Sunday, April 15, 2012

Into The Sea: Denmark's Winter Swimmers

They do it for the water, the birds, the sea and the sunrise. When Denmark's water temperature dips below freezing they submerge. Winter sea swimming has been a longstanding Danish tradition believed by some to make the body stronger and less susceptible to sickness. 

I have been photographing a group of elderly winter swimmers who drop their bathrobes to go into the sea every morning. The group has been swimming together for over 10 years. Many of the members go without their spouses and have created long standing relationships with each other based on trust. 

"If you miss it you feel like there's something you haven't got"

A bird flies over the swimming dock in Risskov, Denmark.

Jytte Lauridsen's bathrobe blows in the wind as she prepares to swim in the sea.

Helga Bjorneker and Henning Jensen disrobe on the dock in Risskov, Denmark.

Helga Bjorneker swims in the winter sea before sunrise.

Mariann Kristoffersen stands on the dock after swimming. The tradition is believed to be healthy for blood circulation in the body.

The sea foam reaches the shore in Risskov, Denmark.

Hans Henning Jorgensen floats in the sea in Risskov, Denmark.

Helga Bjorneker and Henning Jensen walk away from the sea to warm up with the rest of the winter swimmers. The swimmers have a rule that they must never go alone.

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