The second annual 8 mile open water Swim for Alligator Light is set for Saturday, September 20th. This is the second year the endurance swimming event has been held, a direct result of Florida Keys artist Larry Herlth’s dream to help save our iconic lighthouses. The lighthouses along the Keys were built in the 1800s to help boaters navigate the Florida Keys reef. With the advent of the modern Global Positioning System, navigation is no longer dependent on these lighthouses, but they serve as a historical benchmark for our area, and Larry Herlth has a dream to preserve the lighthouses.
Known as Lighthouse Larry for his scale model reproductions of Keys lighthouses, Larry’s dream began with a solo, roundtrip swim to Alligator Reed Lighthouse, a total of 8 miles. He completed the swim in just over 5 hours and afterward the idea was born. As the lighthouses are no longer regularly maintained, he wanted to bring awareness to the plight of these unmistakable Keys landmarks, and raise funds to help keep them along the coastal waterways. The end result is the 8 Mile Swim for Alligator Light, with teams and solo swimmers competing to beat Harry’s original time and each other. Some of the proceeds raised also go to help provide scholarship aid to local students in need. All around, it is a great benefit and exciting day for everyone.
The Swim allows for solo swimmers or teams of 2 or 4 members and everyone has up to 6 hours to complete the course. Each swimmer or team is required to have a support craft along with them and wetsuits and fins can also be used to help swimmers finish the competition. Awards are given to the top three male and female swimmers who finish the race at an evening dinner ceremony. The race begins and ends at the Moorings Beach. Registration is required and can done through their website, www.swimalligatorlight.com which also has more details on the race requirements. If you are ready to live near our treasured lighthouses or have a home to sell in the area, please contact me, Jimmy Lane, for all of your real estate needs.