BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A man named Cosmo from Arizona took a plunge Wednesday morning into the icy waters of the Mississippi Sound. He's on a year-long trek across America, an adventure that includes swimming in a different body of water in each state he visits.
But he wasn't really counting on a cold snap here in Mississippi.
"It's gonna be cold. But I have swam in 38 other states and a couple of 'em have been a little bit colder," said the bearded adventurer from out west.
There's ice on the Sound. Yet this 33-year-old was about to plunge in.
"You can kind of look at it as an anti-capitalistic voyage," said the man whose real name is Joshua Allen Cosmo Stephan.
"I was working for Lockheed-Martin, our nation's biggest defense contract and making a lot of money. And I finally decided I wanted to write a novel and basically do a bucket-list of America."
Swimming in each state is on that bucket list.
"But I didn't think that Mississippi would be the coldest state that I'd voyage to," he said, as he pulled off his shirt and prepared for the plunge.
"It's going to be a bummer I'm going to have to wade through some very shallow, freezing cold water," he said, venturing ever closer to the water's edge.
Cosmo braced himself and entered the water. A signature cartwheel, then fully submerged in the frigid South Mississippi waters. A few deep breaths later, he emerged rather quickly.
"Well, Gulfport, Mississippi. Probably the coldest in the nation!" he proclaimed, while toweling off.
Actually, Biloxi. And Cosmo claims it really wasn't that bad.
"The toes are cold. That's more than anything," he said, as he wrapped his feet in the towel.
His plan to swim the Southern states in the winter looked good on paper.
"Maine was pretty cold. New York was pretty cold. But that's the first time I've had to step on ice, crunching the ice," he explained, "So, arctic vortex, I hate you!"
What kind of reaction does he encounter when folks learn he gave up a nearly six-figure salary to purse adventure?
"Ninety nine percent are positive. You always get the one percent of people who say, 'I don't understand why you're living in a Prius.' But the other 99 percent totally get it and are a little jealous," he said, smiling.
It's on to New Mexico next and hopefully some warmer waters.
Cosmo began his one year quest on April Fool's Day last year. He'll finish on April first this year, back in his home state of Arizona.