Cleveland Arctic Plunge – Another one for the “bucket list”

Call it “midlife crisis” or just a little insanity. Last Saturday was my latest “bucket list” moment as I joined dozens of Northeast Ohioans for the 2015 Arctic Plunge at Edgewater Park near downtown Cleveland.

After jumping out of a perfectly good airplane two years ago, I thought it would be fun to dive into the frigid waters of an icy Lake Erie to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Team Fox (Parkinson's Disease), University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and Westshore Critical Incident Response Services.

Before taking the plunge, I videotaped my fellow “plungees” (plungers?) as they entered the water like sheep being lead to their slaughter. There were plenty of whoops and laughter as they proceeded in single file down the narrow channel that had just been carved out of the frozen lake by an excavator.

Then it was my turn. I peeled of my winter coat and pants, removed my socks and shoes, turned on my chest-mounted GoPro camera and ran into the lake in my t-shirt and shorts. Good times!

Surprisingly, while the water was cold, it really was quite bearable. The biggest issue I encountered were the chunks of ice floating on and below the water surface. I had a number of cuts and bruises on my lower legs when I finished.

When I got back to the registration tent, someone called a paramedic to attend to my bloodied legs. While he doused the cuts with hydrogen peroxide (which I couldn't feel due to the numbness of my legs), I asked him how many people his crew had treated. Almost apologetically he said, “Well, you're about the only one.” Proud moment for me – NOT!

Have you ever jumped in a frigid lake for a good cause? What was YOUR experience like? Please comment here.

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I shot the moon – the “Supermoon” that is

The "Supermoon" - seen in the top photo after manipulation in Photoshop to help the background appear more visible than the orignal photo shown at bottom.

The moon hasn't been this close to the earth since 1992. 

Because the moon’s orbit around the earth is oval, it is sometimes  closer to the earth and other times – it’s farther away.

Last night, it appeared larger and brighter than normal earning the name “Supermoon.”

Although Supermoons have a slightly stronger pull on the earth's tides, NASA states that last night's event did not cause the earth quake and tsunami in Japan.

I took this photo at Huntington Beach in Bay Village – looking east toward Cleveland and Lake Erie.

Upon returning home, I adjusted the contrast and brightness of the original image in Photoshop to better show the size of the moon in relation to the city in the background.

The actual size of the moon was not altered in these photos.

There were several “moon seekers” at the beach – observing and photographing this amazing phenomena.