I’m pausing my regularly scheduled excursion blogs for a moment so we can talk about when perfectly rational humans temporarily lose their minds.

“What’s a Polar Plunge?” According to wikipedia, it’s an event held during the winter where participants enter a body of water despite the low temperature. According to Marenda, it’s the seemingly insane act of diving, cannonballing or kinda-on-purpose-falling into the Southern Ocean of Antarctica which, by the way, has actual ice floating in it everywhere. In case you forgot.

“How cold was the air temperature?”About 30° F (-1° C) with 18 MPH winds. That’s below freezing conditions, people.

“How cold was the actual water?”Even colder. About 28-29° F (-2.2° to -1.6° C).

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Need I remind you, there’s ice in the water.

“WHY in the world???”I do not have a good answer for this. I’m not sure there even is one. Why do people sky dive? By the way, I would never sky dive. Like…why? Is the plane on fire? 100% of sky diving accidents and fatalities could have been prevented by, you know, not skydiving. But I’m off topic…

“Did any other black folk do it? Because you know we don’t do stuff like that?” Fair question and the answer is I’m not sure LOL. There was another brown person but he was from Miami and was Spanish bilingual so the jury’s out. Otherwise, I think I was it. But there were only like 5 of us out of 196 passengers anyway. Black people do swim by the way!

“What was the process?”At polar plunge time, all willing crazy people headed down to the mudroom in swimsuits and robes. Though, there was a group of Chinese tourists in full wetsuits. They were not playing games with these disrespectful waters. As you can see in the video below, when it was your turn to go, they strapped a harness around you with a tether line which proved to be useful since there was actually a slight current dragging plungers off to the left. …. Plungers *insert immature giggles*  Anyway, you jump in, you’re supposed to be mindful of a camera taking your photo (I was not at all), you get out, you’re done.

“What was it like?”Sooooo ok. It is absolutely unreal what your body will do just to survive. I was nervous and on adrenaline up to the moment I jumped off the platform. Then, as soon as I hit the water, there was a jolt, basically the shock of ice needles but it didn’t hurt yet. Underneath the water, there were one, maybe two, seconds of nothingness, darkness with no feeling at all (I kept my eyes closed, the water was BLACK). But then IMMEDIATELY my body took over without any regard for my brain’s input. My kicking legs, my stroking arms, my everything had one unified and amplified mission: GET THE *%}^! OUT OF THIS WATER NOW!!! My body wanted to escape the water before pain set in. I barely remember swimming to and climbing back up onto the platform. It was complete autopilot.

“What were the after effects?” I ran back up into the covering of the ship and after like 10 seconds out of the water, my body flooded with heat. Every blood vessel in my body dilated and the blood rush was almost palpable. I was able to then just stand there in a bikini and feel completely warm. For about 30 minutes afterwards, I could walk around outside in my swimsuit and robe and felt warm while I was watched others do the jump. People who hadn’t done it were in parkas and I was in a swimsuit. Outside. And then I felt like I was high on life for about 2 hours. Really happy and excited about everything. The body is an AMAZING machine. I’d never experienced anything like that ever. That level of physical shock and then the body’s protective and recovery mechanisms. It was insane.

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I look excited but I was neeeeeeervous! We had been psyching ourselves out for two days!

Here I go!…

And then after, recording from the upper deck…

Here’s a video of a woman asking me to flash her…

And here’s a photo of said flashing. I wasn’t cold outside at all by then…

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Found this waiting on my bed after the evening turn down service. *cue Destiny Child’s Survivor*

Now that you know what a polar plunge is all about, would you dare?

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