TEAM TACKLES RIVER CHALLENGED BY THUNDER STORMS & HIGH WINDS
keith harmon snow
2 September 2013
On Saturday 31 August 2013, as severe electrical storms raged over the Connecticut River in southern Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, three CONGO SWIM supporters set off from Springfield Vermont to support the CONGO SWIM initiative with the goal of reaching Bellows Falls (VT), ten miles down the Connecticut River, in solidarity with the people of the war-torn Great Lakes of Africa.
The swim began with overcast skies, severe electrical storm and flash-flood warnings, and in Springfield VT there was intermittent lightning and a growing northerly headwind. Two miles into the swim the waves were getting bigger, with small rolling whitecaps impeding the lone swimmer Keith Harmon Snow and kayak-support Alex Viandes. By 5:00 pm -- after about five miles into the swim, serious thunderstorms had set in, and the northerly wind and waves were substantial.
Keith, Alex and Arsenio about to begin on at 1:45 pm on 31 August 2013.
This initiative was inspired by the CONGO SWIM initiative, where other people have been swimming or offering some action to support the people of Congo through Friends of the Congo's projects. Congo swim was founded by swimmer Keris Dahlkamp, who began his 22 mile swim of Lake Tahoe on August 24, 2013 and completed it the next day.
This swim was for all people of the Great Lakes of Africa countries: the peoples of Burundi, Congo, Rwanda and Uganda; and for the people of Ethiopia and Sudan. These are all places where Keith has worked and where he fell in love with the people and land. The US military and its allies are behind massive violence and plunder in these countries, and the western media continues to obscure reality and blame the victims, and this is true of progressive media too. This swim was also for the survivors of radiation poisoning due to the nuclear poisons complex.
Keith Harmon Snow began swimming from Springfield VT at 1:50 PM, with Alex Viandes paddling a kayak with him. Arsenio Ferreira, an Angolan national, began running from Springfield VT and he joined the team on the CT River and began swimming with Keith about four miles downstream from Springfield VT.
The swim took place well upstream from the criminal Vermont Yankee nuclear waste site (Vernon, VT), where radioactive poisons are ever being dumped into the Connecticut River.
The weather was dark and gloomy, with intermittent rain and thunderstorms.
By 6:00 PM one-foot to two-foot high whitecaps whipped up by the northerly headwind blowing up the long and wide stretches of the Connecticut rolled over the swimmers. Kayaker Alex Viandes paddled constantly to move forward -- else he was quickly blown and pushed backwards by wind and waves.