Le Premier Bain de l’Année 2018 à Argelès-sur-Mer – First Swim Of The Year

For our first micro-adventure of 2018, I decided to join the crowd of 500 local residents in the New Year’s Day tradition of the first swim of the year in the Mediterranean Sea, the Bain du Nouvel An. Tracy expressed her doubts in my sanity, but encouraged me to go, and volunteered to take photos — from the shore. My lovely bride mentioned for me to avoid trouble as she would not be pleased to have to go in that cold water to save me.

Bain du Nouvel An Poster
Bain du Nouvel An Poster

The annual Bain du Nouvel An was held at Argèles-sur-Mer’s center beach at the end of the Esplanade Charles Trenet at 10:30 on New Year’s Day morning. The water temperature was 53.6′ F (12′ C) with the air temperature at 55′ F (13′ C).

The crowd was a mix of young and old, athletic and less athletic, swimmers and supporters. There was a Mardi Gras atmosphere with many swimmers wearing Santa hats, sparkling gem-color wigs, and one group with dayglow manga-style hair.

Swimmers with Manga Hair
Swimmers with Manga Hair

At 10:30 the swimmers rushed into the water while wet-suited lifeguards stood by for safety. Many swimmers were quickly “in and out” but others took to staying in the cold water as a challenge. I strode into the water fast to minimize the shock. The water was chilly, but I thought it was warmer than Lake Tahoe most the year. I quickly joined the ranks of the “in and out” swimmers on shore soon after Tracy got her photos.

Swimmers rush to the sea
Swimmers rush to the sea
Ta da!
Swimmers rushing to the sea.
Swimmers rushing to the sea.
Alan (definitely not Daniel Craig as 007 in
Alan (definitely not Daniel Craig as 007 in “Casino Royale”) leaving the Mediterranean.

After the swim there was free coffee and hot chocolate, and a table to pick up a certificate of participation. There was much laughing and looks of victory in the swimmers’ faces as they waited for their certificates. Tracy and my apartment is only two blocks away so a hot shower was only minutes away for me.

Alan with his Bain du Nouvel An certificate
Alan with his Bain du Nouvel An certificate
Bain du Nouvel An certificate
Bain du Nouvel An certificate

So, a Bain du Nouvel swim in 2019?  Let me warm up, drink my hot tea, and think about that. 

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