She did it.
Joan Archard of Patchogue accomplished her goal of swimming from Greenport to Shelter Island (and back again) this morning.
Growing up, Ms. Archard always heard from her father and uncle that her grandmother, Margaret (Gilbride) O’Donnell, swam from Shelter Island to Greenport when she was in her 20s. When she needed a new item for her bucket list, Ms. Archard knew just what to add.
Ms. Archard left from shore about 9:40 a.m. near Brick Cove Marina in Greenport, the shortest distance between Greenport and Shelter Island at a little over half a mile. Her friend and coworker, Stephanie Hannigan, paddled alongside her in a kayak, and other friends and family rode in a motor boat cheering her on.
The first leg of the swim took about 30 minutes; she stopped once when a small seaplane landed in the water nearby.
“I could swim all day,” Ms. Archard said when she got to Shelter Island.
She decided to swim back the other way, the way her grandmother originally went, which took about 25 minutes.
“I just wanted to make sure there was no boat traffic,” Ms. Hannigan added. “It went well though.”
“I’m glad it’s done with,” Ms. Archard said. “So now when my family says ‘your grandmother swam from Shelter Island to Greenport’ I can say, ‘so did I!’ ”
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