With a crowd estimated at nearly five hundred people this year’s Polar Plunge rang in 2018 with a brisk, albeit quick, dunk in the frigid Pacific Ocean.
By Brian Cameron
This year’s Polar Plunge in Manzanita went off without a hitch as myriad guests and locals alike got together to collectively dive into the cold, frigid waves just off Neahkahnie beach.
“It was awesome,” said Janice Gaines. “It was not only an unusually beautiful day but also it turned out to be during a King-Tide which added a really neat aspect to the plunge.”
Gaines, who has organized the event for twelve consecutive years, suggested that this year’s plunge was likely the biggest one to date. Gaines owns and operates Spa Manzanita and according to her the event started as just herself and a small group of friends, since then it has flourished into an annual event that draws crowds from Portland and all over the coast.
The day of the event was a bright and sunny and the surf was consistently strong, large bonfires were ignited to warm the plungers after their frigid dip and a US Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat patrolled just offshore, and at the drop of a hat the large crowd raced to the waves and celebrate the turning of the year by immersing themselves in cold, fifty degree, salt water.
“It couldn’t have been a more perfect day for the plunge,” said Gaines. “I’m just so happy everyone wants to take part in it all.”