For veteran dunkers, wading into the frigid waters off of the Havre de Grace Yacht Basin for the Susquehanna Hose Company's annual Duck Dunk does not get any easier on the second or third go-round.
No," Jami Gomez, of Havre de Grace, said when asked if the dunking got any easier with time.
Gomez, a member of the Hose Company, dunked along with three friends during the third annual Duck Dunk, held Saturday morning.
This year was the third for Gomez.
"It's worse, because then you know what to expect," she explained. "Then you know how bad it really is."
One of her fellow dunkers, Audrey Buchanan, of Abingdon, was a first timer.
"Oh my gosh, it was freezing," Buchanan, who is also a member of the Havre de Grace Ambulance Corps, said after she dried off. "When you go in your legs and your feet instantly go numb, so you don't feel them."
The Duck Dunk is similar to polar bear plunges held around the state each winter, with a Havre de Grace duck-themed twist.
Duck decoys donated by local carvers served as prizes, and a mascot in a duck costume could be seen among the spectators.
The event is a major fundraiser for the Hose Company. Fire Chief Scotty Hurst said about $18,000 has been raised from the two previous events. The proceeds go to the company's general fund.
Wendi Hurst and Dena Cardwell, whose husbands are members of the fire company, organized Saturday's event.
Wendi Hurst, who is married to Scotty Hurst's brother, Shawn, said proceeds come from business sponsorships, raffles and money raised by the dunkers. She said nearly 20 dunkers participated Saturday; the amount of money raised for the 2014 dunk was not immediately available.
She said about 25 to 30 people came out last year; Hurst noted the colder-than-usual weather had an effect on the turnout this year, as some people who were sick or were concerned about getting sick, stayed home.
Temperatures were in the low 30s and snow flurries swirled Saturday morning as the dunkers prepared to charge down the Yacht Basin's boat ramp and into the water.
Members of the Hose Company stood in the water at chest-high depth to receive the dunkers – they were wearing cold-weather gear and life jackets while the dunkers wore shorts and short-sleeved shirts or bathing suits.
A few of the dunkers wore costumes.
Several veteran dunkers and fire company officials noted the weather for the Duck Dunk was the coldest it has been in three years.
Havre de Grace City Councilman Bill Martin, who went in twice Saturday, said "this was the coldest it's ever been."
"The second time, it hurts," he told spectators as he came out after his second dip.
This year was his second taking part in the Duck Dunk.