Each year I embark on a number of projects to keep me focused and healthy!
With COVID-19, I have not been able to do my typical swims from Canada to the USA or in the Great Bear Rainforest so I have turned to local waters and interesting new routes. One involved scouting Hornby Island for future swims and the other an 80 kilometre staged swim with the Spirit Orcas around Victoria’s peninsula to raise funds for COVID-19 relief. Most recently I became the first known person to swim around James Island in Haro Strait.
Two years ago I swam through the Inside Passage in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest to Koeye. This was my forth swim in the Great Bear Rainforest. It is here where I have encountered whales, jellyfish larger than any I could have ever imagined, and learned about the role the sea and the land play in living a health life. My Great Bear Swims are paused due to COVID-19. I hope to return next year and swim to Hakai.
As part of my continued journey in these the Salish Sea I organized and participated in the Great Big Swim for COVID Relief last summer. Next year I hope to be the first to swim from Race Rocks to Victoria next year. It is a truly magical place. A few years ago I worked with my friend Corey Teramura at Pearson College on the Race Rocks Challenge. We worked with a small group of students who were the first ever to swim from Race Rocks to the college.
One of my greatest joys in life is coaching the Spirit Orcas – a group of “Special Olympic” athletes who have embraced the open water. I have been training some of them to swim across the English Channel on a relay team at some point in the future. Four years ago 6 of them swam the length of Cowichan Lake relay style. Three years ago they swam a 20km relay through Gunboat Pass to Bella Bella in the Great Bear Rainforest. Last summer they completed the Great Big Swim, and 80 km staged swim around the tip of Vancouver Island. Their adventures continued this summer with a number of swims in Haro Strait as well as 3 of them swimming their first 5km swims. I am thrilled to be both their coach for this incredible, number 1 supporter and friend.
Every year I organize the Thetis Lake Swim for MS with my good friend MJ VanBergen. The past two summers the swim is on pause due to COVID-19.