Summer 2010


Dear Future SwimVacationers,

I hope you enjoyed some great open water swimming this summer; the waters here in Maine, both fresh and saltwater, have been perfect since early June.

Registration is open for our Spring 2011 swimming adventures in the British Virgin Islands: March 27 to April 2, and April 3 to 9. Click here for pricing and details. Only a few spots remain on the March trip!

We also have several weeks available for full groups of 6 or more in 2011. Email us for special rates for your group.

There's more SwimVacation news below. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions.




SwimVacation Alumni Check In

I love hearing from our dozens of former clients, and especially enjoy catching up on their latest aquatic adventures. SwimVacation alumni are scattered all over the world, so I often get to hear about some far-flung open water swims.

Traci Wilson now lives in the Nevada desert, but has a 2.4 mile swim coming up at the Hoover Dam. She is also directing a Swim Across America event, raising money for cancer research. Chess McGee spent much of her summer swimming in one of Maine's only public outdoor swimming pools, grinding out the yards in preparation for several triathlons. Mark Krakower stormed the Pacific coast with swims at La Jolla Cove, Hermosa Beach, Balboa/Newport Piers, Naples Island, Seal Beach, and Carona del Mar. Former client and current guide Will Thomas is staying aquatically inspired with a Virtual Open Water Swim Challenge organized by our friend Karen Reeder of Nicole Pisani was recently reminded of her time on SwimVacation while swimming in an aqua-blue quarry pond in Gloucester, Mass. She recently competed in an Olympic distance triathlon, as well. Jeff Faunce and Amy McClellan did the real estate equivalent of crossing the English Channel; they sold a house in Cleveland. They are now enjoying the many outdoor pursuits Denver has to offer. Linda Callaway from'm not sure where to begin. Her aquatic pursuits brought her to Atlanta, San Diego, Sweden, and San Juan, PR...just in the past 6 months! Linda says her passion for swimming is rooted in the enjoyment she gets from spending time with good friends. Keith Loach put in 10 km over a weekend event in Clear Lake, Ontario, Canada, but was missing the underwater scenery of the British Virgin Islands as he stared into the deep green water. We can relate.

Guide Focus: Fitzy

When I was dreaming up this adventure called SwimVacation, the first person I thought of to help me guide the first group of clients was Tim Fitzpatrick. Although Fitzy and I share a common Alma Mater (University of Rhode Island 86' and 93', respectively), we didn't meet until we were alumni, at a fund raising event for the swim team. Soon after, we swam on the same Masters Team and competed in open water events together all over the Mid-Atlantic.

A typical Fitzy story: During one of the first Chesapeake Bay 4.4 mile swim races, mother ocean decided to start running her tide a little earlier than the race directors expected. The result was that out of over a hundred entrants, only a handful completed the race. One of them was Fitzy, who battled the strong current for hours, sometimes making almost no headway.

During a SwimVacation, in the calm, clear-blue waters of the British Virgin Islands, you'll find Fitzy running open water technique clinics (he invented a really great buoy turn), helping scrub pots in the galley, applying sunblock to the guests, and dancing to 80's music on the stern. I can't wait for you to meet him.

A Taste of SwimVacation: Conch Fritters

When SwimVacation guests stroke back to the Yacht Promenade after their evening swim, they are often greeted with

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a plate of Conch Fritters and a frozen drink. The conchs are often obtained by the crew during an afternoon dive. Here's a recipe for this Caribbean staple to try at home:


  • •Fritters
  • •3/4 cup flour
  • •1 large egg
  • •1/2 cup milk
  • •ground cayenne pepper to taste
  • •salt and pepper to taste
  • •1 cup chopped conch meat
  • •1/2 onion, chopped
  • •1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • •2 stalks celery, chopped
  • •2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • •Dipping Sauce:
  • •2 tablespoons ketchup
  • •2 tablespoons lime juice
  • •1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • •1 tablespoon habernero hot sauce
  • •salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large pot or deep fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour, egg, and milk. Season with cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Mix in the conch meat, onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic.
  3. Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons into the hot oil, and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  4. In a bowl, mix the ketchup, lime juice, mayonnaise, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Serve dipping sauce on the side with the fritters.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you have about SwimVacation. We can be reached at or (207) 975-5489. There is also lots of information on our website at


Hopper McDonough