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2nd Annual BFC/community Polar Bare Dip

This year’s event was held on 17 January, 2004 at Carkeek Park, Seattle, WA

See our Media Coverage page for more pictures and information.

After the dip. Click on image for larger view. Photograph by Marc Martin [picture cropped].

We had ten naked people agree to be photographed and go in at 9:30 AM. Two women arrived after the main group had finished the dip; one went in with a suit, the other au naturel. One of them came all the way from Olympia. There were also 2-4 others in various states of undress who went in on the side of the main group, who may not have wanted to be photographed. So we had about 14-16 dip participants, plus those who came to watch and support us! That is about five times the number of people who took the plunge over last year (held at Mercer Island’s Luther Burbank Park). Publicizing the event this year made all the difference.

Looking SW towards the dip location, from the pedestrian footbridge over the railroad. Click on image for larger view. Photograph by Marc Martin.

Saw several new faces, some came from our flyers put up in the U-District and Capital Hill areas, which was very cool, considering about 90% of those were ripped down within a day. There were also several from the local naturist/nudist community. A good mix! Several have never been to a polar bear dip before.

Click on image for larger view. Photograph by Marc Martin.


Photographs above by JC. Click on image for larger view. Above top left: Ten people (not all shown here) agree to take the plunge in front of the cameras; top right and lower left: leaving the Puget Sound to the warmth of our towels; lower right: Amtrak Passenger train passes by right as we are beginning to put on our clothes.

Two photos above by Brad Lashua.

The first dippers strip off and prepare themselves as the clothed look on. Click on image for larger view. Photograph by Marc Martin [image cropped].

About 20-30 showed up to lend support with their presence, photo/video skills, and good cheer. What a great collaborative community spirit! Its great to see we can work together and have a blast while showing the world what they are missing.

Photographs above by JC [image cropped]. Click on image for larger view. Daniel was hoping to add a bit of color to the relatively pale event by painting a goofy stick figure on himself.

Shannon Kringen. Photograph by Akoton. Click on image for larger view.

Associated Press was there along with The Daily of the University of Washington. We also got to wave to an Amtrak Passenger train naked as it went by right after we got out of the water. Yea! The police were not there, even though the event was publicized all over the place, even listed in the Seattle Times the day before. Some were concerned about another official park cleanup event going on at the same time in the park, but there was no interference or problems at all.

Photo at left of local artist and television personality Shannon Kringen after her first polar dip experience. Shannon had this to say about the experience in her SynKRINGnicity LiveJournal: “It was so fun! I didn’t wanna get dressed! A train zoomed by and I danced and waved at the driver still nude! It was cold but so fun and exhilarating being natural outside with others and being photographed and cheered on!” Photograph by Akoton.

Mark comes prepared with a litter stick and bucket to help out with the post-dip cleanup. Photograph by JC. Click on image for larger view.

Cleanup after the dip went well, beach was in pretty good shape to begin with, but we left no trace and left it in better condition than we found it after hauling out several bags worth of trash. The weather was very nice and agreeable for January in Seattle, no wind, no rain. The Puget Sounds water was reported to be 48 degrees F.

On to the next projects… Thanks everybody for joining us for the Polar Bare Dip! We will have to do this more often.

The last two fun-loving women get warm after taking their dip, unfortunately they arrived too late to join the others. Photograph by JC. Click on image for larger view.

[ The original press release follows below: ]

Please post and forward this information to other interested parties.

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Don’t be clothes-minded!  Dare to Go Bare! Take the fun plunge in your one-button suit!

Body Freedom Collaborative (BFC) is pleased to announce its

2nd Annual Polar Bare Dip
held this year at beautiful Carkeek Park
950 NW Carkeek Park Rd, Seattle
Saturday, January 17, 2004 at 9:30 AM – Rain or Shine

Cheer us on or join in on the fun! Go as bare as you dare – wear as much or as little as you wish. PLEASE be creative and colorful!

