Parrot Heads hit the water for annual Polar Bear Plunge

Some people eat collard greens and black-eyed peas on New Year's Day or watch a succession of bowl games.

But a handful of Jimmy Buffett fans like to get wet and cold.

Six members of Parrot Heads of the Savannah River -- a fan club for the Margaritaville singer -- braved brisk winds and 58-degree water temperatures to take their annual Polar Bear Plunge in the swimming pool at the Augusta home of Susan and Karl Keene on Tuesday.

"The water's cold, but it's always been decent weather," said Mr. Keene, the president of the 30-member club that his wife co-founded in 1996.

He said this is the fifth year they have taken the New Year's Day dip. The Polar Bear Plunge is strictly for fun, but many of the group's monthly activities reflect its motto of "Party With a Purpose."

The Parrot Heads hold several fundraisers to support local charities, and they won the 1998 Golden Coconut award for outstanding community service from Parrot Heads in Paradise Inc., the international organization of Parrot Head clubs.

Why do they plunge into ice-cold water each year?

"If we weren't all crazy," Mrs. Keene said, "we would go insane."

Reach Betsy Gilliland at (706) 868-1222, ext. 113, or betsy.gilliland@augustachronicle.com.