As a regular morning swimmer, the opportunity to take a dip in the Arctic above 79°off the coast of Spitsbergen was too good to be true.

What I was hoping for was an elegant entrance, a quick lap, jovial “come in the waters lovely” and an exit like a bond girl. What I achieved was, in fact, a very good impression of a walrus. The glacial chill took my breath away so the only sound I could emit was a couple of gasps for breath followed by a snort. I did manage a grin for to the frankly over-dressed passengers in a passing zodiac before my exit which was a stumbling dash across the pebbles to grab a towel and scramble back into my nice warm fleece. Yes I would of course do it again. Photographic evidence has been censored so the photo is of an amused local.

The polar plunge is an “option” on most of the expedition voyages we offer to the Arctic, Antarctica or the North Pole so don’t forget to pack your togs.

Thanks for reading

Sue Grimwood, Russian Arctic

Author: Sue Grimwood