Just in from organizer Mark Ufkes, word that the New Year’s Day Alki Polar Bear Swim is on again! Here’s his announcement in its entirety:
Alki Polar Bear Swim 2023
January 1, into the water at 10 am sharp
Life gets better each year, and there is, and always will be, a benefit to celebrating this reality. Since the beginning of time, humans all over the World have held ceremony at the New Year. It is an opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed and wash away the many frustrations and injuries that the previous year demanded of us.
And for us optimists out there, and those in our circle who suffer from our perpetually positive outlook, it is a chance to ask the Universe, in all its awe, for guidance and strength to make the New Year more significant than the previous one.
Some call our annual Alki Polar Bear Swim “the great washing.” Others call it the most challenging family-oriented adventure of the year. And for a few, it is simply another example that all of us humans have mild insanity and a need to prove it to an adoring crowd of fans who watch from the sidewalk.
Last year over 500 met at Alki for our grand entry into 47-degree Puget Sound. We were in and out of the water so fast that it was all over in less than a minute. And another crowd of hundreds watched and cheered as we proved again how great it is to be alive, in this still great city, and still great Democratic nation (even though many extreme Republicans seem to want to destroy it).
You all know the drill. We meet at Alki Beach across from Duke’s. We spread out up and down the beach with those we love and adore next to us, and after a count down from 10, 9, 8 …, we hold hands, start screaming and laughing, and run madly into the water as if our lives depend on it. As always, we go into the water at 10 am sharp, so don’t be late.
Bring good water shoes, a large towel, and warm clothes to dress in afterward. And as always, bring your hopes and dreams for the New Year and they will come true!
Last year, the water – 47 degrees, as Mark mentioned – was 22 degrees warmer than the air (25 degrees).