SWAN’S ISLAND—A common question visitors ask about living on an island is, ‘well, if you miss the ferry, do you swim home?’
That question was, in part, Sage Dentremont’s inspiration to swim the 6 miles from Swan’s Island to Bass Harbor on the first day of September.
“I’ve worked at the Burnt Coat Harbor Light Station for four summers now,” said Dentremont in an email to the Islander this week. “When visitors ask about how high school works, I tell them about how some students commute every day and how extracurriculars end after the last ferry boat leaves, especially in the winter.
Many people have made the joking remark, ‘What do you do? Swim home?,’” said the Mount Desert Island High School swim team member who became a senior this week. “’If the boat doesn’t run, do you swim to school?’ That’s what really got me thinking about if it were really possible.”
Originally, Dentremont was going to make the long-distance swim her senior exhibition project. But, she said in the email, senior exhibitions may or may not happen this year so she decided to focus her efforts in a different direction and turn the swim into a fundraiser. With a goal of $5,000 set, Dentremont swam to raise money so that other children on Swan’s Island could learn to swim or improve upon their existing swimming skills.
Supporters were so inspired by her feat that the GoFundMe page set up for the swim has raised over $10,000.
“[A total of] $10,680 would cover 32 pre-school age students to attend seven lessons and ferry tickets to get there,” said Dentremont. “[Providing] the cost of lessons doesn’t change when they start up again.”
Swimming has been a big part of Dentremont’s life, and she said she wanted to make sure other children could enjoy moving in the water the way she does.
“I’ve known how to swim for as long as I can remember,” she said. “I cannot express how thankful I am for the support from everyone. Family, family friends, classmates, co-workers, neighbors – it is truly amazing.”
In addition to beginning her final year of high school, Dentremont has been busy sending a personal thank you to all who have donated to her cause.