When it all began - 1988
Thu, Jul 28 2011 10:37
Swim Blog Entry # 1
Of all the changes the town has seen since 1988, there is little evidence of it when we look out over the harbor toward Long Point. The pulse of the lighthouse continues its century old protective presence across the vast tidal basin, unfazed by the enormous, continuous movement of seawater.
We were just two guys with an idea and a harbor in front of us, sitting on the beach, gazing across the expanse to the white, rectangular reflective structure ahead. There was much to reflect upon.
Twenty-four years ago Walter McLean and I often hung out at the Boatslip beach, lazy afternoons that don’t feel the same now. There is a new Boatslip deck after its collapse, a fancy new Town Landing with a stairway, and dog poop signs and even water sampling going on. This was before the first housing bubble crash of the early 1990s. HIV was running rampant in the town and Kim Crawford Harvey was ministering to a bereaved community.
Reports of medical waste and debris washing up on New England beaches, closing many, seemed remote to us. We were spared out here on the Cape tip. Resilient. The harbor would protect us with its far-reaching arm, and we wanted to embrace it.
We made a decision to swim across and began looking for a support boat to accompany us. We were told the bluefish were feeding- people were skeptical. But there were a couple of stories of adventurous townsfolk who had made the swim and we became resolute. By the end of August we had lined up a powerboat that took us to the Point for the day of reckoning. The harbor now looked vaster, deeper, wider, and more menacing. We landed on Long Point and looked across the water at the modest skyline, punctuated by the neoclassical tower. It was time for the plunge.
The 24th Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla is scheduled for September 10, 2011. It is sponsored by the Provincetown Community Compact, a non-profit, tax-deductible organization. For registration forms for swimmers, paddlers, security boaters, volunteers and sponsorship opportunities, or to make a donation, contact: Swim for Life, P.O. Box 819, Provincetown, MA 02657, email@example.com, and at its website, www.swim4life.org. Join us on FaceBook: “Provincetown Harbor Swim for Life + Paddler Flotilla"
Business sponsors include: Boatslip Resort, Far Land Provisions, Provincetown Banner, Fanizzi’s Restaurant by the Sea, The Lobster Pot Restaurant, Seamen’s Bank + White Porch Inn.
PHOTO: Jay and Arthur at Carnival Parade 2010. We are looking for volunteers for this year’s parade, Aug 18.