Monday, May 14, 2007
12th May Polar Plunge.
I tried not to think about the plunge that I had agreed to quietly, so that I could deny it to myself. I also did not think too much about it so that I did not build up the horror of the extreme ice cream headache and not being able to breathe from the extreme cold that I had heard about.
We were all in high spirits during the day considering that a small band of us had watch movies until 4.00am. The weather was perfect, even though it was -32 as there was no wind to speak of. The platform was all dug out, ladder and harnesses in place and the near-by hut warmed up with a heater.
After base duties we changed into swimsuits under our out door gear and all gathered at the plunge hole. We had decided to take some photo's before the plunge. The transports of Americans had also started to arrive from McMurdo.
The plunge is a private experience and not for spectators and Blake, Lyal and Dee who look after us make sure that only the people you want present are there. Also a picture is taken only if you want it.
All the men were sent away including the threatened video camera and us girls stripped in the hut to our skin and put on the safety harnesses. Wrapped in blankets with shoes on, so that you don't stick to the ice when you get out, we ran down to the hole. I ended up in front so I was first up and basically just had to do it as everyone behind me was freezing and waiting. Once clipped on to the safety rope I sedately (? - can't think why) stepped in and sunk very deep. The blue ice and bubbles were beautiful and my first thought was "it's not cold!"....but on rising... Oh the profanities - as blue as me!
I climbed out and could not talk - they are really mean as they ask you questions to hear your unintelligent mumbles and I was reminded to breathe - something you forget to do. I was un-clipped as fast as Blake could, which felt like an age and I raced to the hut closely followed by Emily and Fiona. I have never heard her swear so much. The screaming excitement afterwards from all three of us was hilarious. The hot shower really stung your skin but once you thawed out you were OK. We were all very excitable and hyper followed by warm relaxed feelings which was great since all the girls were off to the A-Frame for the weekend - No Boys Allowed.