02 January, 2012

Braving the Chilly Waters

Several members of the Corozal Men's Club (TKWDN) along with their wives and friends braved the frigid waters this first day of the new year 2012, in the first ever (and we hope, continuing) Corozal Men's Club Polar Bear Swim and BBQ.

We even had certificates to hand out along with a commemorative t-shirt (available at cost, of course) for those brave enough to at least dip a toe into the frigid waters.
Polar Bear Swim Certificate of Accomplishment and T-shirt
Everything kicked off around one PM with very nice weather, sunshine and scattered clouds, with the temp a chilly 82 - strangely, the same temp as the water.
Alan and Elsie Sporting Their New Tees
Elsie was in charge of setting things up so that, after the swim, loading the plates went smooth and orderly, so that we minimized hypothermia among the participants. Alan was co-Chef d'Barbecue and made sure none of the hot dogs suffered unnecessarily.

Bruce and Denis made sure there was an orderly distribution of certificates and t-shirts among the participants.
Bruce Keeping Track Of Certificates and Tees
 And, here's the tees, all in order.
The Tees Ready For Distribution
The certificates were impressive. Many, including Chuck, said they were suitable for framing.
Chuck Showing Off His New Certificate
The t-shirts, probably not suitable for framing, were a popular feature as modeled by Colleen. Although one has to wonder why she's holding a capped bottle of beer.
Colleen Showing Off Her New Tee
There were a lot of conversations going on around the place. Groups formed and reformed all afternoon.
Polar Bear Revelers
A lot of this activity, I'm sure, was simply folks working up the courage to get in the water. It did take a certain amount of bravery to do that.
Never A Shortage Of Conversation
Always a good tale to be told.
Some More Of the Crew
The menu didn't vary much, as we only had hot dogs - some with cheese in them and some without. But, Doug and Alan ran a tight ship around the BBQ pit. This was the first tryout for our BBQ, made from an old butane gas bottle. Slow to heat up, but once it got going, they managed to keep everything from burning. Good job guys!
Doug and Alan Our Erstwhile Chefs d'Barbecue
As you can see, it took a fair amount of lubrication to keep the barbecue process functioning smoothly. I'm sure Carlo Rossi played a large part in that.
Doug Hard At Work
It actually took more that just the two of them to manage the BBQ area. Here's a few of the folks who volunteered to help during the cooking process. Good cooks always want lots of help in the kitchen, don't they?
Just Hangin' Around
It was a struggle throughout the afternoon as people gamely tried to enter the local waters. It required a herculean effort just to get down the steps. In fact, it nearly took your breath away upon first entering the pool.
Elsie and Maria Braving the Frigid Waters
We had several different groupings of folks braving the waters. Here's another shot of some of the revelers in action.
Roger, Maria Elsie and Dianna Braving the Frigid Waters
Like I said, the commemorative t-shirts were a popular item. Some folks required more assistance than others in getting theirs on correctly as Elsie demonstrates, helping Alan get his sorted out.
Elsie Helping Alan With His New Tee
Ahh, the official, big, group photo of most of the brave polar bears. There's Twyla fullfilling the letter of the requirements with a toe dipped in the icy waters.
Braving the Frigid Waters For The Official Foto
Colleen even brought over a centerpiece for the table. A cute little bobble-head ornament who dances the hula. It's uncanny how much he looks like Jim, one of our former members, now living up north in Florida.
Colleen's Musical Hula Ornament - Looks Suspiciously Like Jim
Of course, all good things must come to an end. Just about the time things here were beginning to wind down, the heavens unleashed buckets of rain. And more rain, and more rain. In fact, once it started, it didn't quit till early in the morning of the 2nd. in fact, it's thundering outside right now, so I don't think it's done yet.
Of Course, Later In The Day It Turned
We managed to finish just in time. Colleen and Bruce had ridden their bikes here, getting their feet wet coming through the mud and rainwater crossing the the road. They left just before this latest downpour started. I imagine they had a time of it getting back home.
Rain And More Rain
We were lucky to have such nice weather for the polar bear soiree. Yesterday, New Year's Eve, Colleen and Bruce had an afternoon New Year's party, complete with ham. We missed that because of so much rain at the time. I thought this was supposed to be the dry season. I think we've gotten more rain in the past month than we did all through the rainy season.

Our road certainly looks like it. We've been severely hampered walking the dogs - the water and mud on the road is too deep. In fact, in some places on the road it's nearing the bottom of the doors on an SUV. Some cabbies have even refused to try driving through the mess.


Jim Voris said...

Is it possible that the Corozal Men's group changed their secret ID from TKTDN to (TKWDN) as reported in this great story. And 82 degrees all be it a little shock as you enter the water is quite a refreshing swim once in. Have our intrepid Knights become whoosis?
Miss you guys!

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