Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1, 2012: Occupying Birch Bay, WA

Near Noon, Jan 1, 2012, Birch Bay, Washington
Several hundred men, women, and children stripped to their essentials today and ran into Birch Bay to occupy it.  Most occupied the Bay for five to ten seconds, others endured the frigid water for a minute or more.

Waiting to Occupy Birch Bay
The Polar Bear plunge into Birch Bay took place at noon. Before then, several hundred people gathered along the shore by Birch Bay Drive. It was a cold day, so much of the crowd (the sympathizers and enablers) shivered in coats, hats, and gloves. The others (the plungers) wore shorts, bikinis, swim suits, towels etc. The scene was much like the parking lot of a Walmart on any cold winter's day, substituting lots of water for lots of asphalt.

The most excited protesters were teenagers, plus a few kids who didn't know why they were there. Fortunately, much of the crowd had ample under-skin protection against the cold, so they did not suffer too much during their occupation of Birch Bay.

The crowds and excitement built until noon when a loud toot from a fire truck signaled it was time for the occupation to begin. I took a couple of pictures of a few occupiers entering the water, but after that I had to deal with a protest of my own. My camera, protesting that I had not recharged the battery for a long time, quit working.  Thus, I failed to get pictures of bright red bodies and shivering bikini-clad teenagers sprinting from the water to the shore as if Jaws himself were after them.

It was clear from the groans, grimaces, uncontrolled shaking, and bawling kids that everyone enjoyed the occupation of Birch Bay and thought that they had successfully made their point.

Noon, January 12, 2012, Birch Bay, WA is Occupied

The annual Polar Bear plunge was sponsored by the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce, which is always trying to think up ways to get people to enjoy the pleasures the Pacific.

1 comment:

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