Manzanita, January 1st. “If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.” 180 hardy souls honored that Dr. Seuss quote on New Year’s Day and braved the frigid waters of the Pacific Ocean to welcome 2012. It was the annual Manzanita Polar Plunge. With another hundred-plus onlookers, who stayed in their warm clothes, the event on Neahkahnie Beach was the most successful to date. The temperature outside was unseasonably warm, nearly 60-degrees, but the Ocean temperature was closer to 49!

The first year--2004-- only 6 people took the polar plunge

Before the plunge, hardy souls warmed themselves by the fire and took photographs. The first year, 2004, only 6 people took the polar plunge.

 

Janice Gaines, in the pink bathing suit, started the tradition

Fun-loving Janice Gaines, in the pink bathing suit, started the tradition.

In 2004, Janice Gaines, the owner of the Spa Manzanita, decided a leap into the Ocean was a great way to cool off after a long hike. Since then, her Polar Plunge has gained momentum. It’s a free family event and Gaines has resisted requests to make it a fundraiser. She explains, “The event is growing because, it’s just simple and fun. People are looking for something fun to do on New Year’s Day and this doesn’t cost anything. It’s easy to do because people are already here, and some people even drive down for the plunge.” Participants pose for their photos by the fire and then it’s a race off to the water!

The water temperature was a chilly 49-degrees

The water temperature was a chilly 49-degrees.

 

Participants say when they plunged into the cold water, it took their breath away.

Participants say when they plunge into the cold water, it takes their breath away.

Below are two links to two fun YouTube videos of the big 2012 Manzanita Polar Plunge!

Click here to see them running down the beach.

Click here to see them in the water!

 

A new year is a great reason to celebrate.

A new year is a great reason to celebrate.

Organizers say they’re already looking forward to 2013.