HOPE — The Hobbs Pond Swim returned for a quaint, more subdued 30th-year celebration on Saturday morning, Aug. 21 as a handful of participants entered the warm water to make the 600-meter journey around the floating unicorn that marked the course.

To celebrate the third decade of the event,  the swim, in a sense, returned to its watery roots — especially after the pandemic put a dampen on the 2020 gathering.

On Saturday, 15 swimmers and five spotters, in kayaks or on standup paddleboards, made their way out to the floating unicorn and back — about 600 meters total, said Ruth Jahn, one of this year’s event organizers.

The fastest times were turned in by Nicholas Citriglia (10:24) and Kendra Emery (10:25), both of Camden.

The swimmers included those ages 19-84, and came from Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and, of course, Maine.

Following the swim, a social gathering was hosted by the Hope General Store and Sunflour Bakery, with treats and breakfast pizza.

The swimmers included: Lynn Leclerc, 62, Union; John Cutter, 57, Hope; Max Soefifing, 32, New York; Kendra Emery, 42, Camden; Nicholas Citriglia, 42, Camden; Neil Krane, 68, Thomaston; Emma Jordan, 19, Hope; Chloe Squbb, 31, Belfast; Jordan Henry, 27, Belfast; Dan Dalrymple, 50, Rockland; Shannon Kerner, 41, Maryland; Bill Jones, 84, Hope; Ann Walker, 56, Maryland; Alison Jones, 44, Somerville, Maa.; and Eliza Hart, 38, Lincolnville.

Beginning this August, longtime event organizers/helpers Judith and Bill Jones “passed the torch” to others to keep the summertime tradition afloat.

Jones said before the event organizers had expected to “encourage the original concept of community swim” rather than the more competitive event it had become the last decade or so. And that is what happened on Saturday.

As always, the swim began and ended on the small public boat launch/beach area at the end of Pond Road, off Barnestown Road.

Jahn and Damon McClure are among those who look to carry on the swim’s fun, community tradition.

Scene from post-swim social at Hope General Store. Ruth Jahn

Scene from post-swim social at Hope General Store. Ruth Jahn

Bill Jones heads to the beach after his swim. Ken Waltz

An eagle comes in for a landing for a short stay in and around the water. Ken Waltz

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