Log Cabin Chronicles

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WINTER SWIMMER AMY ROSS OF GUELPH, ONTARIO
© 2018 Gordon Alexander

Gordon Alexander
Posted 03.1.18

THE ICE WAS TWO FEET THICK, THE WATER COLD, BUT A LOT OF FUN WAS HAD BY ALL

NEWPORT, VERMONT | During Winter's last gasp at the end of February, some 75 avid winter swimmers -- all members of the Memphremagog Winter Swimming Society -- hung out, wetly, in a two-lane 25-meter pool chainsawed out of the ice just offshore from the Eastside Restaurant hereon Lake Memphremagog.

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Mindy Bowens of Bedminster, NJ heads for the warming shelter.
© 2018 Gordon Alexander

It was just on freezing and the skies over Lake Memphremag were ominous as a fun swim and competition took place by this avid international group of cold water lovers calling themselves The Tribe. The swimmers were from all over the USA, with some from Canada, Scotland, Ireland, and the Philippines.

On Saturday there was a skiff of water over ice around the pool and bundled up spectators helped and watched the group, aging from 14 to 72 years, came bundled up over the ice. They walked a sanded sidewalk from the warming shelter on shore to the pool, in bath towels.

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Ger Kennedy of Dublin Ireland
© 2018 Gordon Alexander

The first event was the crazy hat competition which would precede the 25 meter free style, the 25 meter Breast stroke, the 25 meter butterfly stroke, the 50 to 200 meter freestyle events concluded by the 200 meter 4 person relay.

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Martha Wood of Manchester, MA in her fern-bedecked head gear.
© 2018 Gordon Alexander

The silly hats were hand-crafted and depicted by and for the swimmers illustrating the swimmers own taste with a sense of humor. Some hats were hardly made to swim in and got water logged, soon blocking the swimmers line of view as they struggled to the finish line without losing their creative head gear.

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Josef Polcz of Barrie, Ontario was all thumbs-uppish.
© 2018 Gordon Alexander

The swim is hosted by The Memphremagog Winter Swimming Society, a volunteer group of feisty winter swimmers operating in collaboration with and under the umbrella of Kingdom Games. The ice-cutting team consisted of Michael Booth, Josh McCoy and Mac McKenna.

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Celebrating their home state of New Mexico were (l-r) RuthAnn Goradie, Terry Casey, Erin Churchill , and Amber Zimmerman with Kingdom Games director/race starter Phil White.
© 2018 Gordon Alexander

The stdated mission of the Society is to assure that winter swimming continues on Lake Memphremagog for years to come and establish friendships with other winter swimmers around North America and around the world. Awards and lunch followed Sunday at the Eastside Restaurant.




copyright © 2018 Gordon Alexander/Log Cabin Chronicles/3.18