Sunshine Bay to Nelson: Day 3 (Six Mile to The Prestige)

If you want to indulge in a lush, boozy brunch, you’ve gotta earn it!

And earn it we did – with a grand finale swim of 10.6 km from the Six Mile sand bar all the way into Nelson. The original plan had us wading ashore at Lakeside Park, but cooler and hungrier heads and hearts prevailed and we climbed out at the marina just below the patio at the Prestige Hotel. Brunch never tasted better. More than just an extra mile, the additional distance added another 3.17 km to our grand total taking us to 27.17 km swam over 3 epic days. Read More

Sunshine Bay to Nelson: Day 2 (Kokanee Park to Six Mile sand bar)

You might have thought that your intrepid swimming subjects would have faced the darkness of the new day and the prospect of another 8 km with dread and apprehension.

You might have thought that there would be tears, self-doubt, and…chafing.

YOU WOULD BE (mostly) WRONG! (There was some chafing.)

Another 4:45 wake up call, coffee, poops, pep talks, vehicle drop off and a short portage, and we were off! Our team was one less today, since our triathlete decided to save his shoulders for an upcoming event.

Today’s 8.03 km stretch went from the beach at Kokanee Park to the sand bar at Six Mile. The lake was calm and peaceful for our first half, with mild currents for the second.

Without the challenge of yesterday’s chop, everything felt a lot smoother. I had worried about my shoulders, but the only discomfort I felt was in my lower back. This is usually because of the altered position of my body in my wetsuit.

The Steven Boys took an early lead and reported that they both felt amazing. Mark stated that he could have gone all the way into Nelson. Wanker!

Deanne and I gave Barney, our kayaker and food dispenser, a good morning workout as he paddled between us doling out Shock Bloks and encouragement. Read More

Sunshine Bay to Nelson: Day 1

At 4:45 am, I grabbed my phone in the darkness to check the time. From my cozy Boler bed, I could see a light on in the cabin and I knew that indeed, my hosts were up early as promised and YES – we would be meeting on the beach at 5:30 to take on the first leg of our 3 day, 24 km swim from Sunshine Bay to Nelson.

I drove out to the fabulous Steven Family cabin late evening yesterday, and even at that point I wasn’t exactly sure that what we’d planned would actually happen. I wasn’t sure that I’d swim all 3 days. I wasn’t sure my shoulders would hold up, or that my nutrition and energy levels would be well prepared enough.

My friends Mark, Deanne, and Bruce Steven dreamed up the crazy idea to swim from their cabin on Kootenay Lake all the way to the City of Nelson, BC. They plotted out a 3 day route that would average around 8.5 km each day, followed by a big breakfast and sweet recovery time at the cabin. And “cabin” doesn’t do the place justice – it’s a gorgeous property with a spacious deck, 2 gazebos, a private beach and an outdoor shower.

I slurped back a cup of coffee, having stuffed my face the night before with my favourite pre-swim feast: peanut butter, bagels, apple slices, and more peanut butter.

After a thorough neck slathering, I slipped into my Orca Alpha suit and headed down to the beach. We were joined by Stephen, a triathlete from Nelson, and our 3 support paddlers who would help to guide us and also carry our all-important hydration and nutrition. I chose a variety of Clif Shock Bloks as they are easy to eat in the water and the caffeine works as an effective analgesic when the joints begin to ache.

We set off just as the sun was starting to rise. The water was beautiful and calm and I started feeling awake and alive. After 2 km though, the wind and chop picked up and for a while I felt like I wasn’t making any progress, just flailing my arms and legs. We swam through the ferry crossing and I had visions of being sawn in half by the underwater cables. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. Read More