Monday, 24 February 2020

Wonderful time in North Bay

I had a wonderful time in North Bay yesterday, meeting the volunteers and youth in the Trackers program. The volunteer instructors were smiling as much as the kids!
Another article about my upcoming swim

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Visit to the Nipissing Trackers

  The Nipissing Trackers is a volunteer program that offers a skiing program for disabled youth. The Trackers provide volunteer instructors who have to take specialized training to learn how to provide the best skiing experience and how to best connect with the disabled youth. Laurentian Ski Hill is also a sponsor. The Nipissing Association for Disabled Youth (NADY) is the umbrella organization that manages the donations.
  Since the Taylor family of North Bay has been involved with the Nipissing Trackers for over 25 years, with Rick Taylor a past coordinator for the Trackers, and since Rick will be my lead boat captain, and since I am also a skier, I am excited to be able to use this opportunity to fund raise for this very good cause.
  I'm going to Laurentian Ski Hill on February 23rd to meet the Nipissing Trackers and help with the publicity and fundraising.
The Taylors have already spread the word and there's an article in the North Bay newspaper.

Summary of Marilyn's swimming achievements

I swam Lake Ontario the easy way (south to north) in 1983 and the hard way (north to south) in 1984, becoming the first person to have swum it in both directions.
I came "out of retirement" to swim the English Channel in 2011. I won the Van Audenaerde cup for the toughest endurance feat of the year because the winds peaked at 26 knots and the waves at over 3 meters and the water temp was only 17.5 deg. C. Lake Simcoe (Barrie to Orillia) had been a good training swim because the water was only 13 deg. C for the first 3 hours. In 2013, I was the oldest Canadian to swim the Catalina Strait in California. After swimming around Manhattan Island in 2014 (oldest Canadian), I became the first Canadian to complete the coveted Triple Crown of open water swimming (English Channel, Catalina strait and Manhattan).
In 2015, I was the first person to swim between three provinces: from Nova Scotia north to New Brunswick and across the Northumberland Strait to Prince Edward Island (34 km). In March 2016, I fulfilled a 3 year long dream, to be the first Canadian (and oldest woman) to swim across the icy (15-16 deg. C), treacherous Cook Strait between the South and North Islands of New Zealand. In August 2016, I swam across Cape Cod Bay, becoming only the 9th person and the first Canadian to swim this historic Pilgrim route across the shark infested swirling tidal waters.
In 2017, I became the oldest woman and first Canadian to swim the length of Lake Tahoe from California to Nevada (34 km). The major challenge was the elevation of the lake, at 6200 feet or 1897 m. In 2018, I fulfilled a 30 year dream to become the first person to swim across Whitefish Bay of Lake Superior (29 km, water 16.5 deg. C). Superior had been swum only twice before on a route in the western end of the lake. Later in 2018, I fulfilled another dream, of becoming the first Canadian to complete the California Triple Crown of swimming (Catalina Strait, Lake Tahoe and Santa Barbara Channel) by swimming the Santa Barbara Channel from Santa Cruz Island to Hollywood Beach, Oxnard, California on my second try after having been pulled out halfway due to a shark showing predatory behaviour (first Canadian, oldest woman).
I have also swum all 4 of the big Muskoka Lakes during 2013-2019.
(For more details, see the links to my older blogspots, my Solo Swims of Ontario bio page, and

Saturday, 22 June 2019 is working

We got the working so you can see the track from yesterday:

The Lake Rosseau story

  My apologies about the tracker link not working. The problem was that I set it up too far in advance and then it timed out before the swim started. I set up a second tracker link at the last minute and didn't have time to publish it. Then my tech crew person couldn't make it so there was no blogging.
  The forecast was for 0% chance of rain and wind from the northwest at 9 to 15 km/hr. We had a pre-swim water temperature from the south end of the lake of 20 degrees C. My big concern was that the air temperature was going to be 13-15 deg. C the first couple of hours. But we had to start as early as possible because the winds and boat traffic would pick up in the afternoon.
  June 21 was beautiful, almost calm, sunny morning in Rosseau around 7:45 when I stepped into the chilly water. Turns out the water was 15.5 - 16.5 deg C the first two and a half hours and then settled in at 17.5 for most of the swim. There were big patches of 18.5. In the afternoon, it was more cloudy and windy. At the decision point, about halfway, the water temp plummeted to 16 again but the wind pushed me around the corner towards Port Sandfield.  Not a hard decision. The miraculous thing was that the wind was almost always at my back except for one bay that was about a kilometer long where it was more broadside.
  We were all excited that I arrived in Port Sandfield after 7 hrs and 43 minutes of swimming, over an hour earlier than predicted, due to the favourable winds. The distance is 18.2 km.
  It is a beautiful lake with spectacular cottages and boathouses and even a few float planes landing. Windermere Marina was most helpful and accommodating in renting the pontoon boat. Thank you also to my family and crew, including Paula Jongerden who paddled almost half of the swim, and Colleen Shields, the Swim Master, who made this swim official.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Finish time 7:43:34
Thanks for your wishes for the wind at my back

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Tracker info

The tracker link is
We are still planning for Friday early morning. The chance of showers keeps appearing and disappearing in the forecast. We will keep our fingers crossed for sunshine and calm winds. The plan is to go from the town of Rosseau to Port Sandfield (19 km). But we will decide at the halfway point. The other option is to go to Port Carling (18 km) if the wind is strong from the southwest.