Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Tale of Two "Unofficial" Beaches

Used a weeks vacation last week to get out there and be a naturist in the world.  Another visit to Ponderosa Family Naturist Park north of Hamilton Ontario went amazing as always. Other than a few textile employees and the hiking trails being less than well marked, I can't speak highly enough about my experiences there. And without any of the gawkers like Hanlan's Point.  
However I was determined to look at some of the alternatives. As I have previously mentioned, I am not able to frequent Ponderosa as often as I'd like, so the cost of membership is not economical enough, and single say use of $50 each adds up quickly as well.  And while convenient and only a $15 ferry ride away from my office, Hanlan's is fine for weekdays, but crowded and uncomfortable on weekends.  So I did some reasearch and decided to give two "unofficial" nude/clothing optional beaches a try.

First I made the trip to Wasaga beach, where the Wasagabares have been unoffically
using the eastern beach in the Provincial Park as an unofficial clothing optional beach for many years and recently looked to have made some progress in getting the city to sanction the beach (even if only on a trial basis) only to have it overturned soon after.  Only about an hour and 30 minute drive away, and free to visit other than $5-$10 for parking, Wasaga was an ideal first choice, at least until I got there.  I walked the entire length of the beach, which is no small task, its the longest fresh water beach in the world, including as far east as I could go into the provincial park and saw no signs of the Wasagabares signs or people themselves.  Had I picked a bad day?  The beach was certainly crowded enough with textiles, so how was I the only naturist?  
When I did get the the eastern extent of the Provincial Park it was mostly empty with only a few people, I was able to find an isolated area where I considered being the one naturist there, but then I saw the sign "Public Nudity Prohibited" and my heart sank. Maybe I was not looking in the right place but after some further exploring to no avail, and an overpriced lunch along the main drag,  I called it a disappointing day.

Never one to give up easy, I headed for my next destination the very next day.  At over two hours drive away, Port Burwell Provincial Park  is far from the most convenient option. Add in a $14.50 entry fee and its no cheaper than Hanlan's Point either. However after following the tips seen online, I parked at lot #5, and walked all the way west along the shore for 15 minutes until I saw the Park Boundary Sign and a group of other naturists.  I was unable to contain myself and disrobed on the spot before walking another 5 minutes or so up the beach where I found a nice spot with some shade and set up shop.  There was maybe 20 other people there, mostly couples and single men like myself, scattered across a very large stretch of beach.  Turns out this area is "Private" land and the owner has no issues with Naturists making use of their land.
Port Burwell Provincial Park Beach,
taken looking away from the Naturist beach so as not to upset the naked people
While the beach is scattered with driftwood, and is not quite as nice as Wasaga beach.  It is still a beautiful place with plenty of space to explore.  By the time I had to make my way home the crowd had grown to about 100 people, some being social, some in their own world, all free to enjoy the world, it was wonderful.  So wonderful that as I walked back I was well into the Provincial Park boundary when a fellow naturist called out and reminded me I'd have to put some clothes on.  Their group all had a laugh at my expense as I begrudgingly put my shorts back on and headed home.

I'll likely be back again later in the summer, and if my plans to camp at Bare Oaks don't pan out this will be my second choice.  What a great day!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Clothing Optional?

I touched on this once or twice before but a recent story by CBC news got me thinking about this again.  Before I get into the story let me revisit a few things first
When you visit a resort like Ponderosa or Bare Oaks their clothing policies are fairly simple.  Most if not all of the resorts are clothing NOT optional.  With some allowances for newbies to test the waters so to speak, or weather, you go to a naturist resort to be natural, aka nude, in nature.  My experiences at Ponderosa with this have been nothing less than wonderful. 
My experience at Hanlan's Point, while still excellent, has not been the same.  I've previously mentioned that a fair size minority, sometimes majority of those in the clothing optional part of the beach choose not to take the option.  If you are genuinely there to see for yourself what its like before you try naturism/nudism and either decide its not for you, or chicken out as it were, so be it.  My first time at Hanlan's I damn near turned around myself.  When the company picnic was on Toronto Island last year, there were silly jokes by colleagues about checking it out, having a peak etc but no one actually went over (that I know of).  This years picnic about a month ago was also on the Island, happened to at a site right next to both the clothing optional and clothing mandatory beaches and this time several colleagues did sneak off to walk the beach. Now had the group actually been brave enough to say they were going to try it out, I might have considered going along.  These are not just colleagues but people I socialise with outside work as well.  But it was clear they were going to peak at all the "nudies". Leaving the fact that I am a naturist out of it, I tried to speak up but it was of no use, they wanted to get their look.
Having written about my experiences with this before I was not going to again but then I saw the article by CBC Canada's nudists feeling overexposed by onlookers . It appears the problem is worse than even I noticed and some naturist/nudists have taken to posting signs implying nudity was mandatory and even confronting those "textiles" that don't go nude.
While I agree with the sentiment and would love to see a stop to the gawking,  I disagree with these actions for a couple reasons.  
  1. That person very may well be a bit nervous to take the step towards naturism and who are we to tell them what they can or cannot wear? Its that attitude that keeps naturism secluded to a few sparse resorts and two public clothing option beaches in Canada.  If you choose to dip your toe in the water, or dive right in, that's your choice. If the naturism movement and culture is to grow, it has to be done in an open and inclusive way, not via confrontation.
  2. If you feel nudity should be mandatory, and I could get behind this very quickly, petition the city as in the past to remove the option on the naturist beach, or split the beach in three, one for textiles, one for clothing optional for those taking a first step, and one for nudity mandatory.  
  3. There are alternatives like Ponderosa and Bare Oaks in the GTA.  I have read of some private beaches (ie one near Port Burwell Provincial park).  I've not been personally but have read in a few places online that Naturism is permitted at some locations and tend to be only frequented by non-textile types.
While I completely agree that the clothing optional beaches can get a bit crowded with those just checking out the sights.  But it is a public beach and there for the use of all.  I would no sooner ask someone to remove their clothes than I would want someone to tell me to put mine back on. I'd love to hear other opinions on this, its a long overdue discussion.

Happy Nude Year!

I was not really planning on doing anything for New Years Eve.  Being single and having little interest in changing that situation at the m...