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I've Got an Idea
Posted March 10, 2004 at 12:30:32 PM by Bean

Spring time is upon us, and Summer is right around the corner.  Us ducks have been discussing our fest options for the upcoming months, raning from trips to Kings Island or Cedar Point to campouts and barn-raising parties at the BarBigD ranch.  It got me thinking... what kind of gathering could I have once I am moved into my new place?  Then, a light shown down for the heavens and an idea sprouted in my mind. 

Regular readers will remember my recent post about the Polar Bear Plunge that I participated in.  I thought it was fun, and would like to do it again... but why do it in the winter?  I mean, shit, who wants to get out of cold water only to be greeted by even colder air?  Not me, that's who.  As the wheels churned in my mind a little more, it hit me: a polar bear plunge in the summer, specifically, the 2004 SummerDuck Plunge.

The gathering will center around the Plunge Pond.  The Plunge Pond will be 4' wide by 6' long and about 5' deep.  I'll fill it with tap water at (I am assuming) 55 degrees.  This is about 898 gallons of water.  I probably won't fill it all the way up, we'll go with 85%, which leaves us with 763 gallons.  Now, cooling aside, that's a lot of effin water, and building something to contain it will be no small task.  I have a design drawn up that is based on the old Lambda Chi Pig Pond.  It'll be beefed up, obviously, but the "tarp-on-wood" concept will be at the core.

As for temperature... I'd like to get the water down to about 40 degrees.  This should be cold enought to make a dip in the water a memorable experience.  Using some online tools ( and, I arrived at the fact that it would take about .83 pounds of ice per gallon of water to cool from 55 to 40 degrees F.  This means I'll need approximately 633 pounds of ice, or about 76 frozen 1-gallon milk jugs.  I can easily store 30-40 (we'll say 30 for now) gallons of ice in my chest freezer, leaving me 46 gallons, or 384 pounds short.  The running rate on 25-pound bags of ice is $2.99, I believe, which means I'll have to shell out about $61 for the additional ice... not to bad.  Unfortunately, this is only the ice required to get the water to 40 degrees... I have no idea how hard it will be to keep it there.

Note that adding 76 gallons of ice to the existing 763 gallons of water puts the total volume at about 95% the capacity of the pond.  Knowing this, I may downsize the initial amount of water (and required ice)... but to stay on the safe size, I'll stick with my initial calculations.

The Plunge Pond will reside on my back patio, on a level slab, conveniently located next to a 6' high retaining wall to facilitate entry.  As for exit, well, I guess I'll just play that by ear.

In addition to the Plunge Pond, there will also be standard party type activities... pong, poker, grilling, drinking, etc.  I should have my cold-room (a blog for another day) finished and serving draft homebrew and domestics.  Also planned: a slip-n-slide.  My back yard will have a slight slope, perfect for drunken-slip-n-slidin' ($10 says we see a naked butt-slide from JCTMH).

So there you have it... no date set just yet (open for suggestions), but I hope that I can generate enough interest to make it all worth while.  I'll probably get some shirts printed up for it if I can get 15 or more people comitted.  Leave me some feedback... let me know what you think.

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