New Year’s Penguin Swim, Ocean City, MD, Jan. 1, 2010, on the Beach @ 91st St.

Posted on December 27, 2009

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Some people really did frolic in the Atlantic surf for a few minutes on New Year's Day, last year, Jan. 1, 2009. This hardy group is playing under the watchful eyes of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The 16th annual New Year’s Day Penguin Swim in Ocean City, Maryland, the 2010 edition, will fall on Jan. 1, 2010.  Yep, that’s Friday, the day after New Year’s Eve.

Hard to believe, but hundreds actually plunge into the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of winter, as a fund-raiser for Atlantic General Hospital. The swim will take place on the beach in front of the Princess Royale Hotel, at 91st St. Registration is at noon and the swim is at 1 p.m.  For details, click on http://www.atlanticgeneral.org.

Last Jan. 1, 2009, we had bright sunshine and moderate winter temperatures, and little or no wind in Ocean City. In other words, perfect conditions for the Penguin Swim. A crowd of literally hundreds rushed into the surf, children first, so they wouldn’t get trampled, and then adults. Most turned around and ran right back out, but some stayed a little longer to savor the  experience.

In addition to the participants, an equally large crowd of bundled-up spectators watched from the beach. After the Penguin Plunge, everyone went into the Princess Royale atrium to warm up and get some refreshments.

As a photographer, I found it easier to take pictures of the spectators, who at least stood still, than the Penguin Swim participants, who tended to run quickly into and out of the water.
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