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The Polar Bear Dive on the Portage

I participated in the Polar Bear Dive today with an organization I am involved in, the Society of Wetland Scientists as a part of Heikinpäivä – A Finnish-American mid-winter festival.

First off, it was not as bad as I thought it would be! The worst part was waiting for our group’s turn. Once in the water, believe it or not, it wasn’t that bad. Maybe it was because it was warmer in the water than out of it with the wind chill being 4 degrees. Or maybe it was due to shock – being cold was the least of my concerns, it was getting out.

However, it wasn’t that much of a shock. I was pretty calm, and got out on my own despite the divers insisting on helping. Skills gained from watching Bear Grylls do it on TV? I think so. I immediately went inside to change and get warm!

Another cool part to the dive was that there was a costume contest, and we were participating in it. We had a little skit, focused on wetlands. I was dressed up as a cedar tree (brown pants, camo top, and holding a branch), while another member was a logger. He took the chain off his chainsaw and actually fired it up and pretended to cut me down, pushing me in the water. The others were animals, with one member as a bulldozer, pushing all the animals in the water. Finally, one member played the environmentalist and held up a sign saying “Protect the Wetlands – MTU Wetlands Club” and pushed the logger and bulldozer in.

It was definitely fun to do it as a group and we ended up winning the costume contest thanks to our skit! As a group, we received $50.

But it was also an experience to remember, individually. It was an awesome event. I highly recommend it!

Here are some more pictures:

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