Man Will Swim Frigid Waters to Preserve Whaleback Light

Photo courtesy New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide
Photo courtesy ## New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide##

Whaleback Lighthouse, a 70’ granite tower on a wave-swept ledge at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, is familiar to many mariners as a historic icon of the New Hampshire Seacoast and Southern Maine. In 2009, stewardship of this maritime jewel was awarded to Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses (FPHL), a chapter of the nonprofit American Lighthouse Foundation (ALF). FPHL has completed some basic cleanup and weatherproofing of the structure, and plans are afoot to install a dock that will facilitate public access and further restoration. Complete restoration is likely to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next several years.

Gary Sredzienski, photo Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses.
Gary Sredzienski, photo Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses.

On December 7, 2013, Gary Sredzienski of Kittery, Maine, will swim 5 miles in frigid waters (below 40F) to raise money for the project. FPHL is asking that people honor Gary’s incredible commitment and passion by making a donation to this cause.

Gary Sredzienski is a world-renowned accordionist who is also known as “Creekman” because of his amazing swimming exploits in the waterways around Portsmouth and Kittery. Each winter, Gary chooses a charity to benefit. To date, his 6 charity swims have raised more than $60,000.

Gary will begin his swim at 2:00 p.m. from the edge of the parking lot at the Kittery Trading Post on Spruce Creek (301 U.S. Route 1, Kittery). He will follow Spruce Creek and will continue in the Piscataqua River all the way to Whaleback Lighthouse, finishing between 4:00 and 4:30 p.m. There are plans for Gary to switch on a special light display when he reaches the lighthouse.

As if that isn’t enough, Gary and his popular band, The Serfs, will perform at an evening “Holiday Beach Party” after the swim, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on December 7 in the Star Theatre at the Kittery Community Center, 120 Rogers Road, Kittery. Admission to the party is $10 and advance tickets are recommended.

For more information, visit the Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses or call Jeremy at (603) 431-9155.