Official Site of Speaker, Historian and Author Sean Munger

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An icy plunge at the bottom of the world: Antarctica’s “Midwinter Swim.” [video]

The last time we checked in with Aussie travel vlogger Shane Ness down at Mawson Station in Antarctica, where he’s spending the winter, he was driving quads on sea ice and filming the experience for us. Shane checked back in with civilization this week by giving us this bone-chilling video, which is perfect for most of us who live in the northern hemisphere where it’s the height of summer, and a particularly scorching one for many people. This latest adventure is a tradition called the “Midwinter Swim,” where Antarctic winter-overs celebrate the coming of summer by chopping a hole in the ice and taking a plunge in some very cold water. The above video, about six minutes long, shows you what this is like.

While this “Midwinter Swim” takes place at Mawson Station, a similar tradition exists at the main American outpost in Antarctica, McMurdo Station, where it’s called the “Midwinter Plunge.” My friend who used to work down there (I consulted him extensively for the writing of All Giamotti’s Children, which takes place partially in Antarctica) took the Midwinter Plunge in 2006 and lived to tell the tale. It seems that Shane is none the worse for the experience, as you’ll see above. But after watching this I don’t think I’m going to complain about my 85° afternoon, here in late June.

Thanks as always to Shane, “Tattered Passport,” for his travel adventures. I know many of my readers eagerly look forward to the latest look-in on life at the bottom of the world.


  1. Yes, I always enjoy you sharing these! BRRRRRR!

  2. I enjoy them too. Thank you

  3. Thanks for the Share Sean.
    Always great to hear from you.

    One Life, One Search,
    Peace Out

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