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#13 Taking the Plunge

I had heard tales of taking the "polar plunge", but it usually involved a 2 second dip into arctic waters, or running in from a beach and then jumping in a hot spring.  After our final landing on our final day in Antarctica, our guides decided to give us the opportunity to experience this crazy (and probably really stupid) activity.  We had no idea that they had a slightly different challenge in mind for us!

So, here is the story of how I took the polar plunge
Our trip isn't over yet! Since we had calm waters, they gave us the chance to do the Polar Plunge!
Our trip isn't over yet! Since we had calm waters, they gave us the chance to do the Polar Plunge! (Erin Correia)

Step #1: Get suited up:
Polar Plunge: Must be on an Antarctic high because I was SO excited to do the plunge!
Polar Plunge: Must be on an Antarctic high because I was SO excited to do the plunge! (Erin Correia)

Step #2: Get courage from a stiff drink:
Polar Plunge: All suited up and toasting to the Polar Plunge!
Polar Plunge: All suited up and toasting to the Polar Plunge! (Erin Correia)

Step #3: Be the first two in line so you don't have to wear a wet harnass (then start wondering about WHY you need to wear a harnass)
Polar Plunge: My brother went first, so I waited on the gangway.
Polar Plunge: My brother went first, so I waited on the gangway. (Erin Correia)

While in line, start to notice what the crew is wearing, and that they keep moving icebergs out of the way in the water:
Polar Plunge: The crew suited up too. Maybe a sign that we don't need to be jumping in the water?
Polar Plunge: The crew suited up too. Maybe a sign that we don't need to be jumping in the water? (Erin Correia)

Step #4: Get harnassed in:
Polar Plunge: They described the water as "not ice" as I was strapped into my harness. Here we go!
Polar Plunge: They described the water as "not ice" as I was strapped into my harness. Here we go! (Erin Correia)

Step #5: Listen to instructions (assuming:"Jump in and climb out"):
Polar Plunge: Here is when I realized that I wasn't just jumping in...I had to swim to the other zodiac!
Polar Plunge: Here is when I realized that I wasn't just jumping in...I had to swim to the other zodiac! (Erin Correia)
I'm sorry, did the guide in the zodiac 100 feet away just say "Jump in and swim to me" ??????

Step #6: Against all your better reasoning skills, JUMP!:
Polar Plunge: Getting ready!
Polar Plunge: Getting ready! (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: This does not look fun...
Polar Plunge: This does not look fun... (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: Still not ready...
Polar Plunge: Still not ready... (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: Almost there!
Polar Plunge: Almost there! (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: And here....
Polar Plunge: And here.... (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: ...I go!
Polar Plunge: ...I go! (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: No turning back now!
Polar Plunge: No turning back now! (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: Going down!
Polar Plunge: Going down! (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: A shot of my impact from the zodiac. Check out my brother in the background.
Polar Plunge: A shot of my impact from the zodiac. Check out my brother in the background. (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: Into the icy abyss
Polar Plunge: Into the icy abyss (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: And I'm in!
Polar Plunge: And I'm in! (Erin Correia)

Step #7: Start swearing and swim for your life:
Polar Plunge: So cold, so cold!
Polar Plunge: So cold, so cold! (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: Swimming for the other zodiac!
Polar Plunge: Swimming for the other zodiac! (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: Halfway there!
Polar Plunge: Halfway there! (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: I can't swim fast enough.
Polar Plunge: I can't swim fast enough. (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: I made it!
Polar Plunge: I made it! (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: I've never been more happy to climb in a boat.
Polar Plunge: I've never been more happy to climb in a boat. (Erin Correia)

Step #8: Reach the other boat, so excited to make the pain stop:
Polar Plunge: This is where they tell me I have to swim BACK! What?!
Polar Plunge: This is where they tell me I have to swim BACK! What?! (Erin Correia)
I'm sorry, what did you just say?  SWIM BACK!?!?!?!
Step #9: Realize you should pay closer attention to what will be expected of you, start swearing and swimming again:
Polar Plunge: See the suprised look on my face?
Polar Plunge: See the suprised look on my face? (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: Telling myself to just keep swimming.
Polar Plunge: Telling myself to just keep swimming. (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: So ready for warmth.
Polar Plunge: So ready for warmth. (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: And I'm really ready to be done.
Polar Plunge: And I'm really ready to be done. (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: So close!
Polar Plunge: So close! (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: So looking forward to this boat and its warmth.
Polar Plunge: So looking forward to this boat and its warmth. (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: And still swimming. Almost there!
Polar Plunge: And still swimming. Almost there! (Erin Correia)

Step #10: Make your glorious escape from the icy abyss:
Polar Plunge: I'm out! I did it!
Polar Plunge: I'm out! I did it! (Erin Correia)
Polar Plunge: My body is so numb that I don't even feel the cold.
Polar Plunge: My body is so numb that I don't even feel the cold. (Erin Correia)

Step #11: Take the obligatory "we did it!" photo:
Polar Plunge Champions!
Polar Plunge Champions! (Erin Correia)

Step #12: Enjoy the sensation of feeling returning to our bodies in the hot tub:
Polar Plunge: Enjoying the sweet, sweet heat of the hot tub.
Polar Plunge: Enjoying the sweet, sweet heat of the hot tub. (Erin Correia)

 

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