Cape Gazette

New Year's Day ocean cold! What do you think? Gosh!

By Dave Frederick | Jan 03, 2013
Photo by: Dan Cook 2013 Polar Bear Lorraine Wilson is assisted leaving the chilly Atlantic Ocean by her son George during the New Year's Polar Bear jump at Cape Henlopen State Park.

The official New Year's Day 2013 Cape Henlopen Atlantic Ocean water temperature was picked up off the Napoleon Dynamite weather wire: “It’s cold; what do you think? Gosh!“

Fifty-five Lewes Polar Bears plus a few in witless protection who refused to sign in jumped into a 45-degree ocean that was flatter than a steamrolled house cat. The purpose of it all is polar personal, with most considering it an arctic cathartic re-energizing experience, shaking and baking off the past while vigorously entering the continuously moving present.

A touching moment occurred when Ralph Gooch and his grandson D.D. Gooch and great-nephew Tyreik Burton jumped in together.

“That’s for Betty Gooch,” said Ralph, a longtime Lewes Polar Bear. Betty, his wife, was a popular teacher and community impact person who died from cancer in 2012.

The following bears admitted to taking the plunge:

Jack Lingo,Tessa Shoup, Shannon Kelly, Leigh Lingo, Regan Lingo, Carrie Lingo, Brian Fleming, Topher Moore, Henry Dawson, Chip Davis, Connie Miller, Gordon Davis, Greg Mack, Brian Mack, Lorraine Wilson, George Wilson, Austin MacElrevey, D.D. Gooch, Boo Boo Jr., Tyreik Burton, Ralph “Betty Boops” Gooch, Esmelda Bauer, Spencer Steele, John Jones, Wesley Johnson, Kristen Cannatelli, Troy Cannatelli, Deanna McCall Blizzard, Jimmy Vennard, Dale Johnson, Grace Hess, Amanda Focht, Bernadette Samanns, Alan Herr, Erick Hawk, Ray Blakeney, Steve Welsh, Jon Fletcher, Luke Gilbert, Keith Ricker, Karen Gusmer, James Gusmer, Tom Gusmer, Danny MacElrevey, Larry Sharp, Bob Hughes, Alison Hughes, Ed Osienski, Bruce Egolf, Autumn Davis ,Rich Lantz, Marc Ashby, Joe Cahill, Jack Frederick and Mike Cleaver.

The next Lewes Polar Bear jump is the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Sunday, Feb. 6, in Rehoboth Beach.

Go to for more information.


2013 Polar Bears pose for a picture before taking the New Year's Day Polar Bear Plunge at Cape Henlopen State Park. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Jumpers take to the ocean during the 2013 New Year's Day Polar Bear Plunge. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Making the plunge for the popular late Cape teacher Betty Gooch are grandson D.D. Gooch, family friend Tyreik Burton and Betty's husband Ralph Gooch. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Funsters brass player Jon Fletcher exits the chilly ocean water. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Dale Johnson of Rising Sun, Md., makes a quick exit out of the ocean. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Bruce Egof has been a faithful Polar Bear since the inception of the New Year's jump. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Deanna Blizzard makes quick work of leaving the chilly Atlantic. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Veteran plunger Greg Mack exits the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Karen Gusmer, 15, makes a speedy exit from the chilly surf. Gusmer is a veteran jumper who travels from Virginia with her family to nearly every jump. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
(Photo by: Dan Cook)
Veteran plunger Connie Miller enjoys each and every jump. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Plungers (l-r) Regan Lingo, 14, Shannon Kelly, 13, Leigh Lingo,14, and Olympic hockey team member  Carrie Lingo huddle for warmth after the 2013 New Year's Day Polar Bear Plunge at Cape Henlopen Stater Park. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Chips the bilingual beagle makes his first trip to the beach but won't get wet. He belongs to Mike and Jan Fleming (Photo by: Dave Frederick)
Daisy and D.J. Hughes. Dad need to be shocked out of his dreams. His heroes have always been Cowboys. (Photo by: Dave Frederick)
Hey Joey! Joey Cahill one of cape's all time great lacrosse players. (Photo by: Dave Frederick)
Lina Frederick was willing to follow her grandfather into the ocean but the big german was on injured reserve (Photo by: Dave Frederick)
Bryan Mack and Greg Mack on their way to the ocean (Photo by: Dave Frederick)
L to R Lewes Bears  Bruce Egolf,Tom Gusmer, Greg Mack and Connie Miller the only ones with perfect attendance. Bears jump each moth November through March (Photo by: Dave Frederick)
Former Rehoboth Building Inspector Wes Johnson now living in Allentown proves he's crazy! Who leaves Rehoboth and moves to Allentown? (Photo by: Dave Frederick)
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