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Swim Fin (Oceanfest) Festival July 28th


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It was a beautiful morning for the swim. There was a much larger swimmer turn-out this year, given it was year #2 as well as better weather. It was a fun event to help at.

Mother nature wasn't as cooperative in the afternoon. Our 1st attempt to get out for a paddle was very short due to an ominous looking cloud which threatened to cross our path, but ended up missing us. It finally looked bad enough for us to get the boats and gear all packed up. After waiting and waiting, the sky looked lovely again, so out came the gear and down came the boats only to have another dark cloud appear in the distance within minutes of getting on the water. We got a little farther this time, but not too much. Once out of Salem Harbor we had 2 choices: 1)continue paddling towards blue sky and follow the coast into Marblehead Harbor so that the trees would block our view of the approaching storm or 2)turn around and head back to our cars since the storm was obviously not planning to miss us twice in one day.

We opted for choice #2 (choice #1 was only joked about). In hindsight, we could have made it back in time, but I didn't feel like playing chicken with lightning, so we got off the water to wait it out at the edge of a cemetary across the harbor. It seemed like a good place to hang out for the first hour, with the lightning only in the distance, but an almost constant rumble of thunder. Then there was a crash way too close for my comfort. About 15 minutes later, there was a lull in the storm. I did the fastest 10 minute sprint I've ever done, past people on their sailboats and past that little floating restaurant which was quite crowded. I was quite happy to get back in my car, but it was still a good day. After all, we were still alive! I drove home with the sun in my eyes and beautiful blue sky. We just weren't meant to paddle.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Many thanks to all who helped out yesterday at the Swim Fin Festival. Rob, Gay, Anne, Shaila, Glenn and Frank. The morning activities went off without a hitch, with an 11 year old coming in second in the 500m race. The 1500m race was fast and furious, with some of front swimmers moving almost as fast as a beginner kayaker! Our afternoon activities were interrupted by t-storms, but overall a great day. We were heartily thanked by the Salem Sound Coastwatch organizers and many of the swimmers for providing an additional level of safety. It was a team effort between NSPN, the lifeguards that were present and the Salem Harbormaster. In the end, we helped the environment, provided an element of safety for the swimmers, answered questions about NSPN, and most importantly, had a great time with some great people. Thanks again to everyone who helped out!

Picture Captions:

1. Keeping an eye on the swimmers

2. Hunting a swimmer ;)

3. Rob being stalked by a swimmer ;)

4. The feeding frenzy (aka the start of the 1500m race)

5. Great smile Anne!

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