Edmonds water temperature taker predicts ‘great’ conditions for New Year’s Plunge

Bill Lindsay, better known to some as the Edmonds Water Temperature Taker Dude (see his Facebook Page here), was doing his rounds on Wednesday afternoon, hitting the stations along the Edmonds waterfront that he checks regularly for changes in water temperature.

“I check several sites, and the variation is usually just a few tenths of a degree,” he reports. “Today the water is right around 49 degrees, which is warmer than the air temperature. This means great conditions for the Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day. I expect many folks will just want to stay in the water.”

Lindsay plans to take a another set of readings the morning of the plunge. The Edmonds weather is forecast to be cold and clear on Jan. 1, with a high of 37 degrees.

This will be the 10th year for the annual event, which starts when members of the Edmonds Uplift Society meet at Daphnes Bar in downtown Edmonds on New Year’s Day and prepare to hoist a few Rainier beers .

While you have to be an Uplift Society member to participate in the Daphne’s event, all are welcome to join society members during the actual plunge, which takes place at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017 at Brackett’s Landing beach, just north of the Edmonds ferry terminal.

The plunge was founded by Daphnes owner Brian Taylor, who grew up in Edmonds but moved to New York City in 1990. While there he participated in several New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunges at Coney Island.

One evening over a few drinks, Taylor and some friends decided the time was right for a Polar Bear Plunge in Edmonds. Looking around for a name for the group, they came upon a 1932 photo from the Edmonds Historical Museum showing members of the Edmonds Uplift Society enjoying a prodigious number of Rainier beers in what appears to be the basement of historic Beeson Building.

The name stuck, and the Edmonds Uplift Society was reborn. The historic photo now occupies an honored spot next to the bar in Daphnes.

After the beer is consumed, Uplift Society members — dressed in embroidered terry cloth robes — take the four-block walk from Daphnes down to Brackett’s Landing. At the beach, a check from the Uplift Society will be presented to the Edmonds Museum, an annual donation made to thank the museum for allowing Daphnes to display the historic photo.

As for Taylor, he and his wife Louise Favier moved to New York City along with their daughter Kate and son Jack in 2013. Taylor said that he and the children will be in Edmonds Jan. 1 to celebrate the 10th Polar Bear Plunge Anniversary.

— Photos by Larry Vogel


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