On New Year’s Day 2016, I did something that I never thought I would do. I put on my bathing suit and headed to the beach in Westerly, Rhode Island. At noon sharp and in good company, I took a plunge into the chilly Atlantic Ocean. The air temp was in the 40 degree range but the sun was shining bright and despite being chilly, the ocean water was unseasonably warm near a balmy 50 degrees! To say these are mild conditions for January 1st in New England is putting it mildly (pun intended). Seriously, I lucked out. If there were ever a year to participate in the WARM Center Penguin Plunge, this was it!
Why would anyone want to do this?
The fundraising event benefits WARM (Westerly Area Rest Meals), a nonprofit organization that provides shelter and food to the homeless. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous but once I got out there and saw all the other adventurous souls, there was no turning back! Plunging into the cold ocean at full foot speed in front of a crowd will wake you up and get you going. What an incredible experience!
Winter water plunges are on the up and up and this one is definitely one to consider if you’re in the Rhode Island area. The Penguin Plunge is a well-organized and fun event that supports a good cause. The event organizers were appreciative and fun. I was smiling and laughing so much, I barely noticed the cool breeze or the fact that I didn’t have a jacket.
All plungers received a souvenir t-shirt (just in case anyone needs proof of their icy endeavor!). Plus, the bar at the Andrea was open and serving celebratory mimosas and bloody marys post-plunge (cash bar). Costumes were encouraged and there were some creative ones in the 2016 lineup including a couple dressed as a bride a groom and group of Where’s Waldo plungers. Next year will be the WARM Penguin Plunge’s 11th year!
My husband and friend braved the cold waters with me and our kids and my in-laws watched the madness from the shore. It was a memorable way to start off the new year!
Check it out for yourself:
It’s only January and I’ve already made a splash in New England so it looks like it’s going to be an interesting year ahead!
Now for the question on everyone’s mind: Will I take the plunge next year?
I think I might!
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