You say: "What's the Polar Bear Dip?"
(If you are my friend Will, you say "Good grief: people make dip out of polar bears???")
I say: On Friday, August 2nd, I'm going to jump into the ocean.
You say: "What's the big deal? What ocean?"
I say: The Arctic Ocean.
You say: "Oh."
Then you say: "What?! Why??"
(If you are my mom reading this, you also add "Ya! Michesuh?" ("Have you lost your mind?"))
I say: As a fundraiser to build a new multi-use facility for the community. Our town is really excited about this new building; everyone's talking about what they'd love to see in it - a new youth centre, a coffee shop, a movie theatre, sports facilities. Personally, I'm hoping the town goes for my suggestion of installing Korean karaoke noraebang. Anyway, the community is in the phase of raising funds for it, and this Polar Bear Dip is one of the fundraising events
You say: "But...you're going to wear a wetsuit right?"
I say: No wetsuits or drysuits allowed. I'll be doing it in nothing but a bikini. I might also wear this hat:
but not the Korean long underwear
So you should really sponsor me and my quest to look hypothermia in the face and slap it.
You ask: "Why should I donate?"
I say: Because the community could really use this new facility. Our community could use a lot more facilities, actually. Also, if you donate at least $10 (and give me your email address), I will personally send you a thank you email along with a photo of me doing the dip. If you donate at least $25 and provide me your mailing address, I'll mail you a personalized thank you card + photo via snail mail (gotta keep Canada Post in business!).
Then you start asking really dumb questions, like: "Well, if you're really going to be hardcore, shouldn't you do it in the winter, when it'll be really cold?"
I say: It'll also be really hard, as in impossible. The Arctic Ocean is frozen in the winter, like, ten feet deep.
You ask: "How cold will the Arctic Ocean be in August then?"
I say: I'm not sure exactly, and maybe this is why I'm stupid enough to agree to do it. But the ocean just stopped being frozen last month, and right now in July the sea temperature is 0.5°C, which you'll note is barely above freezing, literally. Maybe it'll be warmer by August. Maybe it'll be colder.
Fun fact: Because of the salt water content, the Arctic Ocean's freezing point is actually -1.5°C.
You ask: "Why a Polar Bear Dip and not a Polar Bear Swim?"
I say: A lot of folks don't actually know how to swim. More importantly though, we don't want to stay that long in the water, because when I Googled "how long can a person survive in cold water" I got this chart:
expected time before unconsciousness
You ask: "How about your partner? Will he be doing it as well?"
I say: Rob is being wiser. He will stay dry and warm and be holding my towel on the beach, while probably laughing at me.
So, friends, sponsor me!