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Polar Bear Jump Off

January 21, 2007

Alaskans like to pretend that we love winter.

We like to pretend that we love winter more than our neighbors, making us the better Alaskan.

Our pride and our stupidness and our cabin fever lead to crazy things like dressing in costume jumping into the ocean in the middle of winter.

I spent the weekend in Seward (not the most happening locale for a weekend getaway, I know) to point, laugh, and take a few pictures of the crazy people willingly taking a dip into the freezing water.

Belly Dancer

We had the lucky opportunity to stand next to two guys who reeked of liver failure and had either started the celebration at 10am, or were continuing it from the previous weekend.

Alcoholism is just as much an Alaskan tradition as the Polar Bear Jump.


I've been known to swim in the Alaskan ocean, it is true. But only on summer afternoons, and when I can find one reason why that is so different I will let you know. Until then you'll just have to trust me that it is. Much different. Much.

And apparently, the entire town of Seward closes down at 4pm.

There are a few bars and restaurants still open, but otherwise? Absolutely nothing to do but take photos of your (teeny) hotel room and applaud the couple next door rhythmically banging their brass bed into the wall.

The rest of my Polar Bear Jump Off photos can be found on Flickr.


I was in Seward last weekend too.. I missed out on the teeny hotel room, instead I stayed in a teeny sailboat. Great photos.

I think my nads just receded a few feet just from looking at those photos...

Additional Content

Hi, I'm Valette

I'm a photographer based out of Anchorage, Alaska. I've recently become a wife, a stepmother, and a homeowner. Life is pretty awesome. You can email me anytime. Learn more...

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