I follow the Western Washington Open Water Swimmers on FaceBook. Check out their page sometime. Some subset of them swim at Alki Beach in West Seattle every day of the year. Some without wetsuits.
Hardcore doesn’t do it justice. They are out of the minds, but I greatly admire their tight- knit, inclusive, joyous community. They have a very good time freezing their asses off together. Over and over.
A few weeks ago I felt distressed when my YMCA pool, due to a partially broken furnace, was 76 degrees for a week. My excuse is I lack the necessary body fat, but cowardice is prolly the heart of the matter.
And check out this supe-cool pictorial of even heartier open water swimmers in Scotland.* Their exuberance is incredibly infectious.
*It may take awhile for the 59 pics to load.