Swim Day: Wednesday July 19th
Swim Direction North to South
Start; Magog, Quebec, Canada
Finish: Newport, Vermont, USA
Observer: Phil White
Crew: Cynthia Needham
Lake Monster: Memphre
This was to be my second swim down this awe inspiring lake. The first being in 2011, I was one of 4 swimmers who made it down the lake on the night of September 11th, 2011, marking the 10th anniversary of 911, we swam to promote friendly borders and in Search of Memphre the lakes resident Lake Monster.
My 2011 swim was tough, my first 25 miler. I had prepared with night swims, rough water, practice feeding off a boat, swimming alongside a kayak, swimming in the cold night air and mentally training myself to keep swimming.
I completed my 2011 Lake Monster swim in 15 hours and 30 minutes. The fall night air was cold on my back, I was separated from my kayak and support boat early in the swim for an hour and battled a relentless northerly head wind. In the thick of the chaos something warm brushed by my leg, whatever it was calmed my mind and I swam on to complete the swim.
This year I’m returning to swim in the opposite direction with the goal of getting down the lake a little faster, well wouldn’t that be great, either way it will be a fine adventure and another border crossing my favorite!
Swim Day Arrives.
Up at 4:00am. Gear is packed, feeds are ready we load the boat at the Magog Marina. It is pitch dark, the dawn is starting to nudge it’s way out as we motor to Parc de la Pointe- Merry.
As we approach the start beach I make my final preparations, light sticks in place, my one cap is secure, I have Vaseline on my arm pits, around my neck and under my suit straps to reduce chaffing as I swim. The final touch is my ear plugs. I slide in to water and wade up onto the beach.
I am ready to begin one very long day swimming from Canada to the USA, 25.2 miles wearing one traditional bathing suit, one swim cap, ear plugs, light sticks and a pair of goggles. I raise my arms to signal to Phil White my observer and Cynthia Needham crew that I am ready. I pause for a moment taking it all in, the expanse of the lake the approaching dawn and the knowledge that once I step my toe into the water it is ” game on” until I reach the other end of the lake. No assistance…it’s time to go I step in and smile, I can’t wait.
In to the water I slide, it feels amazing, as I begin stroking on arm at a time my way back to the USA!