Polar Bear Club 2005!

January 1, 2005, 12:01 pm

My friends Scott and Tracy convinced me to go join the Polar Bear Club this year.  I have never done this before, but it was tons of fun.  Bradford Beach was PACKED with people, I have never seen that many people on the sand before.  It was really more crowded than it is for the 4th of July Fireworks.  People were everywhere.  We had to park up on the bluff and walk down, there was no way to drive up to this thing unless you came a couple hours early.

Maria was originally dead set against it, but she agreed to come down and serve as a witness/towel holder for the event.  She was pretty amazed at the event, and unbelieving that so many people were jumping in.  There were really a lot of people who actually did it (although there were many, many more who just watched).  We arrived pretty late, so I was not part of the main dash.  But there were still a lot of people jumping in, I did not have to swim alone.

I kicked off my clothes near the shoreline and walked towards open water.  It was cold but not ridiculous, maybe 30 degrees air temperature.  Somebody told me the water was in the 30's, and I won't argue with that.  I managed to stay pretty calm as I walked out, and I was a little frustrated that the water was so shallow.  It was taking a long time to find water deep enough to get wet in.  I said hi to one of the lifeguards to help calm myself down (there were maybe 6-8 of them in the water), then just took the plunge.  After that, I wasted no time in RUNNING back to shore.  No diving, no swimming, no spraying water out between my teeth, just a mad dash to shore!  Now I felt cold.

 It was so crowded that we never even found our friends.  But Maria made herself busy with the camera and took pics of a few revelers.  Everyone was in a great mood, and it really wasn't the kind of drunkfest you'd think.  That Lake Michigan water really sobers you up!

Dreaming of warmer days.  I can't wait to get back out kiteboarding in a few months, with a little luck we'll have an early Spring and it won't be such a long wait!

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