Leaving the comfort zone
“Learn to suffer without complaining.” This is the motto of the deep-sea fishermen of the Arctic. As we squeeze ourselves into the huge orange overalls that serve as sailors’ survival suits in emergencies, we still have only a faint idea of what a hard life here is about in the frozen north. As soon as the zippers are pulled up, we stand there almost motionless in our bulky attire. But these suits aren’t made for traversing land; this is the uniform of choice when it comes to drifting for hours in icy seas. Surreal and sublime at the same time – ice swimming with the Porsche Travel Experience Arctic is no warm embrace.
Set adrift with your thoughts for company
Weightlessly we drift along. We only notice how the cold reaches our skin through the fin-like gloves we wear. It begs the question – how long will the survival suit withstand the icy temperatures? Only the dense layers of the suit separate body from the frozen waters of the Arctic Ocean. As a milky sky hangs over us, we begin to feel on how starkly powerful nature can be. Astonishingly, these life-saving suits can protect the wearer for hours on end. While the unfamiliar situation of cold-water swimming is at first oppressive, a feeling of unimagined freedom starts to spread, and time itself seems to become frozen. There are Porsche stories aplenty that have the cool factor, but none quite as much as this one.
Together, as members of the Porsche Travel Experience Arctic, our daring group had only been ice swimming for a few minutes at most, but it was already enough time to let our thoughts drift away, giving a meditative quality to the experience. Floating between ice floes, we were acutely aware we’d have no chance of survival if it wasn’t for our orange suits. It was strange to think that just a few hours ago we’d been grasping the warm steering wheel of our Porsche Cayenne. After minutes of swimming however, they began to give way to the cold of our new environment. Our thoughts coming back to the here and now, we paddle back to the boat, climb the vessel’s ladder and grab the strong hand of Mika, our captain, who pulls us on board.
Porsche stories to chill and then warm you
With the help of this cheerful bearded man, we peel off our suits and breathe in the icy air, taking in the view from all sides. From the water to the sky, over the ice floes and back to the coast. A warming feeling of relief spreads throughout our bodies. As Mika said before we jumped into the icy water, “To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.” There’s no doubt that cold water swimming is a refreshing shock to the system, and this group of participants will certainly be regaling their chilling Porsche stories for many years to come.