Saturday, February 16, 2008

Brrr... The Rappahannock is 41F

This morning I went down to the city docks to participate in a polar plunge to support the Wounded EOD foundation.

The USGS reports that the Rappahannock River is a toasty 40.8F/4.9C this morning. I will attest to their accuracy. With a 3ft river height, the folks from and the Fredericksburg rescue squad had plungers go down the ramp and into the water. They brought out BOAT 1 to mark the farthest point swimmers should go to, and let me tell you that it was a challenging swim in the frigid water. Everyone was in great spirits, and many smiles were seen between the shivers after the chilly dunk in the water. The crowd cheered after each group of five plungers.

The Fredericksburg water rescue team was there to make sure everyone was able to get out of the water safely. The Dahlgren EOD truck was there with their bomb disposal robot. They also brought their bomb disposal suit to show how much gear is required in their line of work.

The morning's activities were topped off with awards for the top costumes, and an award for the top group. The wizard of oz group easily took the group award. Dorothy chose to watch from the sideline, and looked much warmer than the rest of her crew.

Before the day started, about sixty people had preregistered. I saw a steady stream of signups throughout the morning. The organizers seemed to have good support from local businesses. The best donation may have been two PODS which were converted to changing rooms.

Arriving a little were Natasha and Jessica from Fatty J's, in their tutus. After a brisk swim out the the boat, one of the tutu skirts has to be rescued from downstream. It was the only rescue of the day.
The excitement was contageous and at the end of the event, several of the member of the rescue squad took a dip in the water. Funny, they had the best towels of anyone there.
Plans are to make this an annual event. Here's to hoping that next year they can reach the full 100 participants.

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