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January 1st 2012
Published: January 3rd 2012
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1: 2012 Polar Bear Swim in The Netherlands 82 secs
Happy New Year World! We began the New Year by doing something neither of us have ever been crazy enough to do... We went for a swim!

At 3:00pm we ran down the beach and jumped into the North Sea! What a rush! When Sander and Annelie suggested it to us, Elysia was onboard immediately. Mike was not. He thought that such an activity was rather foolish and a little crazy. But, Annelie and Sander explained that all that dove into the sea on January 1st would recieve a free bowl of pea soup. That, of course, was enough to convince Mike.

So, at about 1:00pm, Sander and Annelie's friend Pietr picked us up and drove us to a city called Katwijk aan Zee. It took a little under an hour to get there, and we found that it was surprisingly warm (thank goodness! But, of course we hadn't yet stripped down to our swim suits...)

We registered and went into the extremely crowded tents to change. Now wearing just our swim suits and flip flops, we became aware of the challenge of this rather interesting tradition. We posed for a few photos and waited for the other 1000 or so swimmers to get to the starting area. Before we knew it, we were hurling ourselves down the beach to the low tide line where the chilly, choppy water was waiting for us. Just to make sure you didn't miss out on any of this, we videoed the whole run! Check it out!

Surprisingly, the water was cold, but not as icy as you might expect. It turned out that the plunge itself was not as cold as the sand was on our feet (we stood for a few minutes on the cold wet sand without our flipflops while the group was marshalling at the start line. The sand sucked the heat right out of you!)

When we got back up off the beach, we made a beeline to the soup line up and picked up your piping hot pea soup! It was yummy! After we changed into some dry clothes, we went back to the soup tent and got a second bowl! Two for the price of one!

In the evening we came back to Sander and Annelie's place and had a nice quiet dinner, and a relaxing evening. Overall, this was a great start to 2012!

Additional photos below
Photos: 8, Displayed: 8


3rd January 2012

So looks like you all got toques as well as soup. Great video. I saw a portuguese water dog in it. Hope all goes well with your journey to London and meeting your new room mates. Let's talk later this week.
3rd January 2012

Happy New Year
Adventure looks like an interesting way to start the New Year ... our Jan 1 was more sedate, relaxing from the road trip home from the Island, but we're ok with that :-)
4th January 2012

Happy New Year!
Hi Guys! Happy new year! As an Aussie, going for a swim at new years didn't seem crazy at all! Quite normal in fact. Then I realized where you were- yep, definitely crazy!!! Enjoy your move to the UK and all the adventures that will come with it! xxx
5th January 2012
Mmmm... mmmm... Good

I don't envy the swim...but I love pea soup!!!

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