Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Polar Plunge baby!!

Most normal people wouldn't dream of diving into freezing cold Lake Superior during the spring.  If you  participate in the Polar Plunge, this would not apply to you.

Behold, some images from Polar Plunge taken last Saturday (images from Weather Network contributors).  The temperature hovered around -3 Celcius, with sleety rain/wet snow.  

Bat Girl!!  Her boots got filled with icy cold water.

A team of Plungers. 

A hole about 9 square feet was cut in the ice.  You'll see some of the slabs of ice that were cut out of Lake Superior if you look near the bottom of the pictures.  Oddly enough these slabs were stangely compelling.  They were a gorgeous, translucent white with a hint of blue...if I had an ice castle, I would have used these slabs for my throne!!

Anyhoo, back to the Polar Plunge.  It was interesting to see the reactions of the Polar Plungers as they jumped into the lake.  Some would jump in and completely immerse themselves in the water.  Some sorta eased in.  Once the shock of the cold water hit, their eyes would pop wide open and they would make explosive sputtering noises as they thrashed their way out (with the 2 divers there to assist them).

Later, I spoke with someone who had participated in the plunge in previous years.  He said that jumping into the lake felt "tingly".  Hmmmm, I think I'll stick to my nice, warm, heated pool at the gym.

The Polar Plungers wore a variety of garb. From swim suits, to work-uniforms, to full-body costumes.  I saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Gummy Bears! The Plungers raised money for charity, good on them!  I'd definitely support a Polar Plunger!

If you are considering participating in the Polar Plunge, here are some outfit suggestions:

* Wear a bathrobe or long coat over your Polar Plunge outfit.  This will keep you warm while you wait for your turn to plunge.

* Don't wear shoes, and definitely don't wear loose boots when you plunge in.  They'll fill up with ice water, and they'll make walking back to the changing room extra uncomfortable.  Wear flip flops or sandals, take them off before you plunge.

* If you are covering your body with body paint, consider getting body paint that won't immediately wash off when you dive into the water.

* Wear something that you can get off easily, after you get out of the lake (ie. no tight, frozen, wet jeans with fussy zippers).

The Polar Plunge lasted about 45 minutes, and in that time I was drenched by the sleety rain/wet snow.  Next time I'd definitely bring a wool blanket to bundle around me, an umbrella and water repellent footwear.

Stay warm everyone.  Spring is coming, I promise!!

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