Those of us who grew up in New England and moved to Florida, (I have lived in Florida for nearly forty years now) love to keep in touch with the hometown newspaper to see what the crazies folks back there are up to. It’s nice to see that this was all for a good cause. I remember swimming at Nantasket Beach and being cold in August!
Drowned Hogs event at Nantasket Beach in Hull on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010. Cathleen Jeffrey/Wicked Local Hull, from Quincy Patriot Ledger:
HULL —”My wife thinks I’m crazy, but that has nothing to do with going swimming today,” Hull Selectman Dennis Blackall joked, while standing in the 20-degree chilly air on the boardwalk at Nantasket Beach Saturday afternoon, minutes before he took a plunge into the icy Atlantic Ocean.
If he’s crazy — he’s not alone — as dozens, if not hundreds, took the dip alongside Blackall at the 15th Annual Drowned Hogs Plunge this afternoon — with one woman wearing her actual wedding dress.
The water was so cold that a thin layer of ice over the Atlantic Ocean caused the event organizers to delay the start by one hour, in order to let the high-tide recess a bit from the ramp, so no one would be hurt going in and out of the water.
The director of Wellspring, the local multi-service agency the dip is a fundraiser for, said about 300 people had signed up beforehand to take the plunge, but he was unsure with cold temperatures how many would actually take part.
He said between the plunge and the Nantasket Soup & Chowder Festival, which place across the street at the Clarion Hotel after the plunge, the day normally rasies between $20,000 to $25,000 — and he said he was hoping they’d stay on target.
“The more we raise, the more we spend on the population that we serve,” Harte said, explaining the demand for services at his agency has increased by over 25 percent in the past year or so.
“We’re just trying to keep everyone safe and warm in their homes,” Harte said about his Hull agency, which in addition to helping people with their heat and electricity bills, also has a food pantry, adult education program, counseling services, computer classes, a thrift shop, as well as transportation and housing programs.
At the chowder festival, where many chefs from local eateries competed for the top honor of having the best soup and chowder, one woman who said she had sampled them all and found them all to be delicious, refused to tell who she was voting for, explaining she is friends with one of the chefs, so she is biased.