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

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Lake of Bays - Marilyn's story

My word for this swim is Northern Splendour". The northern half of the lake looks just like Algonquin. It was a beautiful sunny day.
We rented a gorgeous pontoon boat from Baysville Marina.
I started at 8:23 am from the government dock in Baysville. This is located in a bay at the very southernmost point of the Lake of Bays.  The water was calm and flat. The first 2.5 k were against a slight current. Then it was a joy to zip across the largest open space of the lake without a wave or boat traffic. Around noon, a ripple began. Over the next 2 hours it built to about 4 inches and the boat traffic made some waves. The winds were primarily from the west to west south-west, but since we were going north north-east, the waves were primarily at my left flank. Once we got into the northern half of the lake, the boats disappeared and the waves settled down to 2 to 3 inches. As we kept rounding points and entering new bays, I understood where the name, Lake of Bays, came from. When the Lake narrowed and I could see the landmarks and the wind was still pushing me, I knew I would make it to Dwight without a problem. However, the water temperature at 22 deg. C, was too hot to sprint, so I just enjoyed the scenery and focused on making my stroke strong. I finished at the beach next to the boat ramp at 6:13 pm. Official time 9:49:51.
I feel ready for Cape Cod Bay!
Don't forget that I am swimming for Sashbear. www.sashbear.org

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Success  at 9:49 elapsed time and 6:13 pm,
Six hours, how time is fleeting and so ephemeral when you are drifting peacefully on a gorgeous lake in the Canadian Shield with perfect conditions.An endless blue sky with no clouds. Marilyn has travelled 13.5 km and has 9.5 km left..
Five hours and 11.3 kms, halfway to the finish. Breeze diminished to gentle and back to ripples on Lake. Boat traffic minimal. Police drove past in pursuit of another boar oblivious to them.
After four hours, have passed 9.7km with wind picking up creating choppy surface small waves. They are from the south so they are helping her a little pushing her North.
After four hours just passing Fairview Island, water 22C with ripples on water. Gourmet egg wraps and fresh home made choc chip and raspberry  cookies. Across from us is Bigwin Island, and we are thinking of Colleen who was to be swim master but was unable to join us. Our thoughts are with you and wish you were here with our love and best wishes.
In two hours Marilyn has swum 4.6 kms, water temperature at surface is 21C. Current position is just east of Roothog Island. Sunny blue sky and calm, flat water. Amazing conditions, not like Cook Strait!!!!
Marilyn has completed the river portion and is going through the narrows. She has just entered south end of the main part of the Lake of Bays!!!
What a glorious day for a swim! Sunny blue sky, calm with gentle breeze, 22C water on surface is 19C. Marilyn started swim at 8:23 am from gazebo at Baysville. In the first hour she has swum 2.2 km. Floatilla includes poontoon boat and zodiac.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Lake of Bays swim in 2 weeks

I am planning on swimming Lake of Bays in Muskoka from Dwight to Baysville on June 25 or 26. It is about 22.5 kilometers and should take 9-11 hours.
Lake of Bays would complete my challenge of the 4 Muskoka Lakes. I swam Lake Rosseau in 2009 from Rosseau to Port Carling, Lake Muskoka in 2013 from Gravenhurst to Port Carling, and Lake Joseph in 2014 from Port Cockburn to Port Sandfield.
I plan to follow the same course (weather permitting) as Mike Zavitz, who completed the swim in 2013 in 10 hrs. 45 min. 
This is a Solo Swims of Ontario sanctioned swim. It will be officiated by Colleen Shields, whom you may remember from the Cook Strait swim.
Please support me by donating to Sashbear. http://sashbear.org/en/