Sunday, April 16, 2017

2017 Swim with the Coney Island Polar Bears

Happy Easter from Coney Island!

Forecast called for a ridiculously balmy 80 degrees, perfect weather for my annual swim with the Coney Island Polar Bears! I always think that some winter it might be fun to try to actually join them, the way that works is that there's a lottery for slots; you pay a $25 application fee and then if you come out for 12 swims within a single season (which runs from November through April) and are voted in by the members, you become a full-fledged Coney Island Polar Bear, with a patch you can wear and YES total bragging rights! After that you only have to do four swims a year to continue to be an active member; that first year would take some commitment and I think I would have to focus on getting the swims in early on - seems like the way to do it would be getting out there every week as the water gets progressively colder. Would be tough to do and still fit in my winter paddling, I would just have to make up my mind to make it a swimming winter instead of a paddling winter. Fun to think about, but for the time being I expect I'll just stick with my April dip.

Would also be fun to see the New Year's Day plunge that the Polar Bear Club runs as a fundraiser for Camp Sunshine someday - but I have been ringing in New Year's Days with paddles for so long that it's hard to imagine not doing that. It would be such fun taking pictures there, though, that's an enormous and very popular event and people come up with some wild outfits for it!

I was very glad to get out in the water today, it's been weeks since my last paddle (Staten Island seals in what was it, February?) and I've just been itching for salt water. Today was just great, I had a lovely time in the water and then asked if I could join in when I heard a friend talking about going to Ruby's Bar - I am so glad that whatever happened to save that place and some of the other Coney Island classics from the developers happened, that was the perfect way to wrap up the beach part of the day.

Sorry it's not a very wide range of pictures, my camera got a memory card error right after the first circle-up, which happens right after everybody gets in - since I was already in, I couldn't open the battery compartment to take out the card & put it back in. I think I may have enjoyed the rest of the swim more after I ditched the camera, though! Here's the set of pictures I did get, though. Click for slide show view, as usual. 

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