Diving in nude on shortest day of the year to mark winter solstice despite storm

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
The Southern Salties on Monday.
Camera IconThe Southern Salties on Monday. Credit: Supplied

On the shortest day of the year and in wild and wintry conditions, the Southern Salties braved the ocean with a morning nude swim to mark the winter solstice.

While many were still taking in the damage from Sunday night’s storm, the Salties were stripping down to dive in at Middleton Beach as dawn broke.

The swim has been a tradition for years, and the group were not to be deterred.

Saltie MJ Gibbs said the water was choppy, but it was a “brilliant experience”.

“We didn’t even get rained on,” she said. “Considering how bad the storms had been, the water wasn’t too bad and was quite sheltered by the hill. This year we had 11 women and 11 men, with the men swimming at Ellen Cove and the women a bit further up the beach.”

As for what makes them take the plunge, she said there was an adrenaline rush that came with it.

“It is probably a bit insane, and every now and then it is good to do something ridiculous because it’s good for the soul and creates community,” she said. “It has become quite an institution, no matter what the weather.”

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