A tradition for some, a bucket list item for others: Thousands of people ventured to Cayucos on a sunny, mild New Year’s Day to welcome 2018 by plunging into the Pacific Ocean.
An estimated crowd of 3,800 attended the fun and festive 37th annual Carlin Soule Memorial Polar Bear Dip, with many forgoing their usual beachwear in favor of colorful costumes. More than half actually got into the water, organizers said.
One group dashed into the sea in matching banana outfits. Another dressed as the Blues Brothers. Several pirates turned out for the event. Elvis was there. Even two inflatable dinosaurs got in on the fun.
The plunge occurred promptly at noon, while hundreds of spectators watched from the railing of the Caycuos Pier. A Coast Guard cutter cruised just outside the surf line, and several lifeguards stood by to handle any emergencies.
Phil Howard, with C and H Productions, handed out various awards, including farthest distance traveled – Australia – and oldest attendee – 83.