Wednesday, February 8, 2012

“This has been the warmest winter on record.”

“This has been the warmest winter on record.” 

That has been pointed out to me by many people when I tell them I participated in the Polar Bear Club in Rehoboth Beach, DE on Sunday February 5th.  By “many people,” I mean, “many people who did not show up to participate in the Polar Bear Club in Rehoboth Beach, DE on Sunday February 5th.”

I love the beach however, over the past 3 years I have spent VERY little time there.  3 years ago I went for two days, one day trip in July & another one in August.  2 years ago I went for half a day to visit Joel & Sabrina and an over night in August at Mamas Elaine & Karen’s place.  Last year I did one day at the previously mentioned Mamas’ house (and boat). 

All together I spent about 5 out of 1092 days at the beach.  That’s .45% of my time spent at a place I adore.  Those numbers are a far cry from the kid whose parent’s owned a shore house throughout high school and much of college.

I swore 2012 would be different.  Julie and I already have a real vacation (our first since our honeymoon 10 years ago) planned for Aruba.  7 days of nothing BUT beach.  But that wasn’t enough.  I needed my fix now!

I had mentioned to Jim (which is always a terrible idea because you can be pretty damn certain he’ll make you do what you mention) that I thought it would be fun to jump in the freezing ocean.  He immediately set us up with the Polar Bear Club of Rehoboth Beach, DE.  He also forwarded me information which included “best practice tips.”

Some of those tips:

-don’t mention having an urge to your friend, for he’ll likely take you up and it, which will leave you with your pants down.

-wear loose/baggie clothes to make it easier to get back into them after your “plunge.”

-jam to some sweet tunes.

-wear a bathrobe ala The Dude in The Big Lebowski.  A white Russian might help keep you warm, but will likely constrict circulation.

-swim with a buddy…or two.  Also, make sure they are decent swimmers and have the potential to mutate into sewer trained ninjas if needed.

The drive took about 2 hours up and 2 hours back.  We stayed for lunch, another 40 minutes or so, because traffic getting out was so bad.  That said, the plunge was very quick.

Jim and I went out further than anyone else.  I hit record on my underwater camera and ran in.  After getting dried off I looked at the camera counter and realized I only recorded about 28 seconds.  I thought, “Dammit!  It didn’t record all of it.”  Yes it did.

Actually the video shuts off the second I get DESTROYED by a wave.  The same wave, that held me under for longer than I’d have liked, SLAMMED Jim hard into the ocean floor.  He cut his forearm up pretty good.  But other than that, we survived unharmed.

I'll upload the video later, and if you're interested let me know if you want to come with us next year.  Or better yet, let Jim know.  I promise he won’t forget!

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