Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Polar Plunge

So the next day after the NSF visit, everyone decides it's time to go take the "polar plunge" and join the Polar Bear Club. This is the one thing that I've been dreading the entire trip, even before I came here....but at least now I get to say, "I swam in the Arctic Ocean."
Gathering everyone up for the event in the cafeteria; note Hiroki's "surf board" on the ground.

We couldn't have picked a worse day to do it either; it was foggy, windy, cold, and there was still ice in the ocean...but that's what it takes! Some people decided to go in swim suits, some in just underwear, others decided not to wear anything at all!
So when we finally picked out the place where we were going to take the plunge, everyone was walking towards the shore very slowly...or at least I was. I got there and my toes were already freezing because of the wind chill, so I'm taking my sandals off and I look up, and the first to run towards the water is Adrian, he wasted no time. After that, people started going in one by one, or two by two. It's basically run in, and get the heck out! Dave walked out of the ocean so calmly.

Amorita and I decide to go at the same time, and finally we run towards the water. I'm trying not to think about it...and my feet were the first to touch the water but since they were already really cold, I didn't feel anything at first, s I dove in completely. The shock is so intense that the first breath after you get out is hard! No time to feel cold, my body was in shock. It wasn't until I ran to my backpack and felt the wind that I truly felt cold, extremely cold. Nevertheless, Rob, a high school teacher from South Carolina that was here as a research assistant insisted on a picture with the what the heck.

This was after we dove in...I may look happy, but I felt like I had no toes anymore :(

In conclusion, it was a terrible experience! I don't think I'll be doing that anymore, I got sick the next day :( I don't know how people stayed in the water, or how some kept going back in...I was shivering like a Chihuahua the whole time after! So everyone started throwing their towels on me, as you can see in the above picture. Santonu got scared and basically made me rush to the truck, which had the heater going full blast...that felt nice. Here's a picture of Hiroki "surfing", he's one crazy guy!

Meanwhile, Amorita and I continue to annoy the crap out of Dave at the lab ;D


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