MAYPORT, Fla. – Naval Station Mayport held its own new tradition for Groundhog Day called “the Mayport Dunk.”
Dozens of individuals were seen diving into the chilly water of the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday morning.
The Mayport Dunk was also the debut of a mascot named Mayport Mitch, not to be confused with Punxsutawney Phil.
Even though Mayport Mitch did not take a dive into the ocean, tenant commands along with their families were out there ready to dive into the ocean.
Participants were able to watch the sunrise as they dove into the water.
Commanding Officer Brian Binder said this was a way to get everyone together.
“This is one of the great joys of living in Florida, right,” Binder questioned. “We get to have our own version of a Mayport dunk right here in February where it’s you know, 60 low 60s Right now it can be 75 this afternoon, and the water temperature is only 60 It’s fantastic.”
Andrew Brown, who participated in the inaugural dunk, said he was excited when he found out about this opportunity.
“I mean, we’re for the Navy family is to have I mean, so few bases have a beach view is pretty straightforward,” Brown said. “So it’s great that we can do this and really hopeful that we can you know continue to tradition in the future and Mayport Mitch can live on.”
Catherine Norton, who also jumped in the water, said she’s now awake and ready to start her day.
“I thought it was a great chance to get together, see everybody, get outside, wake up,” she said.
Binder said they plan to continue this new tradition in the years to come.