Gary’s Creek Man Archive!
2013 Swim to Save Whaleback Lighthouse
December 7, 2013, 2 p.m. the Creekman made a Historic Holiday Swim to Whaleback Lighthouse at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, off the coasts of New Hampshire and Maine.
GARY: “I’ve seen Whaleback from land, I’ve seen it from boats a hundred times, but there’s nothing like swimming up to Whaleback Lighthouse. The feeling that I got is like she was an old grandmother welcoming me when I was swimming there. It’s such an intense feeling.”
Leaving the Kittery Trading Post parking lot at 2pm, arriving at Whaleback Lighthouse around 4:30pm. Your donation helps Whaleback Light reach their goal of establishing public tours of this historic gem.
After the swim Gary and his band, the Serfs played for a Holiday Beach Party at the Kittery Community Center.
Whaleback Swim Articles and Links
30 Degrees for Wildlife Swim 2012
On December 29, 2012, Gary Sredzienski, Creekman, swam 3.75 miles in the 36 degree water of Great Bay, from Adams Point in Durham, NH, to Newicks Restaurant in Dover, NH, to benefit the York Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick, Maine.
It was snowing sideways as supporters gathered on the freezing banks of Adams Point, standing in a frigid snowy gale to see Gary start the Great Bay swim. The Sunday before the swim, Gary came down with the flu, and early in the swim he had to stop every 10 or 20 feet to catch his breath. In spite of not feeling well, as the swim progressed, Gary felt stronger, and finished the swim in under 2 hours. A support boat with a crew of eight accompanied Gary on the swim. Supporters cheered when he stepped out of the water at Newick’s in Dover.
“I just wanted to thank Gary for doing this…” said Erin Burns, wildlife specialist from the Center for Wildlife, “He is so interested in the seals and the eagles, and all the other wildlife that he sees during his swims and he wanted to give back, and we really appreciate it, because we can use all the help we can get. And it’s just a really unique way of someone helping us out. So THANKS GARY!”
Gary once brought an injured Cardinal to the Center for Wildlife, and 6 weeks later they called him to come help release the recovered bird back to the wild in the place where he found it. “I have a deep love for animals. I don’t even kill bugs,” said Gary, “It’s incredible work the Center for Wildlife does. 1600 animals in a year they take in, with no state or federal funding.
“I’m really impressed with their outreach program. I visit schools, and it’s one thing to stand up in front of a bunch of kids and play music, but it doesn’t really engage them until I let them hold an accordion and play the accordion and see what it looks like up close, and that’s what the people at the Center for Wildlife are doing with animals that can’t be released into the wild, like the owls — they’re ambassador animals. I think it’s a wonderful thing that these animals visit schools because if you want to teach kids about science, wildlife, and habitat, it really hits home when you can actually see the animals. Education is so important, and that’s what I really admire about the Center for Wildlife.”
Gary talks about his special love of loons: “When you’re swimming long distance in these estuaries, your strokes are constant and fluid, and you’re doing one continuous thing, and so you become a curiosity for wildlife — they want to know what’s going on. Fish come up to me, seals come up to me. I have a soft spot for loons. Loons have been my best escorts ever since I moved up here. My home river, the Lamprey River in Durham was the first waterway I swam in as a teenager, and the loons would pop up in front of my face and check me out. Over the years swimming in Spruce Creek, there’d be a loon waiting for me in the cove, and he’d follow me up to Rt. 1 and he’d follow me back, and then I go there the next day and he’s waiting for me. So they’ve been great companions. Last December I swam for 2 lighthouses in Rockland, Maine, and it was very spiritual for me to see a loon waiting for me on the beach, and that loon swam with me from one lighthouse to the next for 2 miles.”
A special thanks to everyone who participated and donated to the Center for Wildlife! Gary successfully swam the waters of Great Bay and raised over $8,000 for the Center for Wildlife’s work.
2011 Icy Swim for Lighthouses
Creekman Gary Sredzienski swam 3.3 miles in Rockland Harbor, Maine, on Dec. 10, 2011, to raise funds for the American Lighthouse Foundation and Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. See www.lighthousefoundation.org.
December 2009: Gary swims to raise money for “Share Our Strength” No Kid Hungry charity
Local musician braves cold water for good cause
Visit the No Kid Hungry, Share Our Strength website.
