Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day 2011

I caught this pristine picture this morning of two cormorants in Lake Padden. They were going to be disrupted pretty quickly, with the Polar Bear crazy people getting ready to jump into the freezing water, with the temperature outside somewhere right around freezing. I joined my regular Saturday walkers for a couple of trips around Lake Padden and a nice five-mile brisk walk in the sunshine before the plunge at noon. It was cold just standing around fully dressed, but the organizers of the Polar Bear Plunge encouraged costumes, and this group spent a while getting ready. They made the plunge in tutus, suspenders and hard hats!
As you can see, they are not shy and were having a great time, showing off and drinking schnapps before the  noontime dash into the water. Here are all the brave souls waiting for the signal to dunk, lined up and ready to go. Obviously the blonde lady was not intending to get wet, and I lost track of her, wondering if she ended up inadvertently going for a swim.
Everyone has towels and/or friends waiting to put them into warm clothes after the plunge. As you can see in the foreground if you enlarge the picture, there is ICE in that water! And here they go!
I estimated at least a couple of hundred intrepid Polar Bears heading into the water, but I didn't see any sign of the yellow hard hats and tutus as people began to turn around and make a very rapid exit out of the cold, invigorating water.
This picture shows that the majority of the crowd are heading back to the shoreline, but there are still a cautious few making their way in. It was actually quite a fine way to begin the new year, and once again I find myself wondering if I might be able to do it and not have a heart attack, which would surely spoil my entire year! It did look like fun, though.

23 comments:

  1. That activity is not even tempting to me. I would, however, have enjoyed seeing the cormorants. They appear to have more common sense than the people.

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  2. What fun!!! I'm not sure I would have jumped in, but I would have definitely had fun photographing the event.

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  3. Surely it couldn't be any worse than jumping into a pool of ice water after a hot sauna could it? lol I did that once -- never again. I like my water warm enough to bathe in.

    Watching the event does seem like great fun.

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  4. WOW! Quite a difference than when I joined the Polar Bear Club in my teens. The event (ceremony) was always done in January; a large hole was hacked into the ice, you stripped down to your skivvies and jumped in.

    You tended to come out faster than you went in, although some intrepid (stupid) macho people had to demonstrate just how long they could stay in before dying.I wasn't among them.

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  5. What fun! I AM tempted to do a Polar Bear swim, but wouldn't want to do the big one here in Vancouver. A smaller one, like in your town, would be nice.

    I've been meaning to thank you for sharing all your beautiful hikes and other adventures.
    Here's to a great 2011 for everyone!

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  6. I love your shots of the cormorants DJan, I'm sure the birds were wondering what was up with all those crazy humans.

    For some reason I have never been tempted to take the plunge. We got all the way up to 19F today and a little crust of ice on the water...but no polar bears here that I've heard about. Brrr!

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  7. I once participated in a Polar Bear swim here in Vancouver. Never again.

    Did you know the Polar Bear swims originated here in Vancouver? Back in the 1920s the first ones were held here in English Bay. I think a person has to be either crazy, or still drunk from the night before. *heh*

    That is a gorgeous photo of the cormorants. Just gorgeous...!

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  8. Thanks for the photos..it looks a little chilly! They made me smile..:)

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  9. Not for me thanks! I don't think this ticker could take it!

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  10. It could be fun as a one time deal. I can assure you I'd much rather do that than ring in the new year in Times Square. I'd say both entail some insanity!

    I hope you have had a wonderful day. You're certainly off to an entertaining start. Thank you for sharing:)

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  11. I am not tempted to join the fun! It does look exciting though!

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  12. While THEY might be HAVING FUN, it would not be fun for me! But more power to them, and you, should you try it.

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  13. Looks like too much shock to my system but I can see these people enjoyed it. Fun for me to watch or see the pics. Not jump into freezing water. Uh uh.

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  14. I love cold drinks and cold food like ice cream. I am constantly drinking iced coffee or ice water. But, no, I shall never jump into an icy lake. lol.

    I think obese people probably felt the cold less, huh?

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  15. Brrr that makes me shiver, just looking. I think it's better to watch, you will get just the same exhilaration!
    Blessings, Star

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  16. I love those pictures of these brave souls. They do it up here too...and the outside temps. are only in the TEENS and they have to chop through the ice to make open water for them to jump in. YIKES!

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  17. I think their idea of fun and mine is totally different. It was 48 today and I did not stay out long …too cold.

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  18. What a hearty lot of lunatics. I admit I am a wuss when it comes to taking a plunge into icy cold water. I much prefer to celebrate the new year with another log on the fire and a warm blanket.

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  19. My wonderful but crazy little niece has plunged into Lake Erie several years in a row on New Year's Day. Some years have been incredibly frigid. It takes me exceptionally long to get fully immersed on a midsummer's day. You'd never get me doing this in winter. Great shots!

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