Taking a plunge in the freezer
Brave the chill and take a dip off the coast of Antarctica, recommends Angela Saurine.
CAN’T believe what I am about to do. Antarctica is not exactly a place known for swimming, but I am stripping off my clothes getting ready to dive into the icy waters.
After four days of glorious sunshine, the weather has turned and it is cold, windy and cloudy. Just my luck.
It is also somewhat disconcerting that every one of our ship’s crew we ask if they have done the polar plunge seems to have the same response: Once, but never again.
As I peel off my outer waterproof jacket, inner jacket, fleece, Icebreaker, thermal underwear and T-shirt, I start to hear the squeals of other passengers who have gone in before me. The ship’s doctor is on standby with a defibrillator, just in case he needs to restart someone’s heart.
Back home in Australia, if the water is cold I will take my time getting in, working up the courage. Here there is no time. As soon as I am down to my bikini and my socks are off, I bolt towards the water.
It all happens very fast. I splash into the water. When the person in front of me dives, I follow. It is an unwritten rule that you have to put your head under water for it to count. As soon as it is over I turn around and run back towards the beach. Somebody hands me a towel, which I grab and start to dry myself haphazardly. As I am heading towards my clothes, I realise I can’t feel my forehead or feet, they are so numb.
I get dressed quickly – well, as quick as you can when you are wearing so many layers. I