Yesterday we had the $45.50 pleasure of driving across the Confederation Bridge to PEI and back. We got a good view of the Northumberland Strait. We scouted out landing locations at both ends of the bridge. Conveniently both sides have parks with road access.
Then we picked up Jen Alexander, the official observer, in Charlottetown. We did a bit of the touristy thing and saw Province House, the birthplace of confederation.
We met with the pilot, Tony Trenholm and his charming wife. We also saw the boat, which has all the facilities we need. Tony knows all these waters like the back of his hand. His weather sense is not only felt in his bones but he has all the high tech equipment on his boat that anyone would need.
Today, the rest of the crew arrives.
We are looking at a small weather window tomorrow afternoon and a better one on Saturday evening.
Welcome to my Three Provinces Swim website. For those of you who don't know me, I swam Lake Ontario the easy way in 1983 and the hard way in 1984. I “came out of retirement" to swim the English Channel in 2011. In 2013, I was the oldest Canadian to swim the Strait of Catalina in California. Last year, I completed the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and became the first Canadian to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. The 3 swims are the English Channel, the Catalina Strait and the Manhattan race. (See links below for more detail.)
This year I am hoping to become the first person to do the Three Provinces double crossing of the Northumberland Strait. I plan to swim from Nova Scotia north 33 kilometers to Prince Edward Island (PEI) and then south 13 kilometers to New Brunswick. Why a swim in the Canadian Maritimes? I was looking for a cold water ocean swim and I decided it was time to be the first to swim a Canadian route. This swim is a warm up to another goal, to swim the Cook Strait between the north and south islands in New Zealand next February, one of the toughest swims in the world.
The Northumberland Strait is the site of the Confederation Bridge, 13 kilometers long, linking New Brunswick to PEI. The biggest challenge to swimming is the tide, which floods through the strait in a southeasterly direction more strongly than it ebbs northwesterly. The tides vary from 2h 47 min to 8h 36 minutes. I am expecting a maximum tide speed of 1.2 knots. The tide is at its lowest for the month during July 23-28. It will be quite the challenge to pick a start time for this 24 hour swim. The other challenge is the jelly fish, both lion’s mane and moon jellies. I am reassured that the jelly fish are not bad in July. They also tell me there are no sharks in the strait. The water temperature should be between 62 and 68 degrees F (16-20 degrees C).
There have been three double crossings of the Northumberland Strait between New Brunswick and PEI: Jen Alexander July 2007, Kristen Roe July 2008, and Jeremy Davidson August 2014. Jeremy was only accompanied by one kayaker. In light of the fact that there is no governing body for the Northumberland Strait, the level of substantiation and safety of the two dozen single crossings varies greatly. I am planning on following all the rules of the Marathon Swimming Federation and the World Open Water Swimming Association. I am ecstatic to report that Jen Alexander will be my official observer.
I am pleased to be able to use this opportunity to raise money for the Good Shepherd Centres in Hamilton. They run a network of shelters and services for troubled youth, abused women and children, the dying, the mentally and physically challenged, the hungry and the homeless. They strive to support people through crisis and help them re-establish healthy and productive lives. I am personally very grateful to a great many staff at the Good Shepherd who have helped so many of my patients. Please support my swim by donating to the Good Shepherd Centres. Thank you.