About Us

sea swimming; the orange hat ladies; Christmas swim; solent Christmas swim; cold water swimming; winter swimming;
The Orange Hat Ladies Christmas Swim 2020

The Orange Hat Ladies: Fran & Karen

Fran is an artist, printmaker and sometimes potter who cajoled Karen into sea swimming. Fran grew up in the New Forest on the shores of The Solent and as a child frequently asked why she couldn’t swim to the Isle of Wight. After several decades living elsewhere in the UK, most notably bringing her family up in Norfolk, she returned with her husband to the South Coast and now is wondering if she can swim from her home on the Isle of Wight to the New Forest. Obviously wearing an orange hat will considerably assist in this aim.

Karen is an artist-printmaker who was born and grew up in Hong Kong. This explains her historic,(and hysterical), horror of cold water.
Despite a mule-ish resistance to change she is helpless in the face of a dare and so Fran challenged her to the first, most un-Zen-like swim. That day, with the shouty bravado of the truly shocked, Karen vowed to swim everyday until Christmas without a wetsuit, thus trapping Fran in a horrendous on-going obligation. The Orange Hat Ladies were formed.