In The Field: Plunging Into 2017
After all that 2016 held, it’s understandable that many people would want to wash the stink of it all from their hands.
So what better way than plunging into the cold Atlantic Ocean for the Annual Sons of Ireland Polar Bear Plunge.
Not only was this the 14th year for the SOI organizing the plunge, it was my 9th year photographing it.
And you know what, it never gets old. The pictures may be similar, but always different, unique and fun.
Another large crowd of supporters turned out this year. The weather was clear and about 50 degrees. Water was a little rough, maybe 1-2 foot swells and temp was about 46 degrees.
The one unique feature, perhaps from an earlier storm, was this berm that was created by Mother Nature at the starting line It was a good two foot or more drop, which could have caused some problems, but I think everyone navigated it pretty well. That’s the historic Berkley Hotel giving me a framing option in the background.
As usual, bagpipers led the plungers from Convention Hall to the water’s edge. The group sang the Star Spangled Banner….and then the rush began.
My usual MO is this: Get the initial rush, try to stay as dry as possible through all that splashing, then start to cherrypick some interesting looking people either coming into the water on the backend of the rush, or people with great expressions (i.e. cold) coming out.
And the dogs…always got to get the dogs in there. One golden retriever in particular this year. He had the most fun of everyone.
It was another great plunge day, though I still wish ONE of these years, we’d see snow. Still, on the plus side, I stayed as dry as humanly possible, I think, considering the conditions. My North Face coat and chest-high waders did the trick again. My addition this year was a rain-cover protector for the camera made by Welk Co. Pretty simple design, not expensive and did the trick. Canon’s waterproofing only goes so far, and the 50D took on a lot of water last year, which I think contributed to its demise. The 70D stayed pretty dry this year, thanks to the cover.
I had the Canon 70D on motor drive during the plunge and used my Fujit X100T for some of the inside work.
I really enjoy shooting this event, and it was great to see the guys who make up the Sons of Ireland again. Lizzy de la Pens at Espoused Events did a great job with the planning and coordinating this year. Hopefully I’ll be back next year for my 10th anniversary.
Here’s a good article from the Asbury Park Press about the event.
And here’s a full slideshow with the rest of my #SOIPBP17 images.
(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2017