the street a stranger approached her about the tentacled outfits.
"It turned out she made them for a school production, and she was so glad they were being re-used."
The award for the best family costume effort went to the Gears, who came as superheroes.
Alicja Gear and Jono Gear were clad in body-tight garments at the bidding of their two sons, who turned down mum's suggestion of mermaid outfits.
"The dignity went this morning on the way here, but that's ok," Jono Gear said.
On Sunday afternoon, head teacher Rachel Denee said the kindergarten was not yet sure how much had been raised.
About 400 people were at the event, and about 100 braved the water for the dip, she said.
"I think the last girls got called out of the water by their parents after about half an hour," she said.