Sometimes, I’m a little crazy. But then you knew that already; that’s why you keep coming back time and time again, right? However, this story has less to do with me being crazy (OK, maybe a little to do with me being crazy) and more to do with my intensely competitive streak. You see, it all started with our first shore landing to Spitsbergen, day two of the expedition cruise. Where the landscape looked something like this:
Those are life-sized ICEBERGS, lest you be confused. It was slightly cold. Like one would assume in the Arctic. So the last thing you were expecting is for me to strip down to my skivvies like so—right?
Or maybe you were. Because at this point, I’m sure little that I do actually surprises you. But how about this?
That’s me SWIMMING—sans wetsuit—in the freakin’ Arctic Ocean. The crazy began when a Swedish guy stripped down to the nude and dove in. Not wanting to be upstaged—again, the competitive streak reared its ugly head—I felt the need to follow. Luckily, I had thought to put my bathing suit on under two layers of long johns earlier that morning, because I had no desire to be entirely naked in front of 60 cruise passengers and a handful of colleagues. But it was worth it; I mean, what’s hypothermia when you get an official “Polar Bear” certificate? Nothing, I tell you.
And then, two photographers came around the corner and missed the action, so naturally they wanted us to do it all again. And we did. Because we’re nut jobs like that. And while I’d like to sound even more hardcore than I am and say that the water temp was well below zero, the truth of the matter is that it was a balmy 37 degrees Fahrenheit. But that’s just how we roll.
(I spent the remainder of the day chugging tea and wrapped up in a duvet. I’m hardcore, but not that hardcore it turns out.)
**Many thanks to Jennifer from Hurtigruten for filming and taking pics for me!