Neil Klein Swims The Entire Rhode Island Coast

Neil Klein Swims The Entire Rhode Island Coast

This September, Neil Klein, the President at Back Forty Education and Media in Providence, completed his last stage swim along the entire ocean coastline of the U.S. state of Rhode Island.

He wrote, “The swims were the last two legs [of] my most epic journey yet. The last two swims of the Rhode Island ocean coastline were completely surreal. Swimming from Misquamicut to the Watch Hill Lighthouse (5,282 yards) at dusk, with a strong east wind, I was flying. It was dark and lonely. I focused on the yellow light of the Lighthouse and kept swimming past mansion after mansion.

Up and over the chop, cruising with the current, the lighthouse was getting closer. Conditions were rough as I approached the lighthouse jetty, stayed close to shore, wanted to swim to the point…but I decided that I should let the waves and current push me onto the slippery jetty and climb out.

Scrambling over the rocks, climbing over a wall and then jumping down onto the green lawns of the lighthouse grounds, I felt I was in another world. The sun had now set and I had three miles to walk. I climbed back over the wall, walked past no trespassing signs underneath Taylor Swift’s home, waving at one of her security guards as I scrambled back down to the beach for the long satisfying walk home.

The last leg of my journey started out with me changing into my wetsuit in front of two older woman sitting on a bench in front of my car in the Watch Hill shopping parking lot. Once past the crowds of the busy weekend, I walked out to the end of Napatree Point. I then focused on the lighthouse and chose my path. The conditions were fairly choppy, but I was cruising. When I got close to the jetty, I had to head south against the current and chop, but when I finally got to the point, and was rounding the lighthouse, looking at it with each breath, I knew my journey through Rhode Island was completed. 4,597 yards total.

On his August 11th stage swim, he recalled, “Swimming the Rhode Island coast continues to be quite an adventure, with onlookers thinking I was in distress and calling rescue (waters were pretty rough), interrogations at sea by police, losing control and being swept into Galilee Breachway, and being hauled onto a rescue boat after the police captain said, ‘Just get him on the boat’ (which was actually a pretty amazing ride before dark). Numerous occasions have had me confirming with rescue, police, and lifeguards that ‘I did nothing wrong, and this is not a rescue’, surprisingly they all agreed.”

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Steven Munatones