… but a little differently than in years past. Jay Crichtley has announced a change in course due to the increased danger of sharks around the deep waters of Long Point. Therefore it will be staying close to shore, executing a one-mile swim from the Provincetown Inn to the Boatslip.

After thirty-one years swimming across Provincetown Harbor from Long Point to the Boatslip, the 32nd annual Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla is changing course. The appearance of white sharks due to the increased seal population has created concern for swimmer safety in the deep waters off Long Point. For this reason, the course of this important Provincetown tradition and fundraiser, set for September 7, will move closer to the town’s West End shoreline, from the Provincetown Inn to the Boatslip Resort, 161 Commercial Street. Walkers will also be invited to participate this year as well.

With high tide at 6:37 am on swim day, the event will start at 8:00 am. The new route is a mile swim along the town shoreline from the Provincetown Inn to the Boatslip, engaging neighbors and businesses along the way. Swimmer, boater and kayak registration is at 7:00-8:00am at the Boatslip. Transportation to the Swim start will be by boat or trolley, or for those inclined, walking along Commercial Street.

Additionally, on the day of the harbor Swim for Life, there will be a “Satellite Swim” in Great Pond in Wellfleet, pending approval by the town. This fresh-water swim is approximately a mile and will encircle the shoreline of the fresh water pond. It will be limited to fifty swimmers.

“The Swim was created to honor the pristine harbor, which is the lifeblood of the town. The increased presence of seals and sharks in our waters is a harbinger of changes in the environment. And swimmer safety is paramount,” states Jay Critchley, Director of the Provincetown Community Compact (The Compact), sponsor of the Swim for Life.

“These changes continue our celebration of the harbor’s ecology.  This is about the resilience of the Swim, the community and the planet,” he added. Rising water temperatures and currents are pushing whales and lobsters north while the town becomes more vulnerable to ocean flooding.

This year’s t-shirt by Vicky Tomayko is a simple and stunning symbol of the fragility of our environment and the frog’s shape shifting evolution from water to land, reflecting on the transformation of the natural and civic environment in direct and dramatic ways.

The Swim for Life ignites a passion for the community from people across the US and beyond who care about the well-being and sustainability of the town. The Compact invites everyone, from its business sponsors to the local community, to rally to this reinvigorated event.

Anticipating such a change, The Compact Board of Directors has closely monitored this situation for several years, consulting with the Provincetown Harbormaster, the US Coast Guard, the Cape Cod National Seashore, swimmers, boaters and scientists.  The change became necessary this year when the Cape Cod National Seashore denied the permit for the Swim start at Long Point.

The Compact has long been committed to swimmer safety, including helping with the installation of buoys for tracking shark activity, supporting the White Shark Conservancy and contributing financially to the Woods Hole Group contracted to study shark mitigation.

The Swim has learned over the years that creating and nurturing community is its grandest offering. Since 1988 it has raised over $6.5M for year-round services and community well being.

“The Swim for Life has supported our clients and work from the earliest days of the AIDS epidemic and the Swim’s unwavering assistance helps ASGCC provide life-sustaining services throughout the year. Our gratitude to the Swim for Life cannot be understated,” says Dan Gates, Acting CEO of the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, one of the beneficiaries.

Gwynne Guzzeau, Executive Director of Helping Our Women, writes that for 20+ years, the Swim has funded approximately 25% of HOW’s annual budget. “It is a chance to be together in community and to serve women in need at a time in need,” she states.

This year’s t-shirt by Vicky Tomayko is a simple and stunning symbol of the fragility of our environment and the frog’s shape shifting evolution from water to land, reflecting on the transformation of the natural and civic environment in direct and dramatic ways.

The 32nd Provincetown Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla, a benefit for AIDS, women’s health and the community, is set for September 7, 2019 at the Boatslip Resort and Beach Club. For details and information about swimming, walking, volunteering and kayaking, go to www.swim4life.org thecompact@comcast.net

Swim for Life Provincetown Flyer Map