TARPON SPRINGS — It's often said that mom knows best, and such was the case when Harry Koutroumanis climbed out of a frigid Spring Bayou after an unsuccessful dive for the Epiphany cross.
"My mom gave me a hot chocolate really fast," he said.
Temperatures hovered in the 30s and 40s throughout the morning, colder than usual for the annual celebration. Koutroumanis, a 17-year-old Jesuit High student, walked around with his cousin and a friend before the dive wearing gloves and a hoodie, trying to beat the nerves.
But no amount of mental preparation could have prepared him for the shock of cold.
"It was so much colder than last year," he said.
Times staff writer Piper Castillo contributed to this report. Contact Kathryn Varn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8913. Follow @kathrynvarn.