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A hazy shade of winter.
The older I get the less I do the cold.
I used to live in Wellington, New Zealand's capital city, some 520k (320 miles) closer to the south pole. I love Wellington. I love the cafes, the arts and culture and the compact nature of a city contained by geography. I spent some formative teenage years there and Wellington always has a place in my heart. Wellington has a tagline that its council and residents frequently bring out: “You can’t beat Wellington on a good day”, which is very true. Unfortunately, the good days are few and far between. For all the positives about the city, I got tired of making excuses for its weather. Wellington is known to get a bit windy. The cold wind comes straight up from the polar southern ocean, and when it is wet, the rain comes at you more horizontally than vertically.
As someone who travels around New Zealand for my work, I was able to experience what settled and warmer weather was like in other parts of the country, and when my life reached crossroads in 2019, I decided to move to somewhere that the climate was more conducive to spending time outside naked.
For many naturists, the winter months can drag on a bit as the opportunities to enjoy the naked life are limited by the weather and the shorter days.
Here in New Zealand, we enjoy long warm days in the summer, which give plenty of opportunities to get out and about. Our winters, however, are typically too cold, wet and dark to be enjoyed naturally.
The last 6 months have been significantly wetter than average, and the end of our summer was a bit underwhelming. Not so many opportunities to charge up my “getting naked outside” batteries. As we approached our hibernal solstice, the weather got colder and the days darker. As someone who identifies as a summer person, I understand why some people suffer from S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) in the winter months.
Having put double glazing and ducted central heating into our home, I now have the luxury of being comfortably naked as often as I like all year round. Our home is a cozy 20°C (68°F) all winter and warmer in the summer. I mention the Fahrenheit level for my readers in the US but it is a scale I don’t understand and makes no sense to me. I still need Google to calculate the conversion.
My naturism social media feeds are less frequent at this time of year, and I watch longingly as many of my northern hemisphere friends post images of the wonderful times they are having in the sun and the outdoors. Camping trips, hiking excursions, and holidays in Spain are all viewed with a hint of jealousy from our winter.
To be fair, for many people around the world, the winter temperatures where I live rarely get below 10°C (50°F), so it's not really cold, but as I mentioned at the outset, I am not a fan of cooler weather.
With fewer opportunities to get out naked, and even fewer to get socially naked with others, I tend to live vicariously through the summer posts of naturist friends currently enjoying naturist activities.
The only local group naturist activity in recent times was the naked polar plunge. The event took place just south of the small rural settlement of Kaiaua at the western side of the Firth of Thames, on the Saturday after the equinox around high tide. It was attended by only 7 brave souls, some of whom had driven quite a distance to attend. With an air temperature of about 16°C (61°F) and a sea temperature of around 12°C (53°F), we weren’t in the water for long. I might have already mentioned this, but I don’t do the cold.
We gathered at the car park to the south of a local freedom camping spot, stripped off, ran in, squealed with the cold, dashed back and dried ourselves off. Too cold to spend much time in the water, although remarkably refreshing and pleasant to be naked after the event. An invigorating experience.
We dressed and headed into the local town where we stopped at a local fish and chip shop, and consumed some very tasty, locally sourced fresh fish. Not the healthiest meal, but very warming and satisfying.
Swimming naked in the ocean is not something new to me, and in the summer months, I am blessed with numerous local places to swim naturally. Before this event, I had never done a Mid-Winter polar plunge let alone a naked one. To be honest, if the event was clothed, I wouldn’t have bothered. It was the element of nudity and wishing to get in and support naturist events that motivated me.
A naked midwinter swim was another item ticked off my bucket list.
As I reflect on the current climate and lament the lack of chances to get my kit off outdoors, at least I can console myself that we are past the shortest day here in the South Pacific. We are on the way to warmer days and more frequent naturist opportunities, roll on Summer I say.
“Summer: Hair gets lighter. Skin gets darker. Water gets warmer. Drinks get colder. Music gets louder. Nights get longer. Life gets better.”
Thank you for reading, have a comfortable day.