Welcome to my 2016 swim website. For those of you who don't know me, I swam Lake Ontario the easy way in 1983 and the hard way in 1984. I “came out of retirement" to swim the English Channel (oldest Canadian woman) in 2011. In 2013, I was the oldest Canadian to swim the Catalina strait in California. After swimming around Manhattan Island (oldest Canadian) in 2014, I became the first Canadian to complete the Triple Crown of open water swimming (English Channel, Catalina Strait and Manhattan.) Last year I was the first to swim between three provinces: from Nova Scotia north to New Brunswick and across the Northumberland Strait to Prince Edward Island (34 kms). This year on March 18, I became the first Canadian and the oldest woman ever to swim the icy and turbulent Cook Strait between the south and north islands in New Zealand. (See links below for more detail.)

On August 11, 2016, I hope to become the first Canadian to swim from Plymouth to Provincetown, Massachusetts, across Cape Cod Bay. This “P2P” swim has only been accomplished by 6 people (all American), although the swim has been attempted numerous times since 1915. The swim from Manomet Beach in Plymouth to Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown is about 32 kilometers. The biggest challenge is the current which circulates in a counter-clockwise direction around the relatively shallow bay. The water temperature is expected to be between 16 and 21 degrees Celsius. The swim is officiated by the Massachusetts Open Water Swimming Association (MOWSA), whose rules are based on the English Channel rules. https://massopenwaterswimming.com/

I am pleased to be able to use this opportunity to raise money for Sashbear, an organization founded by Lynn Courey, whose daughter, Sasha, a swimmer with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), died by suicide in 2011. Sashbear funds education programs for therapists, families and in schools. I have dedicated my psychiatric career to the treatment and research of BPD, which has a suicide rate of 10%. More treatment programs and support for families are desperately needed in Canada. Please support my swim by donating to Sashbear. Thank you. http://sashbear.org/en/

Across Cape Cod Bay:

Across Cape Cod Bay:
Across Cape Cod Bay: Plymouth to Provincetown

Friday 12 February 2016

What I think about on a long swim - part 1

Everyone always asks what I think about on a big swim. It really depends on the swim. That's part of why I like to do different swims, for the variety. On my Lake Ontario swims, I spent a lot of time thinking that I couldn't complain about how much I hurt because I wanted the legendary Cliff Lumsdon, who was in charge of my swims, to be proud of me. On the Lake Simcoe swim, at first, I thought about how frigid (54 deg F) the water was. When it finally warmed up, I thought about how grateful I was to all the members of my crew for volunteering to help me. When the going got tough, I told myself that I couldn't quit, because I had to inspire all the people I know who are facing big challenges in their lives. On the English Channel swim, I spent the first 3 or 4 hours in the dark thinking about how cold I was and how much I wanted to quit but it had been so much trouble and expense and such a huge sacrifice for my crew. I spent the rest of the swim thinking about whether I would finish before I got too cold. The Catalina channel was a beautiful deep blue and relatively warm and I enjoyed most of the crossing. Manhattan was a whole other story. There wasn't time to daydream because I had to stay on my toes to negotiate all the currents, plus I had time deadlines to worry about. On the Three Provinces swim, I thought about my wonderful crew, how great it was to be doing a Canadian swim again, how grey the sky was and when my mind wandered, the jelly fish stings brought me back to reality.

17 more workouts before we leave for New Zealand...

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