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

Thursday, August 25, 2016

2016 North Channel result

On Wednesday, August 24 I had a successful solo swim of the grueling 21 mile North Channel between Ireland and Scotland in a time of 14 hours and 22 minutes. Setting a new world record for the Oldest Woman to successfully swim across the channel.  On the day of my swim I was 65 years and 204 days old.  The North Channel widely known as the most challenging swim in the world.  Mother Nature was kind and gave calm conditions. Water temp averaged 55 degrees Fahrenheit, 13 degrees Celsius.  My boat pilot said that I actually swam 26 miles due to strong currents. With calm conditions, Lion Mane jellyfish rise to the surface.  I was stung over every inch of my body. At one point during my swim, a jellyfish with a dome the size of a dinner plate, lodge onto my goggles.  I was viewing the underside of its dome with its tentacle wrapped on my face. I shook my head with hopes of it falling off....it did not. I had to pry it's dome off my goggles and face.  My skin was inflamed by the stings but the cold water help soothe my skin. It was a unique experience! Ha! Ha!
Prior to my swim I had my son write on my arm the name of my brother Robbie who died of a heart attack at the age of 34 and my brother Johnny who died at the age of 17.  I thought of them during my swim.
I became only the 41st person in history to have a successful channel crossing of this unforgiving channel.  For a successful crossing, it takes a pilot like Quinton Nelson with great navigational skills to find the best route and tides for the swimmer.  Quinton thank you.  Also, having a crew knowledgeable about marathon swimming is vital.  My son Tom did an incredible job. He knew exactly what needed to be done. Many thanks to my son Tom.  Fergal Somerville another crew member was amazing. He went well beyond the scope of a crew member. At the end of my swim, he jumped into the water to film me touching Scotland.  I can't thank him enough. Also. I would like to thank Molly the official for the Irish Long Distance Swim Association. She was fantastic.  My crew at home was a huge help.  My daughter Sarah placed  postings on Facebook and my blog. Also, she sent several photos of family members to Fergal. Fergal had contacted Sarah earlier in the week for family photos. He enlarged the photos and laminated each one.  Each hour of my swim my crew would attach a photo to the railing on the boat.  It was wonderful to see all the photos.  Thank you. My husband Jim has been a huge support for all my marathon swims. I can't thank him enough.  He's the best!   I want to thank my extended family members especially  my brother David and sister-in-law Jeannie for helping to crew for other swims. I want to thank everyone who posted words of encouragement and support on Facebook and my blog.   I want to thank Jackie Cobell's for inspiring me to continue with my swim no matter how long it would take.  Jackie has the world record for longest time of 28 hours to swim across the English Channel.  Also, a special thank you to Sal Minty Gravett for giving me advise on taking a prescription anti-nausea medication.  It was a tremendous help. Also, I want to thank Dr. Gregory Sawyer of Maine Medical Partners, who performed right shoulder surgery last September.  It was a success! I have no shoulder issues. Thank you.   And thank you to David Knop, P.T. (and his team)  at Livevital P.T. and Performance in Portland, for helping me in the first crucial months after my surgery.  Thank you to swim instructor Patti Drew of  Casco Bay YMCA. She was instrumental in correcting my many flaws in my freestyle.  Lastly I want to thank everyone for posting words of encouragement and support on Facebook and my blog....it is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

12 comments:

docshock said...

Pat, reading this post is so inspirational. None of us do things like you do without help and you have thanked the many people who provided help and support. We love you for being you! You are amazing. This swim was amazing. Well deserved kudos to you and your whole team of supporters!

Tracy Clark said...

So so happy for you Pat!! You are the definition of persistence and inspiration! I hope we get to meet again some day txx

pat said...

Thank you for posting.... I appreciate your comment.

pat said...

Tracy, Thank you for your kind words....I appreciate it. I'm sure we'll cross paths some day.

Linda Kilbride Reinholdtsen said...

Pat, we are so proud of you. You have such a can do attitude. You are such an inspiration.

pat said...

Linda, Thank you for posting. I greatly appreciate your comment.

Meg said...

Amazing! Inspiring ! Congratulations hard-earned and very well deserved.

pat said...

Meg, Thank you for your kind words. I greatly appreciate your comments.

Anonymous said...

Pat you are my hero! You are courageous, strong, fearless and never give up! I still remember the day I first met you as a Westbrook teen ... you were wearing a bathing suit! How appropriate lol.

Gayle Gilman Grant

pat said...

Gayle, What a wonderful surprise! How are you? It's been many years since our high school days. Are you living in the area? And, thank you for your kind words....it's very much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Pat. Yes it has been many years, I wasn't sure you'd remenber me. : ) I am still in the area. After living in Buxton since 1981 my husband and I moved to the woods in Waterboro this year. Earlier this sunner a doe and her beautiful, twin fawns visited our backyard! I really can't get over your strength and endurance. When I was very young the family went to Old Orchard Beach one day and found the shore covered with jelly fish. Not sure that's what they were but it's what we called them. Anyway, my brother Gary and I each stuck a foot out to touch one of them and apparently it wasn't dead because shortly after we both experienced excruciating stomach pain and nausea. And that was just from a toe touch. I truly cannot imagine how you endured being stung all over during that long swim. The swim alone was enough of a feat! Heck, I would have been scared just being in the boat!

Gayle

pat said...

Gayle, You were daring and brave to touch a jellyfish in your childhood. I would have run in the other direction. Ha! Ha! Hope to see you soon.