Fools Rush In: Annual Plunge Draws Hundreds

By: Cape Cod Chronicle

The April Fools of Chatham took their chilly plunge in Nantucket Sound Monday.  ALAN POLLOCK

WEST CHATHAM A few hundred brave souls took a dip in Nantucket Sound Monday afternoon in the annual April Fools plunge at Harding's Beach. The air temperature was 45, the water temperature 41, and the sign mounted on a fire engine declared “Feels like: Cold!”

But that didn't seem to bother the folks who stripped down to their bathing suits and jumped in the water. Several swam out to where inflatable sharks had been stationed just off the beach.

April Fools (from left) Mark Liska, Justin Tavano, Gerard Smith and Jeff Craig. Liska and Craig's families benefited from previous April Fools' fundraisers.  TIM WOOD PHOTO

April Fools (from left) Mark Liska, Justin Tavano, Gerard Smith and Jeff Craig. Liska and Craig's families benefited from previous April Fools' fundraisers.  TIM WOOD PHOTO

Led by Chatham firefighters, the group makes the plunge every year to raise money for a local family. This year, the proceeds will benefit the family of Michele St. Aubin of Brewster, who is fighting advanced pancreatic cancer. She and her husband, Judd, have two sons who are students at Monomoy Regional High School and Cape Cod Tech, and classmates from both schools took part in the plunge.

It’s not too late to contribute. Send a financial contribution to the April Fools, Chatham Fire Department, 135 Depot Rd., Chatham, MA 02633.

If you’re wondering, the wind chill factor was 35 degrees. But “Cold” summed it up.  ALAN POLLOCK PHOTO

If you’re wondering, the wind chill factor was 35 degrees. But “Cold” summed it up.  ALAN POLLOCK PHOTO

Students from Monomoy High School and Cape Tech came out to support the St. Aubin family.  ALAN POLLOCK PHOTO

Students from Monomoy High School and Cape Tech came out to support the St. Aubin family.  ALAN POLLOCK PHOTO

The luck of the Irish was about all that protected this swimmer from the elements.  ALAN POLLOCK PHOTO

The luck of the Irish was about all that protected this swimmer from the elements.  ALAN POLLOCK PHOTO

The race to the plunge.  ALAN POLLOCK PHOTO

The race to the plunge.  ALAN POLLOCK PHOTO

After a few seconds’ splashing, most swimmers were back on dry land in bundled in towels.  ALAN POLLOCK PHOTO

After a few seconds’ splashing, most swimmers were back on dry land in bundled in towels.  ALAN POLLOCK PHOTO