The Great Big Swim: Stage 1

Stage 1: Brentwood Bay to Patricia Bay
Date: July 1, 2020
Total swim distance: 12. 5 km
Weather: 16C, Cloudy, winds 10-20km
Water Temperature: 14-15C
Swimmers: Aly, Ben, Drew, Jasmine, Susan
Crew: Claire, Krissy, Ray, Jacob, Reg, Peter, Paul, Fiona, Ingrid

We started our day at 11:00 am at Brentwood Bay. Swimmers and crew met in the parking lot near the ferry dock and prepared their gear for the day. Our task for the day; to swim from Brentwood Bay to Patricia Bay. As we prepared our safety boats Ben burst into song, leading us through our national anthem – it was Canada Day after all! 

The water was a warm 15C at the start and the skies clouded over. Once all the boats were loaded with our safety crew and supplies for the day, and the BC Ferry had securely moored at the terminal, we entered the water at the pebbled beach and began our swim. You could feel the excitement all around.

We asked our crew to stay shoreline as much possible as the water is about 1 degree warmer. We are also a bit protected from the building winds. This part of the swim was tough on our crew as it was our first one, and they were paddling head into the wind. And they certainly feel the wind a lot more than the swimmers do.

Sadly Drew became mildly hypothermic about 5 kilometres into the swim. The crew brought him to a local dock where he was able to dry off and then Ray and Claire escorted him by boat to the finish line. He was so determined to continue the swim but it just wasn’t safe.

The remaining swimmers carried on swimming past Coles Bay and around the corner into Patricia Bay. A few locals were on shore drumming and cheering us on. We could see the Coast Guard boats and knew we were close to our landing. As we swam further into the bay some local seals followed us along the way. It was a beautiful landing spot.

It was quite something to finish the first of a series of swims. This was the first time Aly, Ben, and Jasmine completed a 10km+  and Drew a 5km + ocean swim.

As Ben discovered, marathon swimming is tough business!

Our final track.

If you have not yet had an opportunity and would like to help the community donations can be made here.