Taking The Plunge
Call them crazy...but it’s tradition. Despite the freezing temperatures, and foot deep snow in the sand, approximately 50 hearty souls of all ages braved the elements and plunged into the frigid ocean at the stroke of noon on New Year’s Day.
Pete Brady and Owen Quinn, both residents of Belle Harbor, began this ritual more than 20 years ago. Since their first dip in the winter waters, the number of participants has exploded. Tom and TJ Barry joined the Brady family three years ago and this year the Kelly and Spadaro families joined the group.
Even some local kids got in on the fun. Eleven-year-old Morgan Kelly and her seven-year-old brother Stephen took the plunge along with second timer Chris Errico of Broad Channel.
First timer Marissa Spadaro, who was undecided until 11:59 a.m., got a last minute dose of courage and joined older brother Brian in a mad dash for the water.
Stephen Kelly seemed to sum up the experience when he said, "It was real cool."