Friday, February 18, 2011

Antarctica, Taking The True Polar Plunge


While there are many beers from around the world, we all know that there is only one King Of Beers, Budweiser. Quit laughing, I am serious. The same comparison can also be made in reference to Polar Plunges.

Although done annually in places like Minnesota, USA and Vancouver, B.C, there are only two regions in the world where one can experience the King Of Polar Plunges.



WB NeptuneWindow I happen to be in one of them, Antarctica.







Even with the sun shining, the weather seems even colder as the wind continues it's harassing ways. This scenario reminds me of a winter day in Minnesota where there is often clear blue skies but bitter cold temperatures. Something that becomes confusing to the mind if you are not use to it.



WB Peter Walking along Whalers Bay, Peter and I discuss our individual strategy for the Polar Plunge.

So far, I am favoring his plan. “Get In, Get Out, Go Home!”




Arriving at the launch spot, others have already gathered for the plunge. The first plunger of our group is getting prepared as I review plunging instructions with Val, one of the expedition staff members.



WB First Plunger A True Polar Plunger




WB Val Instruction Complimenting Val's instructions, with the Ioffe in the background, the first plunger is in the water, “Just like that!”







WB Peters Plunge Peter’s Polar Plunge




WB Peters Return Peter makes his entry then returns victorious.

He vividly comments on the temperature of the water. “So, Cold!”





Since Peter is busy getting his body temperature back to normal, the plan for him to capture my plunge is not going to work. Fortunately, my Cabin 314 roommate, John is witnessing this almost insane spectacle and agrees to do the honors.

Sometimes it is interesting how the mind works. Even as the wind is howling around us with the temperature in the 30's, I am not cold as I strip down to my tropical swim trunks.



WB Polar Proof Ready to take the plunge, I pause a minute to remove my watch.

I know it is waterproof but I am not sure if it is polar-proof.




Then I am racing into the wind driven waves with no thoughts of how cold the water is at that moment. I dive in to the applaud of the Russian judges who  give me a 1.3 score.




WB Don Plunge Taking The True Polar Plunge





WB Freezing It is only on my rapid return to the shore that I realize, “The water is …F.. F…. Freezing.”







WB Drying Off Using a towel to dry off does me no good, the wind now becomes my friend and does a better job.





Again, I do not have a sense of being cold but my feet are numb. I look down and although they have lost some color, I am thankful to still have toes.



WB Victory Even with a 1.3 score, I feel like the King of The Polar Plunge, not bad for an island boy.

Yeah, Mon!








E Squared and Mui said...

I see they no longer dig a shallow pool near the edge of the water to capture thermally heated underground water for the plungers to use as a hot tub after the plunge.

Looks like you enjoyed the experience though, or you put on a good face :-)

DMBTraveler said...

It was the "Real Deal" and "Fun" if not a little insane!

They did promise to get us back to the ship right away to warm up but it did not quiet work out that way.

It took a nice long warm shower to get my feet back to normal. I was sure glad the shower had one of those portable shower heads.

Anonymous said...

Wow.. just how cold was that water, anyway? I know the Atlantic at night is like 28degrees.

DMBTraveler said...

I would say it was somewhere near freezing.. For sure, it took awhile for me to realize I still had toes!