Oceans Seven......Pat's Adventure of a Lifetime

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Peak training for Molokai

My training for my upcoming Molokai swim in May is going very well.   I'm swimming a minimum of five days a week, weight training three days per week, and cross training four days per week.  I am very fortunate to have an experienced crew...David and Jeannie Gallant, and Bill and Jean Gallant.   We will review all logistics of my swim including the use of a Shark Shield.   It will be the very first time that I will have a Shark Shield attached to a kayak  during an Oceans Seven swim.   Due to aggressive sharks in Hawaii,  my boat pilot requires his swimmers to have two Shark Shields.   This device will emit a harmless electronic field that will be sensitive to shark receptors.   Because the battery life lasts only 5-6 hours, I will have a spare Shark Shield charging on the boat.  I expect my swim to take 18+ hours to complete.   After five hours, a recharged Shark Shield will be exchanged on the kayak.  It will be my crew's responsibility to make sure that the battery has been turned on and working properly.  My boat pilot will be navigating a couple of hundred feet ahead of the kayak.   I will swim along side the kayak to stay within the range of the electronic field.  My swim will start late in the day from Molokai Island and I will swim into the night.  My boat pilot wants a daytime finish on Oahu due to safety reasons (boat has to navigate near rocks).    If we encounter an aggressive shark,  my swim will stop and I will be removed from the water.   Safety is always the number one priority.   At this point,  my biggest concern is motion sickness during my Molokai swim.   I have chronic issues with nausea and vomiting during marathon swims.   I will be wearing a scopolomine patch to help reduce seasickness.  Also, I will be taking an anti-nausea pill every six hours to help settle my stomach.  I am looking forward to this 28 mile swim.......it will be another wonderful adventure.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

2016 Marathon Swimmers Federation nomination

I am truly grateful and proud to announce that I am a finalist for the 2016 Solo Swim of the Year in the Global Marathon Swimmers Federation.  Only four women worldwide have been nominated.  The marathon swim community will vote for the winner of this prestigious award.   Regardless of the outcome,  it is such a great honor to be recognized for my record setting  21 mile solo swim of the  North Channel between Ireland and Scotland.   I would like to congratulate the other three nominees for their outstanding contribution in the marathon swim world.  All are worthy nominees for the Solo Swim Woman of the Year.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

2016 World Open Water Swimmer Woman of the Year

  I am truly grateful and honored to be one of the nominees for World Open Water Swimmer,  Woman of the Year.    Thirteen women were nominated worldwide for this prestigious award.  Anyone can vote.    Please read all the nominations for Woman of the Year,  Man of the Year, Performance of the Year and Offering of the Year.   Congratulations to all nominees.  Voting has started and will end on December 31, 2016.  Winner will be announced on January 1, 2017.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Molokai Channel Swim

My next marathon swim will be in May 2017  between Molokai and Oahu islands in Hawaii.     This will be my sixth swim of the Ocean's Seven challenge.   Molokai channel located in the Pacific Ocean is known for its abundant marine life,  strong currents, mighty wind,  and steep waves.  Because of the degree of difficulty of this 28 mile marathon swim, I have  hired experts from Hawaii.    Steve Haumschild of Kaiwi Channel Swim Association  will coordinate many of the logistics.   He has hired two experienced paddlers to take turns kayaking near me.    The 32 foot lead boat will be piloted by Mike Twigg-Smith.  Due to aggressive marine life in the area, Mike has required (mandatory) two Shark Shields  (purchased by swimmer) for the swim to take place.   The Shark Shield emits a harmless electronic impulse to deter sharks.  The Shark Shield will be applied to the kayak and I will swim near the kayak to stay in the electronic field.    My biggest concern is surprisingly not the sharks, but the potential of getting motion sickness due to sea conditions.   I will be wearing a scopolamine patch and take a prescription anti-nausea medication.   Ever since childhood, it doesn't take much for me to experience motion sickness.  Hopefully the medications will significantly help.   Another concern is the possibility of getting stung by box jellyfish.  These invertebrates are known for giving very painful stings worse than Portuguese man-of-war.  Their tentacles can produce toxins that can be darn right painful and cause severe reactions. They are known to come to the surface of the water at night to spawn.   I've been stung by several other types of jellyfish but never by box jellyfish.  I can tolerate a lot of pain but a toxic reaction is a potential risk.  Crew will be well prepared and trained in the treatment of box jellyfish stings. 
    My crew will consist of  David and Jeannie Gallant and Bill and Jean Gallant.  Jeannie will be on land during my swim to help relay messages from crew to family and friends back home.    On the day of my swim, my crew and I will fly to Molokai Island from Oahu.   Once we land at the airport, we will take a taxi to the beach.    During that time my boat pilot will be navigating his way from Oahu to Molokai a three hour boat trip.  The reason my boat crew and I will not travel by boat to the start of my swim is that historically many swimmers and crew became seasick before the swim started.   When my boat pilot arrives in Molokai, there are no boat docks.  My crew will need to swim a short distance out to his boat.  My swim will commence at that time.   The boat pilot prefers that all swimmers start their swim late in the day, swim into the night at the beginning of the swim and hopefully land at Sand Beach in Oahu during daylight hours the following day.    (All swim and crew supplies will be give to boat pilot twenty-four hours prior to the start of swim.).  He recommends landing on Oahu in daylight due to rough terrain.  If currents push me beyond Sand Beach, it will be easier for pilot to find a safe finish line during daytime hours.   My training is going well and I am looking forward to my next swim adventure.   Aloha!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Inspire Maine project

 After my North Channel swim in August 2016, I was contacted by Fitzgerald Photo for an interview and photo shoot for their Inspire Maine project.  I was humbled and honored to be part of their series of inspiring Mainers.   This photo was taken at Kettle Cove in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.    The photographer Brian Fitzgerald is based in Portland, Maine. Also, I would like to thank his assistant Charlie Widdis for providing great lighting for the photo.   Fitzgerald Photo can be contacted at www.fitzgeraldphoto.com
 Please visit their website to view many inspirational Mainers  www.inspiremaine.com
Many thanks to Brian Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Photo.