Advent sparkles for dippers at Kvamsøy and Fresvik

PERFECT: The new heated cabin at Kvamsøy is perfect for warming winter swimmers, from left Reidun Strand, Øydis Bøthun, Guttorm Flatabø and Marit Haram Vannes (in the doorway).
Photo: Terje Eggum

SLOWLY DOES IT: The low tide gives advent dippers at Kvamsøy a real challenge.
Photo: Terje Eggum

HOLY WATER: Reidun and Øydis with the medieval church of Kvamsøy in the background; Kvamsøy is a mystical place.
Photo: Terje Eggum

ROOM FOR MORE: Four hot tubs provide the perfect heat source for warming winter swimmers at Fresvik in Advent.
Photo: Terje Eggum

FJORDSIDE: Three metres is all that separates the comfort of the hot tubs from the challenge of the Sognefjord in December.
Photo: Terje Eggum

Kvamsøy in Balestrand has been tested as a new arena for winter swimming. Last Sunday, 13 December, and the third Sunday of Advent 2009, five fjord swimmers gathered at the mystical bathing spot of Kvamsøy to brave the stretch of fjordwater dividing the Balestrand mainland and Sognefjord's only island of Kvamsøy.

Kvamsøy has perfect facilities for winter swimmers: a heated cabin built on stilts that is perfect for warming chilled swimmers, and a brand new grill house where swimmers can change and relax afterwards. Marit Haram Vannes from Balestrand warmly welcomed swimmers from Fresvik, Sogndal and Leikanger.

The previous Sunday, 6 December, Fresvik had been the arena for the second advent dip in 2009. Hege og Dee Cunningham invited winter swimmers from Sogn Fjord Swimming Club to enjoy winter swimming and relaxation in their fjordside hot tubs, three metre long jetty and not least to explore the cold, black and magical fjord by the village of Fresvik in Advent.

Thirteen swimmers gathered at Fresvik, eight from Leikanger, one from Vik and four from Fresvik. They had an uplifting time, with Øydis Bøthun as the perfect winter swim organiser.

This coming Sunday, 20 December, winter swimmers are invited to celebrate the fourth Sunday of Advent with a dip in the Sognefjord at Nokkaneset by Sognefjord Hotel, Hermansverk, Leikanger.

Sogn fjordsymjeklubb hopes lots of hearty swimmers will join in a big Swim Sunday, four days before Christmas eve. Everyone is welcome.