Our dip is held on this day in honor of America’s premier advocate of nude sunbathing, Benjamin Franklin, who was born in Boston on January 17, 1706. Carkeek Park features a breath-taking view of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains to the West. The dip will be on the main section of the beach after walking down from the footbridge over the railway.

A clothed beach clean-up follows the dip at 10:00 AM. Those participating in the clean-up should bring their own gloves and heavy duty garbage bags to carry out litter. BFC will have a pickup truck to carry away any litter that cannot be disposed of in park garbage cans.

As with any fun activity that challenges the status quo and presents some degree of physical danger to your person, you may wish to consult with your legal advisor and physician before participating. Use your own discretion and common sense! Individuals who are pregnant, or have poor cardiac functioning, or suffer from a seizure disorder should not participate. Water will be cold, clothing worn in water may not keep you warm. Do not stay in for extended periods of time. First timers and those who are confused may wish to watch others for clues as to when it is time to leave the water. Some may wish to stand back at first to avoid getting trampled by overly-zealous individuals racing to get into the water first. Body-paint, costumes, or any other “flair” worn in the water should be non-toxic and should not break apart in the water or on the beach. Leave no trace! Participants may confront you or pretend not to see you if you do not act responsibly.


This brief swim is one of many events BFC has launched to help fast-track development of clothing-optional beaches, especially in Washington State’s Puget Sound region. While Oregon, California, and Vancouver B.C. boast many clothing-optional beaches, the Puget Sound region has no such beaches with parking and safe access for families and people with disabilities. Let’s stop pushing residents and tourists out of the state for body-positive recreation!

While some people don’t mind going a little out of their way to enjoy recreation au naturel, most families and individuals prefer areas close to home, among communities that take their responsibility to maintain a safe and clean environment seriously. With the explosion of large-scale developments in formerly less-populated regions, and growing concern of the environmental impact and time involved in traveling for hours to reach too few remaining areas, grassroots momentum is growing fast to open existing local public beaches for clothing-optional use.

Americans traveling abroad, especially those from the Northwest, are increasingly aware of the disparity between what they can enjoy abroad and what little they have back home. Many countries, especially in Europe, have been front runners for providing its citizens and their many tourists with a large and diverse selection of opportunities for clothing-optional recreation. Denmark, as an example, has had its entire coastline available for clothing-optional use, with the exception of two beaches, for 35 years! How can this cultural disparity be justified? If body acceptance can be a measurement of a civilized society, what does that say about us?

Isn’t it time that Seattle, renowned worldwide for its natural beauty and friendly demeanor, caught up with the rest of the civilized world? Seattle citizens, say yes! In a recent Seattle Post Intelligencer poll, citizens were asked “Should Seattle have a clothing-optional beach?” The results were very positive: Yes: 54.8%; No: 40.9%; Not sure: 4.3% (total votes: 2912, June 16, 2003).

In a recent Naturist Education Foundation (NEF)/Roper Poll, Americans were asked: “Have you, personally, ever gone ‘skinny dipping’ or nude sunbathing in a mixed group of men and women at a beach, at a pool, or somewhere else?” The results may surprise you: Yes: 25%; No: 73% (Roper Poll of 1,010 adults, September, 2000, Error risk: 5%). The Poll shows that one of every four adults in the U.S. has been skinny-dipping or has sunbathed nude in a mixed-gender social setting. That is, by the way, a 10% increase from the same poll done in 1983. Using current population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the latest poll suggests more than 70 million Americans have participated at one time or another in nude recreation.

Please join us for our winter wade-in & cleanup at Carkeek Park and be sure to also mark your calendar for our other upcoming events:

International Naked Freedom Film Festival – Seattle – May 2004
International Naked Bike Day – Seattle – Join others in cities worldwide – June 12, 2004

For more information about the Body Freedom Collaborative visit

Question body shame – begin by losing the shame suit!