The thirty-first annual Provincetown Harbor Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla, sponsored each year by the Provincetown Community compact under the leadership of Jay Critchley, is scheduled for September 8, 2018. Swimmers, kayakers, boaters and volunteers from across the U.S. and beyond are invited to participate in the 1.4-mile harbor crossing.
The annual Swim for Life has raised over $5 million since its inception in 1988. The event provides year-round funding for social services, youth and educational organizations, including: AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, Helping Our Women, Outer Cape Health Services, Soup Kitchen of Provincetown, Provincetown Rescue Squad, Lower Cape Ambulance, Accessible Provincetown, The Compact Community Fund, Provincetown Schools, West End Racing Club and Cape Cod Children’s Place.
Other events sponsored in conjunction with the Swim for Life make this a weekend-long celebration. The Celebration of Life Concert, 8:00 p.m. on Saturday night, at the UU Meeting House, 236 Commercial Street, a staple of the weekend since 1994, is directed by John Thomas, one of the creators of the original concert, offering a celebratory prelude to the Swim. The Mermaid Brunch, on the Boatslip Beach Club deck from noon to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday after the Swim, open to the public and catered by Far Land Provisions, is free and attended by hundreds.
Same-day registration for swimmers runs from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sunday; kayakers must register between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.; both groups’ registration takes place on the deck of the Boatslip Resort at 161 Commercial Street on Provincetown Harbor. Some 150 volunteers are needed for various chores during the weekend (e.g. at the Mermaid Brunch, the Welcome Committee, swimmer and/or kayaker registration, etc.); those wanting to volunteer should log on to the Swim for Life website to register.
For more information about the Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla, log on to www.swim4life.org. For more information about the Swim’s sponsor Provincetown Community Compact, check out www.thecompact.org.
—Reporting by Hank Trout
Hank Trout, Editor at Large, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a thirty-eight-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his fiancé Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.