The good news was that it was above freezing. They didn't actually have to break any ice.
But the bad news was that Lake Burley Griffin in winter was still cold enough to freeze the round objects from a monkey made of brass.
All the same, five doughty swimmers stripped off and waded in with squeals and brave smiles.
It was what you might call a dry run for the big event on the dawn of Monday, June 21.
Last year's Nude Charity Swim was restricted to two people because of Covid. The year before, about 170 people braved the lake.
"It feels like some kind of extreme sport. It's incredibly exhilarating," Dearne Weaver claimed as she emerged on Wednesday.
"You count down and do it. Keep breathing and do it, with possibly a lot of screaming."
The day of the swim each year is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. It marks the start of the days getting longer and the gradual return to warmer days. It is, therefore, a day of hope.
"The best thing about it is the idea of letting go of the baggage of the old lunar year and bringing in the new lunar year. It's a bit of a restart," Ms Weaver said.
"It's really fun," she asserted. This will be her fifth: "Every year, it feels hard and wild and crazy and fantastic."
Last year because of Covid regulations, just two brave people took part.
This year, organisers are hoping for 300 plus. In order to swim naked - or doing anything naked - in Lake Burley Grffin, you have to apply for a "nudity instrument", one of the swim's organisers, Ben Johnston said. They have applied for one with a cap of 400 people.
Even with last year's restricted event, they raised just around $20,000. This year, $80,000 is the target.
Mr Johnston echoed the thought that the swim is about welcoming a new year. "It's about renewal. It's starting a new year, and that's linked to mental health," he said.
The Ian Lindeman Memorial Nude Charity Swim, to give it its full title, was started by Ian Lindeman in 2017 as his son struggled with his mental health. All the proceeds of the swim go to Lifeline Canberra which helps people who are in extreme distress. Ian passed away in 2019, two years after his son.
The family said Ian was passionate about running an event that not only captured Canberra's community spirit, but also gave participants the opportunity to re-invigorate their own spirit in the new solar year.
The year of Covid was particularly difficult for the suicidal people who turned to Lifeline Canberra - and even more so for some who didn't.
At one stage, the number of calls to the emergency helpline was up almost 130 per cent on the previous, pre-Covid year.
Lifeline Canberra chief executive Carrie-Ann Leeson told an inquiry into the ACT government's response to the pandemic that there was a "massive" funding void confronting the organisation which had been unable to fundraise and had struggled to train new call staff due to Covid restrictions.
There are ways of enrolling for the swim and of donating at wintersolsticeswim.com.
- Lifeline Canberra's 24/7 Crisis Support Service: 13 11 14.