Safety First at the Polar Plunge

January 1st might be National Polar Bear Swim Day, but Saturday, February 18, 2017 is the day to mark on your calendar. It is the one day of the year when you can watch perfectly reasonable human beings – attorneys, firefighters, high school students, engineers and retirees – purposely walk, jump, skip or even swish into frigidly cold water. For ten years this wild behavior has been going on. And all to benefit Special Olympics.

http://soindiana-rod.org/polarplunge/

Whether the skies are sunny or the snow is blowing, folks will head out to Versailles State Park for the annual Polar Plunge next month. However, before any of the participants can enter the lake, local divers cut through 9” of solid ice to clear the plunge area.

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Between the preparation and the start of the event, emergency personnel check and recheck their gear while experienced divers drink plenty of water and relax.

Every dive demands pre-planning, training and focus. The water rescue team outfits each rescue truck with everything necessary for all kinds of emergencies including dark water, swift water and ice rescues.

 

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Gear like these lines and chain saws are tested frequently and maintained scrupulously to ensure the safety of the divers and the person – or animal – being rescued.

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Each diver is only one part of a large, cohesive team. Even getting dressed properly requires a group effort.

 

Testing gear, communicating with the team and being alert are three vital aspects of any dive.

 

 

 

 

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Clearing the Polar Plunge area of debris that can injure a participant, or impede a rescue is an ongoing process.

 

 

 

 

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The divers share a bond that is difficult to describe. Words like ‘family’, ‘brotherhood’, ‘tight’ cannot define the shared life and death experiences these men and women face regularly in and out of the water as part of the Team.

Everyone has a job to do – from hauling gear, drying lines and inspecting the dive site.

BEACON 2014 MarApr WtrRscDearborn VSP Meghan ThrasherBEACON 2014 MarApr WtrRscDearborn VSP WORKER1

Once in the frigid water, the team does another sweep before getting into position.

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Almost ready …

 

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Another successful, safe – and fun – Polar Plunge!

To learn about upcoming Polar Plunges in your area, please visit:

http://www.specialolympics.org/Calendar/Polar_Plunge_Events.aspx

To learn more about Rescue Diving, please visit:

http://www.rescuediver.org/Classes/rd-stand.htm

Z is for Zzzzz

At last we have come to the final post for the month of April. I want to thank all of you for reading, liking, and commenting on this blog. Your willingness to share my work with friends and family through email, word of mouth and social media is, and has been, greatly appreciated. 8551d4cc-c1de-4c57-9029-e4ed24580817_0367

I have especially enjoyed getting to know you through your own blogs and websites – many of which I never would have found without your visits. Thank you for inspiring me and for sharing your creativity and struggles and humor.

Although the 2016 Blogging A to Z Challenge is almost finished, today is really just the beginning for this, and my other two blogs (Creatzart.com and SinclaireMonroe.com). The coming year is already bursting with day trips, mini-excursions, and a few week-long adventures.

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I am looking forward to long days of research, late nights of photo editing, and happy hours spent interviewing county historians, public document recorders, and local people  – all of whom have the longest memories and the best stories!

Please continue to travel with me from the misty Appalachian Mountains to the expansive Western Plains. There remains so much to see and learn and celebrate – and to share.

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Y is for Yikes!

In my search for an unusual word or two beginning with the letter Y, I discovered an incredible website:

http://phrontistery.info/y.html

In celebration of all things Y, I have opted to create a short vocabulary quiz – taking advantage of Mr. Stephen Chrisomalis‘ hard work and tremendous passion for words.

Please choose the correct definition of each word:

Yelm

  1. A 16th century crock used in cooking
  2. The deck area immediately below the helm of a ship
  3. A straight bundle of straw used for thatching

Yapness

  1. Noise
  2. Hunger
  3. Exhaustion

Yaffingale

  1. A traveling jester/commedien
  2. A green woodpecker
  3. A tool used by blacksmiths

Yex

  1. To hiccup, belch or spit
  2. To curse, defame or libel
  3. To damage, mar or deface

To determine your score, please visit The Phrontistery and find each word in the provided list, or scroll down.

 

Yelm

  1. A 16th century crock used in cooking
  2. The deck area immediately below the helm of a ship
  3. A straight bundle of straw used for thatching

Yapness

  1. Noise
  2. Hunger
  3. Exhaustion

Yaffingale

  1. A traveling jester/commedien
  2. A green woodpecker
  3. A tool used by blacksmiths

Yex

  1. To hiccup, belch or spit
  2. To curse, defame or libel
  3. To damage, mar or deface

So … how did you fare? Are you inspired to use one or more of these words as a vocabulary-bomb during casual conversation? Are you curious about Mr. Chrisomalis’ website and impatient to discover more words? Will you suggest your writers’ group visit his site when looking for unusual writing prompts?

Ahh – let the fun begin!

 

U is for Unexpected

On the shelves and in the nooks of Granny’s Cookie Jars and Ice Cream Parlor, are tucked nearly as many salt and pepper shakers as there are cookie jars.

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This family owned shop is as delicious to look at, as the ice cream is to eat!

How about a little turkey or duck with that?

It’s like a scavenger hunt for fun!

Enjoy yourself for an afternoon in Metamora.

S is for Sky

On this beautiful Earth Day, look up – the sky is always a work of art!

R is for Remarkable

Look into the sky and be amazed …

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Lyrid Meteor Shower Is Spectacular, Albeit Obscured – The New York Times

 

Lagoon_L.en

http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/earthskys-meteor-shower-guide

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http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/meteor-showers-in-2016/

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