Polar Bear Plunge

     Maybe it technically wasn’t a Polar Bear Plunge since Jake didn’t mean to go swimming on Saturday.   It does however break a previous record for the earliest recorded swim by a Voyageur Crew Member.

     On Saturday Josh had a friend over who really wanted to go ice fishing.  Never mind the temperature was below zero and the wind chill was negative something below zero.  Cameron had fishing on his mind but Mike had other things to do.  Mike didn’t have time to get his tip-ups or jig poles out and he didn’t feel like drilling a hole in the ice with his hand auger.  His excuse was, "They aren’t going to sit out there in the cold and fish anyway."  To which I answered, "Exactly, that’s why all you need to do is rig one jig pole, drill a hole with Jake’s power auger and by the time the kids get the slush out of the hole they’ll be cold and want to come in."

     It must have sounded like a good idea to Mike because before I knew it the boys were jumping around with excitement.  Unfortunately the excitement didn’t last long, but neither did the desire to go fishing. 

     Jake was asked to go out on the river and drill a hole for the boys.  With power auger in hand he made his way out beyond the docks following tracks left by Andy(Crew Member who was up on a vacation last week).  There were snowmobile tracks on the river and taking a swim was the farthest thing from Jake’s mind.

     He walked on the ice without fear.  There were people tracks, snowmobile tracks and the temperatures had been negative 0 degrees forever.  He knew there was a slush problem so it didn’t bother him when he kept breaking through the thin layer of ice and into the slush.  The slush wasn’t too deep so when he went into the water up to his neck he was a bit suprised needless to say.

     Luckily Jake is a quick thinker who has spent time ice fishing and knew what to do in case of emergency.  He made sure his head didn’t go under which was quite the feat with big boots and heavy winter clothing on.  He then attempted to army crawl out of the water and onto the ice.  The ice gave away for a short distance before he was able to pull himself up onto the ice.  Breathless he came to his senses and remembered he needed to save his auger.  It was still on the ice and within reach so he was able to retrieve it without trouble.  He was carefully making his way back to shore when Mike stepped outside.

     Mike knew something wasn’t right when he saw Jake.  Then he realized what had happened.  Astonished and relieved that Jake was able to get out of the ice cold water he told Jake to get inside and warm up.  Mike then had to be the bearer of bad news to the boys.

     After Mike told the boys what had happened to Jake they were no longer interested in going ice fishing.  Come to think of it, I don’t think Jake was very interested in going ice fishing either.