Thursday, January 01, 2009

Puh...puh...puh...

...Polar Bears! That's what the people call themselves who leap into the ocean first thing on New Year's Day.

There is a local "Polar Bear" group that has been doing this for more than 50 years, and today was no exception...



The object is to swim out to a lifeguard boat moored in the bay. At a guess, I'd say it was about a quarter-mile each way. Some actually made it, though I wonder if they weren't hoping for hot coffee and doughnuts out there; I would have been expecting that, at least...



But many either stopped in a state of frozen immobility or turned around and hustled back to shore as soon as that first wave of 57-degree water hit 'em....



I heard a couple of people at my vantage point talking about doing this next year. The guy in the Santa hat was one...



Me? You couldn't pay me enough! Well, maybe if the price was really right....

But these people do it because they "enjoy" it, a pleasure that's certainly lost on me. You see me in that water, it's because a boat sank with me on it. A polar bear I am not!

14 comments:

Doug said...

Some polar bears. They do that here, where the water is actually cold, but they sure as heck don't try to swim for a half mile :-)

Just getting in and out is enough to stop your heart your lungs...

becomingkate said...

We have something called the Polar Bear Dip in a nearby town
(http://www.town.sylvan-lake.ab.ca/winterfest.htm)
But here, it's VERY COLD!

deb said...

TV news showed them taking a dip today in South Boston. Air temp. 17°, wind chill -9°, water temp 41°. Now those folks are crazy!

MrScribbler said...

The Dutch have us all beat, according to this snip from a story published today:

Organisers said about 6,500 people took part in Thursday's mass plunge at Scheveningen, about 3,500 fewer than expected. Some 14,000 others took to the waves in other sea-side towns around the Netherlands -- but the event had to be cancelled on four beaches due to ice formation.

The report went on to say the water temperature at Scheveningen was 6 degrees C....

lowandslow1 said...

I'm afraid I'd have to go down with the ship. Cold water and I are NOT friends...unless it's in scotch. ;)

S

Kimmywoo said...

Sydney has a version called the Bondi Icebergs.... No way would I do such a mad thing!

susananne said...

They must be raving bonkers, it would have to be boiling hot to get me to do that!

Roz said...

I agree with you. You are not going to find me in the water this time of year outdoors. Maybe an indoor pool.
Roz

Labetine said...

I wouldn't do it. No way. Such a shock to your body! It could cause heart attacks and things! Some people will do anything.

John0 Juanderlust said...

Cheap alternative to reduction surgery. Just sayin'...

The long swim makes it impressive. They have to do that for SoCal polar anything to have the slightest credibility, even though that water is way too cold for sane recreation. When you don't even have to scrape the windshield it takes some of the drama out.
Either way I'm not signing up.

old solider said...

happy new year

class-factotum said...

Mr S, I have moved. :)

Anonymous said...

brrrr!! but I bet I have probably swam in colder weather and waters here in the Atlantic!! Lou

Joan said...

It was pretty cold here that day but the crowd keeps growing. They look like they are having a blast. Crazy people!