Great Salt Pond Swim – 7, a Block Island tradition

Fri, 08/05/2022 - 2:45pm

It was very early Saturday morning, actually 7 a.m., when volunteers came into the swim area, each performing specific tasks to prepare for the swim. A series of buoys are set out to a half-mile mark and swimmers go along the buoy line to the last mark, turn around and head back to shore. This year a nautical mile was marked, which is a bit longer than a normal mile, at approximately 1.38 miles. Tables were set up, tents raised, registration areas organized, heavy bottles of water lugged down to the beach, setting up the swim course. What an amazing group of volunteers, arriving as the sun was rising in the sky.
On Saturday, July 30th, the seventh annual Great Salt Pond swim took place at Andy’s Way, and was a great success! In addition to creating awareness of this great resource, this is a fundraiser to supplement the water testing program in the recreational swim area. 110 swimmers took part in the event, ranging in age from 13 to 71, with some of the swimmers completing the virtual version of the swim! The first person out of the water was Greg Sargent, who was swimming with three of his brothers in the event, one of whom, Jeff, finished third.
The weather Saturday morning started out with some light rain but by the time the swimmers arrived on-site the weather was perfect, with a light breeze blowing in from the east. Swimmers were in the water at 11 a.m. for the swim, bringing people of all ages and swimming abilities together, since this is not a timed event or a race. There were triathletes, college swimmers, leisurely swimmers, and those who were there to socialize with their friends. This has truly become a community event with an audience of friends and relatives sitting in beach
chairs, cheering for the swimmers, a Block Island tradition and yearly event.
To view additional photos from the swim, go to, and click on “Events.”
The Great Salt Pond Swim – 8 will take place at Andy’s Way on Saturday, July 29, 2023. You can sign up for the swim at - click 2023 Swim (where you will find a participant packet) - click Register. Registration is also available on The registration fee is $60. On-line registration will open October 1, 2022; on-site registration will also be available. See you July 29, 2023 at Andy’s Way.