July 6th, 2018. The forecast looks warm, unseasonably warm for Vermont! The perfect time for a multi crossing of lake Willoughby. We clear our schedules, pack up our gear and head over to Westmore, Vermont.
Three musketeers off for an adventure, myself, Phil White, Cynthia Needham and Djanjo our sturdy vessel. Turns out we are going to need sturdy! We arrive at Lake Willoughby to discover winds, high winds blowing from the north. Not to be deterred we launch the boat, load our gear and head to the north beach for a North to south tail wind swim down the lake, followed by a south to north head wind swim back up the lake.
Well off we go! We blaze down the lake with sustained winds of 15- 20 MPH. What a ride on the way down the lake especially between the cliffs where the winds is compressed. I was grateful for the warm 70F water and piloting skills of Phil White, how he maintained a steady course amongst the waves and swells I don’t know!
We made it to the secluded South Beach and gained a little shelter from the howling wind. Our time down the lake was 2 Hours, 1 minute and 30 seconds. One of my fastest crossing ever!
Now it was time to turn around and pay the piper.I wade back in the water, the wind was making it hard to wade out! Off we go I swim and swim, diving in and out of the troughs working hard to time my breath to avoid hydrating on lake water. I swim for 30 minutes and see my feed cup. Time for a feed, I looked up and am shocked at how little I have progressed. while I fed me and Djanjo are being pushed backwards. I drop my cup and begin the process of working my way back up the lake again…. and again.
The wind intensifies as we approach the cliffs. Gusting at 22 MPH we press on. The progress is slow as we inch our way back up the lake. Finally the north beach is in sight. It took a month of Sunday’s but we finally make it PHEW! I haul myself up onto the beach and a double crossing is complete. The south to north crossing took 3 hours 42 minutes and 30 seconds.
The total swim time 5 hours 41 minutes 20 seconds. This becomes my longest every single crossing of Lake Willoughby and my longest double crossing! A record breaking swim for me and a hole lot of fun!