Stage 3 of the Great Big Swim was as exciting as they could come. We had rounded the bend past Swartz Bay and were starting to make our way to Victoria. It was also the first time K Pod, Meliah, Maria, Lidia, Dixon, and Cheyenne, would be joining us in the water. I had prepared jump in spots along the way for some of our short distance swimmers. We also had a special guest crew member, Don Tite (and his son Trip) from Bella Bella. Don crewed for the Spirit Orcas when they swam Gunboat Pass. It was great to have him along the way.
Our entry was nice and easy, the water a cool 12 to 13 C. The true tests of cold water tolerance were just ahead as the water dropped a degree every stage of this swim.
It’s quite lovely just around from the ferry terminal. There are lots of little islands with seals and birds and interesting marine life below. The water was incredibly clear. The warm sun made for some very pleasant conditions.
After passing all of the little islands we encountered some pretty heavy marine traffic coming in and out of Blue Heron Basin. Before we crossed the entry to the basin I had a quick chat with everyone stressing the importance of staying together for crossing and swimming quickly. The boats left some pretty big waves behind them which added to our fun. With our crew by our side we made it safely across.
On the other side of the Basin Drew started to get cold. We opted to exit him to land in a small bay. There was a small local park within a few metres of our landing where Gord was able to retrieve him so he could begin the rewarming process. I continue to be amazed by Drew’s steadfast determination. I don’t know a lot of people who would want to jump back in within an hour or so after being that cold.
We continued along passing Sidney Pier and then to the Anacortes ferry terminal. We had arranged to pick-up Drew about 1 kilometre passed the ferry terminal at CY Hampson. When we arrived he was already in the water ready to go and wanting to know why I hadn’t let him come in sooner!
Our next stop was at Bazan Bay Road where K Pod would jump in and lead us to Amity Drive.
There was so much excitement when J Pod met with K Pod. Everyone had worked so hard over the summer training for the swim, and they were finally all together.
We asked K Pod to take the lead and guide us to our final destination for the day. I am so proud of all of these athletes for every inch of that swim.