Polar explorer Ann Daniels swims towards the north pole

Polar explorer Ann Daniels is swimming through icy waters to the Arctic

Polar explorer Ann Daniels is swimming through icy waters to the Arctic

If you thought swimming in the lido was a bit of a challenge, spare a thought for polar explorer Ann Daniels who plans to spend the next few weeks swimming through dark, icy waters with the threat of attacks from polar bears.

“Nothing from under the sea is going to jump up and eat you. But as a human being there’s that feeling of, ‘what is under here? It’s pitch black and anything can get me.’ Mentally you start imagining all kinds of things in the water,” she said from her home in Devon, southwest England. Gulp!

Daniels left the United Kingdom this week with two other British explorers, photographer Martin Hartley and Charlie Paton, for a 500 kilometre (310-mile) trek towards the North Pole as part of the Catlin Arctic Survey’s 2010 expedition. After taking time to acclimatize to the subzero temperatures, they will be dropped onto the sea ice more than 1,000 kilometers off the Canadian coast.

From there they will walk and swim around 10 kilometres a day for the next 50 days in temperatures as low as minus 75 degrees Celsius, including windchill, while pulling a sledge of supplies 1.5 times their own bodyweight.

Catlin Arctic Survey