Each year I embark on a number of projects to keep me focused and healthy!
This summer, the year of COVID-19, I was not able to do my typical swims from Canada to the USA or in the Great Bear Rainforest so I 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.
Last summer 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. This year my Great Bear Swim is paused due to COVID-19. I hope to return next year and swim to Hakai.
I also continued my journey is the Salish Sea swimming with MS4MS attempting to swim 3 straits in one summer; Haro, Juan de Fuca and Georgia. As part of my continued journey in these waters participated in the Great Big Swim for COVID Relief this summer. Next summer I hope to be the first to swim from Race Rocks to Victoria next year. It is a truly magical place.
Two 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 6 of them to swim across the English Channel on a relay team at some point in the future. Three years ago they swam the length of Cowichan Lake relay style. Two years ago they swam a 20km relay through Gunboat Pass to Bella Bella in the Great Bear Rainforest. This past summer they completed the Great Big Swim, and 80 km staged swim around the tip of Vancouver Island. I am thrilled to be both their coach for this incredible, number 1 supporter and friend.
I also coached my friend Meliah to become the first known Canadian with Down Syndrome to swim 5 KM in the open water. Meliah has joined the Spirit Orcas and completed the Great Big Swim along with Jasmine and I.
Every year I organize the Thetis Lake Swim for MS with my good friend MJ VanBergen. And as an ongoing project I share my experiences with MS on msathlete.org, my personal blog. This past summer the swim is on pause due to COVID-19.