The Finding Our Voices dipping event graphic is a painting by Liz Cutler of Mount Desert Island’s Cold Tits Warm Hearts, from a photograph by Gin Majka of Wicked Nippy Dippahs out of Midcoast Maine. Submitted photo

Maine dipping groups are set to get cold to bring light to domestic abuse survivors in a Sunday, Feb. 11, fundraising event for Finding Our Voices.

The dips will take place in waterways all across Maine and throughout the day, with participating groups choosing their own place as well as time. Details can be found at

Patrisha McLean, left, of Finding Our Voices with Sierra Aceto and Finn Gerring (a.k.a. Alana Cooper) of Cold Water Queers. Patrisha McLean photo

Patrisha McLean, CEO and founder of the grassroots and survivor-powered nonprofit, said she likes how cold-water dipping is like escaping domestic violence in that “it takes courage, is best not done alone, and feels really good to be out,” in a news release from McLean.

Already signed up to wear yellow and dip for Finding Our Voices on the Sunday before Valentine’s Day are groups including Saltwater Mountain Company in York, Two Maine Mermaids and Cold Water Queers joining forces in South Portland, Wicked Nippy Dippahs in Rockport, Salty Sisters in Vinalhaven, Cold Tits Warm Hearts on Mount Desert Island, and Snow Moon Selkies in Brooklin. WanderWomen Tours is hosting a lake dip in Union for Maine alumni that includes time in a Finnish sauna.

Dipping groups can join the event by contacting Finding Our Voices at or through their website.

Participating dipping groups are encouraged to design their own fundraising campaigns for Finding Our Voices, with proceeds going to the its Get Out Stay Out fund. According to McLean, in 2023 this fund disbursed $88,000 to 168 Maine women domestic abuse survivors for shelter, car, legal, home security, and food costs to get safe and keep their children safe as well.


Participants of the Feb. 11 event are encouraged to wear yellow at the dip and post a photo or video to social media using the hashtag #ColdWaterDipFOV. According to McLean, yellow is the color of Finding Our Voices because “we are survivors who have managed to cross over to the bright side of freedom and we are shining a light for our sisters who are still trapped.”

Amy Hopkins, owner of Saltwater Mountain Co., chose 10 a.m. at York Harbor Beach for her group’s Feb. 11 dip. “Our purpose,” she said, “is steeped in showing up, dipping down, and rising up with and for all women. We believe finding our voices both literally and figuratively is one of the cold water’s most precious and sacred gifts.”

Finn Gerring (a.k.a. Alana Cooper) is the founder of Cold Water Queers, and Sierra Aceto is the social media and communications manager. Their group is joining Two Maine Mermaids for their Finding Our Voices dip, set for 11 a.m. at Willard Beach in South Portland.

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