Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Polar Bear Plunge

Being the romantic that I am, I decided to take Rachel away for a romantic getaway for Valentine's weekend. Where would I go, you might ask... to Sea Isle, NJ for the annual Polar Bear Plunge. Rachel and I, accompanying our friends Tim and Nicole, joined a few thousand other people with questionable judgement in jumping into the Atlantic Ocean on February 14th.

The temperature was in the mid-40's, and the water temperature was not so comfortable. The team pictured here (yes, that is a guy in a Penguin Suit), and led by Tim's uncle Richie, assembled at Tim's parents' condo at noon for a 2:00 PM dive.

At 1:40 PM, we marched down to the beach, where thousands of other "Polar Bears" and observers were waiting to jump. Sea Isle hosts a parade before the plunge, an enormous tent with bands and food afterwards, and a 5K race the following morning. The weekend is a large event, and the proceeds go to charity.

This is a good shot of Rachel and I only moments after exiting the ocean from our plunge. The rule is that you must dive in and get your head wet. Notice the nice red color that I display from the coldness.

Most people ran in, ran out, and threw on their clothes. However, Rachel and I both jumped twice, thanks to Tim's Uncle Richie. (Richie leads the charge each year with his patented, "Alright men, stay close together, but don't bunch up.") Others quickly donned their sweatshirts and pants, but I like to air dry.


I love Capri Sun! Just had to include this picture because my editor (Rachel) thinks it is funny.


Perhaps the most entertaining portion of the weekend was attending the post plunge parties. Several participants were in costume. The Polar Bear King, pictured above, was my favorite. In addition to his Coors Light Trident, cape, crown and crab necklace, he was also sporting a nice set of Homer Simpson Valentine's Day swim trunks. The Polar Bear Queen was also in attendance.

Philly Lobster Guy was another costume wearer. There was also a girl with HUGE orange house shoes. One of the better ones that we saw was a guy wearing a U.S. Swimming jumpsuits, a "Phelps" swim cap, and carrying a 4 foot long bong.

Rachel and I had a great time over the weekend, and we owe it to Tim and Nicole (and Mathias, one of Tim's college roommates) for being such good hosts.