Meghan E. Wren, of Money Island in Downe Township, swam from Delaware to New Jersey on Saturday. She is believed to be the first person to accomplish the feat.
The founder and executive director of the Bayshore Center at Bivalve, Wren, 48, started her swim at 7:10 a.m. on the Delaware side of the bay at Port Mahon. She finished about 3:30 p.m. on the beach at Fortescue, Downe Township, having swam 13.1 miles.
Wren said she was swimming to draw attention to the Delaware Bay communities that were hurt by last year’s Hurricane Sandy as well as the future of the bay.
“I really felt spectacular, not just by the personal accomplishment, but the public participation, the community engagement,” Wren said after she completed the swim. “It was really something to come to the beach and see all those people on the beach celebrating the swim and celebrating the bay. That’s just exactly what I was hoping for. I had a lot of well-wishers that we thanking me for bringing attention to the bay.”
Wren had two support boats and kayaks with a rotation of paddlers accompanying her. Her supporters used Twitter and Facebook to give updates as she swam. Hundreds of people greeted her when she finished her swim.
“When we started out, the water was pretty calm. The wind did pick up a little bit,” she said. “We had a couple of rainstorms go through. Each of them brought some extra wind. If it had been that level of wind when I started, I might not have done it. It kicked up, but then, it laid back down a little bit and kicked up again, but for the most part, it wasn’t too bad out there. I had a little bit of rain, and then it got sunny. It was just a gorgeous day on the bay.”
Two swimmers have made it from New Jersey to Delaware, but they swam a shorter distance than Wren. Wren was a competitive swimmer in college and does triathlons, but she had not done many long-distance swims.
There was no evidence of anyone having done what she did previously, and usually these types of events are certified, Wren said.
Wren has a fundraising goal of $25,000 that she hoped to meet by taking on the challenge. Donations are still accepted at www.swimdelawarebay.org .
Swimming across the Delaware was on Wren’s bucket list of things to do. Her father, Jim Wren, of Stone Harbor, encouraged her to try the feat this year.
Staff writer Michelle Brunetti Post and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Contact Vincent Jackson:
By VINCENT JACKSON, Staff Writer