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Friday, September 24, 2021

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“We do not let the temperature stop us”

The bath bombs in Þórshöfn are probably one of the healthiest sea swimming groups in the country, but they have been regularly thrown into the sea in recent months and do not let the frost and curious seals bother them.

Ragnar Axelsson, a photographer at Vísi, met the group on his trip around the country and got to photograph them in the sea.

“We two had been laughing at this and wanted to try it, so we asked a few others if they wanted to join. So we decided to hit it off one night and did not have any equipment. We checked on this and of course we were dying from the cold, “says Kristín Heimisdóttir one of the group about her first swim.

” So it was just such a good and good physical feeling afterwards. . We started buying gloves and shoes and then more and more people started to join. “

The coastguard at Langanes. Indicator / RAX

Kristín says that the group Baðbomburnar started this at just the right time, when the sea was as hot as it can get here on the shores of the country.

“It simply came to our notice then. Of course, I can not speak for everyone, but you feel better in the body and this relieves inflammation and edema. I also experience better sleep. ”

19 women made an appointment with photographer Ragnar Axelsson this day but they are about twenty in the group, although they rarely all attend at the same time and also often divide into smaller groups. Indicator / RAX

In her opinion, this is also a great spiritual challenge. “If you can run out to sea in one degree, then you are in a pretty good place and you are not afraid of it. Of course, this is difficult and this is an effort because it hurts for a while. But then comes some well-being, it’s incredibly difficult to describe. ”

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The bath bombs use a Facebook group to plan trips to the sea and it is a rule never to go alone in the sea. RAX

“There is something about fighting the waves and having all the nature around you. This is very different from going to a cold tub because you have the sea and maybe find kelp at your feet and then maybe a seal is watching you. You’re just there with nature. ”

The group does not always go to the same place, but Langanes is Kristína’s favorite. Indicator / RAX

Although there are a lot of seals on Langanes where the Bath Bombs hit the sea, they have not caused them any problems.

“When we see seals, we just act like idiots and go something to fool around with. They are not aggressive but they are very curious. It’s a bit “creepy” sometimes to see them with their heads up and then they disappear and then maybe come closer to a man. “

Kristín says that this is an incredibly good time together, especially in Covid when nothing can be done. Vísir / RAX

They do not necessarily always take a long swim in the water, the main thing is to cool off with a good sea bath.

“Our favorite place is there on Langanes and on the way out to Langanes, but we have been there for centuries.”

It costs nothing to go to sea and there is no shortage of locations for this movement in this country. ) RAX

Kristín is a psychologist and says that the voyages can have a very positive spiritual effect.

“I think it could even be used as part of anxiety treatment because walking out to sea can always be scary, but if you can meet it and work with it and find a relaxing effect then it can have a huge effect on your mental health. You will later relax when the fever starts to return, when the blood returns to the limbs. There will be some relaxation, some condition that you can not get anywhere else. ”

Kristín says that they find the child in them when they leave into the sea and often sound like an idiot. RAX

Although this can work very well for people, Kristín says that of course it is not for everyone.

“It’s good to go to a course or go with someone you know. If people have underlying diseases such as heart disease, then this is nothing for them more than the cold. ”

Most people wear a hat or swimming cap in the sea and gloves and shoes are standard equipment at the Bath Bombs. Some also have buoys that they attach to before they go out.

Kristín says that they do not hesitate to go to the sea in bad weather or frost, but do not go if there is a lot of frost and bad wind cooling in addition, as they do not have the facilities to dress and warm themselves by the sea or hot shower or a pot to go into, like in Nauthólsvík for example.

“We do not let the temperature stop us.”

The group keeps their clothes in an old sheep and horse shelter while they are in the sea. Kristín says that the key to this is to have good insulating shoes and gloves.

They say it’s good to start slowly and lengthen so time little by little. Five minutes is still enough to get all the effect because after that it adds nothing to people’s well-being. RAX

“It’s so good to have something hot in the car to drink afterwards. We often have hot cocoa and those who are in a car may have something stronger in it. It is good to eat well before and not be lacking in energy, because this is a complete shock and the body needs to be prepared for this. We have become quite boiling in this, “says Kristín and laughs. She invites a journalist to visit them sometime and try the sea swimming, which could be a fun experience considering these descriptions and RAX photos of the group.

The waves can often be very powerful but the women from Þórshöfn just enjoy it. RAX

The bath bombs went on a course on sea swimming and after that they started to be more careful not to stay in the cold sea for too long at a time.

“We also learned how important it is to take good care of each other.”

They make sure that everyone is holding the group and not going too far alone.

“We immediately set the rule that no one ever goes swimming, there is always at least one extra person.

Because if you go alone you can get cramps and drown, this is just as dangerous in itself.

They never go to sea alone and also always let the whole group know where they are going and when. Indicator / RAX

We have a thread in the group where we announce where we are going, so there is a certain amount of control in this as well. “

Kristín says that they have always taken good care of the infection control, but fortunately none of them got sick because of Covid – 20.

There has been no infection here Þórshöfn. Seven, nine, thirteen, “says Kristín. When the pandemic was at its height in this country, they went to sea in small groups to follow all the recommendations. “But we did not let that stop us.”

The youngest in the group is in his thirties and the oldest in his sixties. Photo: Ragnar Axelsson Rax / Ragnar Axelsson Rax

The youngest member of the group has not reached the age of thirty, but the oldest are in their sixties. These are different personalities, but the interest in sea cooling is what unites them.

The bath bombs that do not let anything stop them. Photo: Ragnar Axelsson Rax / Ragnar Axelsson Rax

“We realized it’s not about being terribly cool. Some are in swimsuits with long sleeves, others in regular swimsuits and some in insulating. It all comes on its own terms and no one is wondering in the end, it is very convenient. Body image example it just forgets, you’re too cold to predict this. ”

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