Alki Beach Polar Bear Swim is on again for New Year's Day
Veteran White Center/West Seattle community activist and polar bear plunger Mark Ufkes shared this announcement about the annual New Years Day event. The long range weather forecast is for temperatures below freezing so bring your warmest bathing suit.
Saturday, January 1, 2022
10:00 am sharp
We go in the water at 10:00 am sharp, so don't be late.
According to Washington State regulations; three simple requirements:
- Adults must be vaccinated and boostered for Covid 19.
- Everyone must wear a mask.
- You and your group must be Covid-free, be in good health, and distance yourselves 6 feet from others while on the beach.
For over 15 years, the Alki Beach Polar Bear Swim has been about “washing away the complexities of the previous year and bathing in the unlimited possibilities that the New Year provides”. All while pushing us all out of our comfort zone. Prior to Covid, we had over 700+ swimmers.
In 2022, we need this event more than ever.
So, go over the three simple requirements listed above. Bring a large, warm towel, a coat to put on after you get out of the water, good water shoes, and your hopes and dreams for a spectacular 2022. Holding hands and wearing bright colors as you go into the water also seems to help.
I wear Goodwill pink every year, to celebrate the day in the not-to-distant future when over 50% of our Members of Congress will be women and/or People of Color. Imagine the message that would send to the world and how much more empathy we will have in our national governance.
When you arrive, you’ll see the gathering madness across from Dukes. Stay in your group of family and friends, spread out down quarter-mile Alki Beach, and allow six feet between your group and your Polar Bear neighbors to your left and right.
Just before 10:00 am, you will hear the megaphone countdown begin; 10, 9, 8 . . .
At “one “ in the countdown, we all run, screaming like the children we are, into 47 degree Puget Sound. The water will be warmer than the air this year, so it will be much more pleasant that one might expect. The mild insanity is really quite fun, and we are in and out of the water so fast that we barely get goosebumps. And like everything in life, your attitude, and belief in yourself, will keep you warm and successful.
Mark Ufkes and Lois Schipper
Ufkes-Schipper Family Motto: Don’t Let your Children Grow up Without You!