15 minutes before hundreds ran in and out of Puget Sound for this year’s Alki Beach New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim, organizer Mark Ufkes hollered that the water was warmer than the air – 46 degrees and 36 degrees respectively.
Did you notice the fireboat in the background in that clip? Here’s what it did after most were out of the water:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 1, 2019
Of course there were plenty of sights on the beach – hats and masks, for example:
Or declaration of Rose Bowl allegiance:
Organizer Mark sported closer-to-home college gear (plus the pink trunks he explained in his announcement of the event):
He also brought TSA-auction-bought corkscrews again for pink-wearing swimmers:
But for many, it was all about the thrill and the chill …
… with a bonfire awaiting some as a reward.
P.S. This year brings a second “polar” swim to Alki – as we reported last month, the Special Olympics of Washington Polar Plunge fundraiser is returning to West Seattle waters for the first time since 2011. February 9th is the date and they’re hoping for a sizable enough turnout to set a record.