The Polar Bear Plunge

On the first day of 2014, my husband whom I thought I knew surprised me by announcing something that was a bit out-of-character from the man I married.  You see, my husband is a historian.  He has a PhD in History and has some history books published under his name.  I am only mentioning this to stress a point, the kind of man that he is – yes, he is boring but I say that endearingly and I married him because he is just that, and because I too am boring. We are a perfect match. We don’t jump off cliffs, run marathons and go on exciting adventures.  We prefer to buy books, read at home and have home-cooked meals.  Yes, that kind.

So imagine my surprise when I wake up on the first day of the new year, wanting to snuggle back in bed since it was a dreary, cold-wet-winter’s day, to find my husband in his swimming shorts announcing “Today is the day”

I knew of course what he was talking about, but I really thought that it was just going to be all talk.  He’s mentioned before that he’s always wanted to do a polar bear plunge like the ones who do at the Serpentine Lake in Hyde park in London, so when he learned that the Tintagel Surf Life Saving club was doing something like that in Trebarwith, he said he wanted to sign up.  And I did what other wives would do of course, ignored him.

But apparently he was serious, so there I was feeling a bit like Meryl Streep in the 80s movie version of the John Fowles’ French Lieutenant’s Woman book, only instead of standing on the famous Cobb, Lyme Regis’ dramatic and historic harbour where the film was shot, I was standing on a rock in Trebarwith Strand and instead of a dramatic cape, I was wearing my duffel coat and clutching little T’s hand while trying to take photos of my silly husband brave the cold waters.  Thank goodness we had the support of our friends who ever-so-kindly took a hold of Doc, so I could document my husband’s rare adeventurous feat.

And thank goodness he wasn’t alone!  There was probably more than a hundred people on the beach on the first day of the new year.  Perhaps around fifty took a dip in the freezing waters.

It was a very cold and blustery winter’s day.  And after that, we all went to the pub for a full English breakfast.

The husband?  He was very proud of himself.

I was proud of him too, although I didn’t voice it out.

Would you do the polar bear dip plunge?

I wouldn’t, not even for a million pounds.

This post is linked-up with PODcast’s What’s The Story.

And The Oliver’s Madhouse

Hope everyone has a lovely week ahead of them!


  1. Coombe Mill (Fiona) (@coombemill)

    My kids used to go to Trebarwith Surf Life savers! Burr to that sea! #Whatsthestory

      • I am sure that he was chilled to the bone, and as his Yankee adopted, brother in law, I would have been standing by with a fifth of Brandy to take the chill off and the local head shrink to make sure that his sanity was intact. Then off to the Pub for that warm breakfast. Hats off to him for the brave act. Here in the states, up North, we have a similar kind of dare where you strip down to your undies and skate across a lake and plunge into a snow bank. Burrr as well. Lol.

      • Also, just so you know, us Historians aren’t boring, we just prefer to be a bit laid back so that we keep people guessing about us. lol

        • More like call you guys boring behind your backs! Hahaha ;p What am I saying, it’s just you two, I can be honest about it! ;p

    • Thanks! But it wasn’t me, it was my husband – not crazy enough to do the polar bear plunge 🙂

  2. I am also proud of your husband.
    I did it once in Lake George, NY on New Year’s Day. I was younger then.

    • Brr… that also sounds freezing! You guys are crazy … no wonder you’re friends. Hahaha.

  3. Charly Dove

    Oh my goodness what an awesome thing to do. But wow mighty cold! Your husband must be so pleased he did it and so many others did too. What a memorable day for you all. Brilliant post, thank you so much for sharing with #whatsthestory

  4. MontgomeryFest

    Ahh! So very brave. I would have definitely ignored too! Too funny. I don’t think I could do it….but I did see mulled wine at the event 😉

    • Glad I’m not that only one who would “ignore” – hahaha. Yes, there was mulled wine and minced pie after the event. We opted for the full English breakfast at the pub.

  5. Kate @ Did That Just Happen?

    Nope, never, not happening!! But I’m proud of your husband for doing it! And I find it even funnier that you were willing to just completely ignore him thinking it was all talk. That I could totally understand!

    • Yep, I really thought it was all just talk even as we parked up by the beach!

  6. afamilydayout

    As a poor swimmer and someone who doesn’t like the cold I couldn’t imagine a thing I’d less like to do. Congrats to your husband for taking the plunge though!

  7. Funky Wellies

    How brave! Not sure I would do it…
    The full English breakfast was totally deserved… xx

  8. over40andamumtoone

    I can barely swim, so hell would freeze over before I would do that. Respect! #whatsthestory

    • Same here! Though I doubt it if anyone really swam … more like took a dip and then ran back to the shore as fast as they could! 🙂

  9. Bec Cowley

    How fantastic! What a great start to the new year! I personally wouldn’t do the Polar Bear Plunge but I’m 100% positive my husband would given the opportunity! Well done him for doing it!

    • Thank you! I think he’s really pleased with himself 🙂 Glad I’m not the only one who refuses to do it, especially since he asked if I would do it with him next year – no way!

  10. Pingback: PODcast | What's The Story? | 13th January 2014

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