Final Preparations for the Swim to Save Whaleback Lighthouse on Dec. 7

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With less than a week to go before Gary Sredzienski’s five-mile swim to Whaleback Lighthouse on December 7, preparations are in full gear. Gary will be starting the swim in Spruce Creek on Route 1 in Kittery, near Starbucks and the Bose Outlet Store, across Route 1 from Bob’s Clam Hut. If you’d like to see him off, you’ll want to be there by about 2:15 p.m.

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The official viewing area for the public for the last part of the swim will be Great Island Common in New Castle, New Hampshire. Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses volunteers will have hot drinks on hand. The park is located at 301 Wentworth Road in New Castle, and there’s plenty of free parking. We suggest coming between 3:30 and 4:00 p.m.; Gary should be reaching Whaleback Lighthouse sometime before 4:30 p.m. If the weather and seas cooperate, Gary will be greeted a certain jolly old elf at Whaleback Lighthouse, and when he arrives the lighthouse will be illuminated with special floodlights. At the same time, a display of lights will be turned on at Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Castle, which is also visible from Great Island Common.

This will be the third time that Brian Johnson and Jim Leslie of J. B. Leslie Masonry will provide the support boat for one of Gary’s charity swims. Also aboard the boat will be American Lighthouse Foundation Executive Director Bob Trapani, Jr., and Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses Operations Manager Jeremy D’Entremont. Dr. Michael McCarten of Kittery is also donating his time and will be aboard in case his services are needed for any reason. The onshore support team includes Ruth Knowles, Sam Knowles, E.J. Warren, Ed Stevenson, William Marshall, and Ron Kolek.

And don’t forget that following the swim, at 7 p.m. on Dec. 7, there will be a Holiday Beach Party featuring Gary and his band, The Serfs, at the Kittery Community Center. Food will be provided by Serenity Café, the Wellington Room, Joe’s New York Pizza, and Jitto’s, and there will also be a silent auction.

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