According to Wikipedia the (POLAR BEAR has) many body characteristics adapted for cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice, and open water, and for hunting the seals which make up most of its diet.
So, when you turn on a nature show and see a polar bear diving into the Arctic waters you recognize that it is motivated by hunger and has a body designed by nature to survive in the hostile winter conditions that it calls home.
Another interesting fact, also according to our friends at Wikipedia, is regarding the details of HYPOTHERMIA: A water temperature of 10 °C (50 °F) often leads to death in one hour, and water temperatures hovering at freezing can lead to death in as little as 15 minutes.
So, rather than provide you with enough random facts to win a game of Trivial Pursuit, I will let those details roll around in your brain as you consider the evidence of pure lunacy that I lay out before you…
When I did my 100 KM bike ride I went on about expanding my horizons and pushing the limits and blah, blah, blah…
And that is all just a bunch of talk when it comes to me considering walking past ice and snow to dive into winter water from a Canadian shore. Don’t get me wrong, I might jump in if someone was chasing me with a weapon or offered me an astounding amount of money, but just for the fun of it?! There is not enough beer in the world for that to happen.
Fortunately, for the hundreds of onlookers, there were more than 50 brave/out-of-their-mind souls who have more guts than I do and went rushing into Lake Erie in January wearing everything from skimpy bathing suits to long underwear. Not to worry though, it was a mild winter day and the lake temperature hovered around 5.5 °C (42 °F).
This was the 4th annual edition of Crystal Beach’s Polar Bear Dip and Chili Challenge, an event coordinated by the Crystal Beach BIA and held at the Bertie Boat Club on Point Abino Road.
It was amazing to see the smiles and hear the laughs of people from toddlers to retirees race down the ramp and into the frigid water. It was mind-boggling when you realized that they needed to do it three times to get their certificate!
The backdrop to this insane event was hundreds of supporting families and friends, an open fire pit, ice cold beer and the smell of delicious hot chili!
There were some sane and sober heads among the crowd including Fort Erie firefighters, members of the local diving club, and a past captain of the Fort Erie Water Recovery Unit to make sure that everyone had only silly tales to tell from the January day they jumped into the icy waters of Lake Erie!