Marilyn's 2018-22 Swim Blog
I plan to swim Lake Nipissing from the French R. (Campbells Bay) north-east to Marathon beach in North Bay, Ontario, July 14-19, 2022, 28kms. It has never been swum before. In 2020, I was foiled 3 km from shore by a freak gale with 3m waves and 65kph winds. I am fundraising for The Nipissing Trackers branch of the Nipissing Association for Disabled Youth, a volunteer-run skiing program for disabled youth. Donate: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/nipissing-association-for-disabled-youth/
Saturday, 16 July 2022
News articles from North Bay
https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/take-that-lake-nipissing-5590188 https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/marathon-swimmer-back-to-tame-lake-nipissing-5582648 https://nugget.ca/news/a-victory-lap-to-remember https://nugget.ca/news/long-distance-swimmer-wrapping-up-career-in-lake-nipissing
Marilyn's Lake Nipissing story
Unfortunately, I didn't sleep well the night before and woke with a headache. When I couldn't finish my dinner because of nausea. I took a migraine pill and it was a lot better. I took a motion sickness pill before I got on the boat, just in case. It took us a little longer than anticipated to load the boats and drive across Lake Nipissing so I didn't start swimming until 3:07 a.m. It was a gorgeous calm moonlit night on a beautiful deserted beach called Campbells Bay. The course was going northeast towards North Bay. Unfortunately, the nausea began within a few minutes of swimming. At first I thought I had swallowed too much air and just needed to burp it up. However, it got worse after my first feeding. 45 minutes later, I struggled to keep my second feeding down. I promptly threw up my third feeding and kept wretching until my stomach was empty. Oddly, it felt better until I started getting cold. Food is vital fuel to keep the body warm as well as prevent "bonking". At first I thought it was motion sickness from the drive over, which happened to me on the Catalina swim. I asked for another motion sickness pill and ginger tea, which usually helps. This time it didn't feel better. After my next feed, I said I felt horrid with nausea and then threw up everything again. At this point,I was really discouraged, thinking I just wanted to quit and lay my head down on a pillow. I promised myself I could do that in 18 hours. I looked at the spectacular sunrise and flat water (a rare event on my swims) and thought about all the enthusiastic crew I had brought together, who had also given up their night sleep for me. What a shame it would be to give up on all this. Nausea is a powerful force that I, fortunately, don't have much experience grappling with. So I thought about what would happen if I cancelled. Would I come back? I thought that if didn't figure out what was wrong, there was no point in repeating this misery. But I knew that most of my crew wanted this swim almost as much as I did. So I decided I would play this out to the hypothermic or depleted energy bitter end. I swam on, cold, for 45 minutes and then asked for only water. Then it dawned on me that this could be a migraine. It took me a while to figure this out because I am used to swimming with one sort of headache or another. I had one of those precious melt in your mouth $10 migraine pills left. They managed to drop it in my mouth (because my fingers were wet and would have destroyed it) and I swam backstroke so as to avoid getting water in my mouth until it dissolved under my tongue. After that there was no more throwing up! There was only a bit of queasy on and off. However, I found that if I tried to exert myself and swim faster, the headache came back. We were all so relieved that I was making progress, that all were happy with whatever I could muster. Soon, we passed the Goose islands, about 1/3 of the way. Evidently I was making good time with a gentle wind behind me.It seemed to take forever to do the middle third to the Manitou islands. Maybe it was because I was warming up because I was able to keep my feeds down. When I got warm, I got sleepy and had to struggle to keep my eyes open. I managed to cool down by staying behind the big boat as it churned up the water. As we approached the Manitous, a nasty north east wind picked up, slapping my face. Fortunately it calmed down after the Manitous. The sun went behind the building clouds, and a strong chilly northwest wind started partially pushing me towards North Bay. It also pushed me south off course. We were expecting it to be southwest. As the wind built to over 15 km/hr and the waves to 1.5m, it became increasingly harder to make progress towards Shabogesic beach, so about 1.7 km from shore, we decided to follow the wind and land on the Golden Mile beach. Final official time 15:54:07. The distance was over 28 km. A huge thank you thank you to my captains Andy Geseron and Scott Misener and their wives,LeeAnn and Judy. You were terrific. I couldn't have done it without you! A special thank you to Colleen Shields, the SSO Swim Master who was beside me in the inflatable the whole way and made me feel safe. Thank you to Darin who drive the second inflatable most of the swim and to the Taylors for their advice and on shore support behind the scenes. Thank you to my friend Paula, who kayaked for 8 hours beside me.And of course, my husband and 2 sons who paddled the kayak and drove the inflatables. Please don't forget to donate to the Nipissing Trackers disabled skiers. https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/nipissing-association-for-disabled-youth/
Friday, 15 July 2022
All is well
The waves were huge and we couldn't cut across them to get to Shabogesic beach, so we followed the waves and landed on a neighbouring beach. Time was 15:53. I'm ok. Just sore and tired More tomorrow thanks for all the cheering Marilyn
Shabogesic Beach in sight!
Four km to the world famous Shabogesic Beach. Marilyn is getting excited! Gentle breeze from the northwest. Four km to go! ETA 6pm
Coming through the Manitou Islands and what a sight ahead, the magnificent spire of the Pro-Cathedral Assumption Church! Marilyn is asking "When is it going to get better?" She is swimming consistent 60 strokes per minute but must be struggling with migraine and or aching muscles!
Twenty - again!
Twenty km done and 7 km to go! Please support NADY through Canada Helps so that disabled youth can enjoy and learn to ski! All done by wonderful volunteers but they need expensive equipment to stabilize youth with disabilities. We are so fortunate and take many things forgranted that these youth only dream of doing, please donate!
Arriving at this gorgeous cirque of peaks thought to be an ancient volcano that is submerged. On Marilyn's prior attempt it was the proverbial calm before the early evening storm. We estimate arrival by 5pm before evening storms. Forecast is clear!
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