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

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. BY DAN COOK
January 3, 2013

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 www.sode.org for more information.