WESTERLY — Growing up in town, Logan Hellwig often looked out at Block Island during his many hours at the beach and wondered if it would be possible to swim from there to the mainland.
Now, he knows.
Hellwig, 25, completed the feat in 4 hours, 9 minutes, stepping onto the beach at Charlestown Breachway Wednesday afternoon. He swam a distance of 9.72 miles, leaving from Block Island's North Lighthouse just after 8 a.m. and arriving in Charlestown just after noon.
"I feel great. I feel super accomplished and I will never look at the ferry ride the same way again. And now I don't have to wonder," Hellwig said. "I felt pretty good, but the last mile and half was a struggle."
Hellwig was accompanied by two boats and a Jet Ski. Family members were on one of the boats and an EMT was on the Jet Ski. A firefighter, Carl Critz, also accompanied the group. He went to Block Island by boat on Wednesday morning.
Hellwig also had some other companions.
"We ran into some turtles, seals and dolphins," Hellwig said. "I knew that was definitely a possibility, but the dolphins were within 5 to 10 feet of me."
Hellwig took short breaks about every 35 minutes or so for a snack or a Gatorade. Before the swim, he was concerned about the cold water, but said it wasn't a factor Wednesday.
"It was a little cold, but not bad. I've been told by a couple people that I might be a little crazy," Hellwig said. "But I wanted to set a goal and accomplish it."
Hellwig prepared for the swim in Quonochontaug Pond. He had put in a 9.1-mile swim in the pond during his training before Wednesday.
But just like a distance runner or a swimmer, his workouts changed as the long swim approached.
"I increased in yardage and distance the first couple of months, but have slowed down recently," Hellwig said.
Hellwig grew up in town and first started swimming when he was 11 with the Ocean Community YMCA Dolphins team.
Hellwig was an accomplished swimmer at Westerly High. He earned All-State honors multiple times before graduating in 2014 and established several school records along the way.
Hellwig was on the Division I St. Bonaventure swim team for four years before graduating in 2018. He works for his father's landscaping and home service company. Hellwig is also a lifeguard at the Westerly Town Beach in the summer and has won the competition at the lifeguard games multiple times.
Hellwig is also a coach with the Connecticut Aquatics Club in Groton.
Now that he has made the long journey does Hellwig have any other long-distance swimming goals on his horizon?
"Definitely not," he said.