Test Swim from Long Point
Thu, Jul 28 2011 10:48
Swim for Life Blog #2
As Walter and I stood at water’s edge for a moment on Long Point, with a last glance and giggle before the immersion, our eyes focused on the sheer volume of water and the challenge before us. The townscape faded, the water became vibrant. This swim would be our “Yes” to the year of “Not!”. A year when Nancy Reagan’s Just Say No campaign took on viral properties that encompassed drugs, sex, rock music and anything pleasurable, complimenting Ronnie’s Just-Say-No-to-AIDS Mourning in America agenda.
But this is Provincetown, we know who we are and we know what we can do - create our own Star Wars, one stroke at a time, one breath at a time, one helping hand at a time. These were the dark days of the pandemic. Now, in 2011, it’s difficult to recall all those who have died. Things fade, names come to mind unexpectedly - Don Sterton, Preston Babbitt, Paul Fonseca, David Rodale, Stephen Clover, Doug Kibler. I’ll need to dig out the list I started back then, but stopped after 50 names.
The community was becoming activated with grass-roots responses to the living, the dying and to those in harm’s way. Like New England weather, no one stood still. The town expanded its vision of health and compassion while continuing to upgrade the quality of life we expect out here on the edge. Two pressing issues being addressed were affordable housing and waste disposal. The sludge pit would soon be a thing of the past as the town acquired a “cider press”, a mobile sludge system. One step at a time.
We swam side by side, talking little as the support boat puttered behind us. It was clear, calm and sunny. The anticipation had dissipated; the focus was now on our breathing and the musical splashing of the water. We touched bottom just east of the Boatslip. We let out a scream, hands raised. It was two weeks to Labor Day, did we have time to organize an event the weekend after? Would anyone come? Would anyone care?
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, and at its website, www.swim4life.org. Join us on FaceBook: “Provincetown Harbor Swim for Life + Paddler Flotilla”
20011 Swim image: a block print by Breon Dunigan
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.