As I went under I could feel a sharp sting all over my body, it was as if my skin and muscles immediately contracted putting pressure on all my organs. I swear time stopped and I had to manually tell my legs to start kicking to the surface or else I would sink all the way to the bottom to dance with the seals. It felt like an eternity before I reached the surfaced and took a gulping breath of air, it stung going in and felt like I was breathing salt water instead of fresh Arctic air around me.
No, I didn’t fall through the ice or get pushed in by a polar bear. even WORSE!!! I jumped in voluntarily!
The crew of SV Salty are now a part of the Arctic/ Polar Plunge club. Only highly intelligent, good looking people are initiated in this manner. FYI. The water was a chilly 40F and all soft bits did shrink to 1/10th their size.
By the time I made it to the swim ladder (all of 6′ away) I didn’t know if I could make it up. My whole body was shaking and I was still gasping for air. No matter how fast I breathed it felt like my lungs were rejecting the precious oxygen I was sending their way. All I could think is that if I don’t make it up the swim ladder I might just die. It’s safe to say I made it up the ladder and crawled on deck with all sorts of obscenities escaping loudly from my mouth.
I thought that as soon as I got out I would have to run inside and cover myself in blankets but it took only about 20 seconds for the shaking to stop and suddenly a wave of warmth passed through me. I probably could have stood on deck for cocktail hour, but I couldn’t find any of my swim suits – I packed them away, honestly who goes swimming in the Arctic?- and I doubt everyone wanted to watch me stand around in my hot pink Bonds bra, plus I had 30 days of growth on my legs.. eww! That in itself may have saved me from hypothermia.
A shot of whiskey was had by all to celebrate then BAM back into routine. I went straight into cooking dinner and Carl cleaning boat like today was any other day. Well these days today was really any other day.
7844N, 7244W, a dip in the water, a dance on the ice and a decent amount of canned pork.
SV Salty reporting that the Arctic is still a cool place to be.