January 2009: Gary does 4.2 mile swim for Seacoast Hospice
Gossip Lady has some fun with well known accordion player, Gary Sredzienski, also known as Creekman as she visits him at his home before he does some swim training in the freezing creek. Sredzienski is trying to raise money for Seacoast Hospice by doing a 4.2 mile swim in Jan! To donate to the cause see www.seacoasthospice.org
Seacoast NH article, February 8, 2009
Gary Swam to the Isles of Shoals Jan 17, 2008
Thank you everyone for a successful swim!!
Gary’s message to his team Jan. 18, 2008: I want to thank you all so so much for making this happen. This was all a team effort and congratulations goes out to each and everyone one of you. I could not have done this if it wasn’t for all the hard work and thoroughness that went into this. I couldn’t have asked for a better team. You guys all ROCK!!!! I am so happy today. Happy for me that I’m alive and happy that we did some good for others. I am still wiped out and a bit dizzy, but i want to tell you that i really love you guys. That truly comes from the heart.
I am still amazed at the power of a half of banana!!! I can’t believe it……….about one minute after i consumed it i felt all the strength come back into my body.
Words can’t express how much I want to thank you all. Maybe we should get team shirts??? Love you folks gary
Articles, photos, etc.:
See Jeanné McCartin’s great article and links to Deb Cram’s photo slide show and new video…
Foster’s Article Jan 18 2008
Flying Fingered Solo Swimmer (PDF) from Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors, Feb/Mar 2007, #93
Supporters gathered January 17, 2008 early at the Seacoast Science Center on Odiorne Point, Rye, NH, to watch from shore as Gary Sredzienski, Creek Man, jumped into the ocean for the six-mile swim to the Isles of Shoals.
Supporters, including (above) Judy Ryan, Executive Director of the Krempels Foundation and David Krempels, Founder. Photos by Grace Peirce, January 17, 2008
Jan 2008: Creek Man Swimming to Isles of Shoals
See the video of Gary from Jan. 2008 Seacoast NH on youtube:
Jan 17, 18 or 19th, 2008, Seacoast NH: Download the Details (pdf)… We all have preferences in regards to exercise. Some folks go for a long bike ride or a long walk. For the last 5 or 6 years I have been swimming nearly 5 days a week and for 12 months a year in estuaries of Maine and New Hampshire. The waters here get quite frigid and laden with ice in the winter months, but technology today has provided me a way to keep warm in the most uninviting of conditions. Can you believe that it is possible to swim comfortably with minimal pain in the winter months? It’s an unending science project for me that I am so passionate about. With each swim comes a new experiment and new discoveries in improving conditions for my ventures. One days as I looked at all the wetsuits in my basement and all the artifacts from different swims it dawned on me that I have swum hundreds of miles over the last few years. How can I possibly harness all the energy I have put into this and channel it to somewhere positive?
Photo by Deb Cram, December 2007
Each year as an accordionist I perform for a wonderful organization called ‘Stepping Stones/The Krempels foundation‘ located in Portsmouth,NH. It is there I learned that brain injury does not discriminate and can happen to anyone at anytime. My heart was touched deeply by meeting and interacting with so many individuals. I was so moved by many and their stories that it left an ache in my heart. I decided that these folks would be my cause. Why can’t I do a fundraising swim to raise money for this organization? What a great way to harness all of the energy I expend in the water!
So hopefully I will have one good sunny day with calm winds and seas from either Jan 17, 18 or 19th. So far as I know, I will leave from Odiorne Pt. in Rye which is the mouth of Portsmouth Harbor to the Isle of Shoals. God willing I have a nice tide to ride me out with no harsh side currents. Don’t worry about me by the way! I have 2 boats that will be accompanying me, a doctor and a wonderful crew that is so into this and so thorough. The real challenge is swimming the 6 miles with comfort, to stay warm and not plundge into hypothermia. I’ve been working real hard on this and tweaking all the details. Spruce creek is 10 degrees colder than the ocean and when the tide rushes out of it . . . it is one heck of a workout. I so so look forward to going out to the islands the old fashioned way . . . with no fins, but layered wetsuits. To make a donation to the wonderful Stepping Stones Program . . . please visit the site………
Fall comes early to New England. One cold night would rob my swimming season, so I began experimenting with gear, and it is now possible for me to swim outdoors 12 months of the year!!!
Godzilla photo by Deb Cram… abused by others…