If you’re not already excited about going for a swim on New Year’s Day, it’s time to start.

1) I think we’re going to have about double the number of swimmers we had this year, plus a much larger group of people who will come out to watch shoot video with the swimmers’ cameras.

2) We have yet another reason to tailgate.

3) It’s still a long way out, but Accuweather says the day will be cloudy with a high of 27. Of course, we won’t reach that high temp until the afternoon, so we’re going to be dealing with something closer to the forecast low, which is 11. So there’s that. (This year’s temp at swimming time was 16, so don’t worry about that too much. When it’s that cold, I don’t think 5 degrees makes that much of a difference.)

4) And then there’s the big thing: Since we no longer have an official connection to Ruggers, I was concerned about where we might go to get warmed up after the swim this time; I’m happy to say that after some cajoling on the part of of our friend Wormy, the folks at the Hard Rock Cafe in Station Square have agreed to open up that morning for any and all Polar Bears. They’ll have some drink and food specials to help with our recovery. It’s in a convenient location — I suppose you could swim there from the Mon Wharf if you really wanted to — and it’s a very cool thing for them to do. So, whether you’re swimming or watching, make sure you stop by the Hard Rock after and get warmed up with the rest of us.

(Wormy, by the way, was one of the spectators a year ago. She said she regretted not joining us as soon as we all hit the water and vowed right then she would try in 2010. I’m proud to say she’ll be joining us as a swimmer this time around.)


One other really cool thing about the upcoming swim — our buddy Gina, whom we don’t get to see nearly enough, also has agreed to join us this year. She displays symptoms of the same kind of brain damage that led all of the swimmers to give it a try a year ago, but she has another reason for taking the plunge. She has a connection to this tradition that none of us can match, and you should check out her post from earlier this week to see what that is. Seriously. Go.


  1. My Dad always wanted to do this. A few years ago he started a tradition with my daughter, their own 2-person polar bear club. He even had sweatshirts made. They’d drive to a nearby creek on New Year’s day, and each year they got a little wetter. Just made it up to their knees though. If they had a few more years to do it together they may have eventually gone all the way in. Maybe someday I’ll do it myself in honor of him.


  2. I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again: No effing way.

    I bet if I brought the girls down, though, Kate would want to jump. flora’s gonna look at all of you like you’re cah-razy, though.



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