The Polar Bear Swim, Not Just for Bears Anymore – Staff and Guests take the Polar Plunge at Seal River Lodge.

October 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Polar Bear Tours

Mom wants me to have a positive outlook on today’s blog, and the weather. So here it is: I’m positive that the winds were the strongest they’ve been since we got here. I’m quite positive that it switched between raining and snowing at least four times today. And I’m positive that the polar bears loved it. As for the guests, their soggy clothes are still drying by the fire.

Becca and Mark take a Polar Dip - Photo by Nolan Booth

Becca and Mark take a Polar Dip - Nolan Booth Photo

Fortunately, braving the weather merited several rewards. Not only did the bears put on another spectacular display of wrestling within meters of the group, but enduring the cold only made the crackling fire, the hot coffee and the delicious appetizers all the more inviting at the end of the day.

Of course, to you, dear reader, this may sound like the perfect day to curl up by the fire and wait out the storm (which I’ve heard isn’t expected to blow over for a couple days yet…), but to one of our more adventurous guests and staff members, this sounded like the perfect day to…take a dip in the freezing Hudson Bay.

It was easy really. All they had to do was peel down to their gitch, run through the snow, avoid the half dozen or so polar bears in the area and the ice piling up around the shore. Then plunge into a body of water that was already starting to freeze. Not for the faint-hearted.

Our courageous polar dippers today were Becca Letkeman, one of the famed and fabulous dish pit girls and Mark Murphy, who is, as his brother Dan agreed with me, the crazy one. They had the entire staff and guests as an audience and almost everyone had a camera out. I stood by with towels for the moment that Becca leaped from the water and was once again subjected to the cruel, howling wind. Strangely enough, she forgot all about her towels and ran to the lodge as fast as her frozen feet could take her.

Congratulations, well wishes and “You’re nuts” aside,  Becca and Mark ran to their respective rooms to warm themselves up, which didn’t take long with a cup of hot chocolate in hand. As my mom gave Becca a hug and a laugh, Nolan summed up the day with a little quip, “You shouldn’t get a hug for being stupid.”

Stupid? Probably. Crazy? Most likely. Unforgettable? Absolutely.

Karli Reimer, Churchill Wild.

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