2017 English Channel swim

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Lake Windermere swim results

On Wednesday, August 22, 2018,  I successfully reached the finish line of Lake Windermere (12 miles) in England at the age of 67 years and 201 days.  My time was 7 hours and 38 minutes.  My fourth swim of the Stillwater 8 challenge.  My crew of David and Jeannie Gallant, and Jean Murdoch-Gallant were instrumental in my success.  They closely monitored my swim and never took any breaks.   They were absolutely amazing.  My boat pilot, Julie Bradshaw, was a tremendous help, too.  Julie has piloted many swimmers and knows the best route to swim.
Many thanks to my daughter Sarah for updating Facebook postings.   A huge thanks to my husband who has been extremely supportive of my swim adventures.  And thank you to my son Tom who encouraged me several years ago to try open water swimming.   My swim was a tribute to my brothers Robbie and Johnny, and to my mother.

Contact information:  patgallant.charette@gmail.com

Monday, August 20, 2018

Lake Windermere swim

On Wednesday I will attempt to swim across Lake
Windermere in England.   The length of this lake is 12 miles.  I am swimming Windermere because it's part of the Stillwater Eight Challenge (Eight lakes worldwide).   My boat pilot will be swimming legend and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee Julie Bradshaw.  She was the first person to swim Butterfly across the English Channel.  My crew will be David and Jeannie Gallant and Jean Murdoch-Gallant.  My spot tracker will be activated 10 minutes before the start of my swim.    Keeping my fingers crossed for great conditions.


Loch Ness swim result

After swimming for 13 hours, 45 minutes, and 45 seconds,  I reached the finish line in Fort Augustus.  My crew David and Jeannie Gallant, Observer Jean Murdoch and boat pilot/observer Ryan Tozer were instrumental in my success.   They were incredible!  I can’t thank them enough.
My swim will be ratified by the Marathon Swimming Federation.   At the age of 67 years and 198 days I became the Oldest Person to swim the notorious Loch Ness.
   I was fortunate at the beginning of my swim to have a strong tail wind pushing me to the finish.  Mother Nature provided very good conditions.
  Many thanks to my family and friends for their ongoing encouragement and support.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my crew.  They were absolutely amazing.   Also, thank you to my daughter Sarah for posting updates on my swim.
Now, onto Lake Windermere in two days.
Contact information:  patgallant.charette@gmail.com

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Upgraded Tracking link for Loch Ness swim

Many thanks to the Marathon Swimming Federation for providing this wonderful link for tracking my swim of Loch Ness.  My swim will start just after 5am on Sunday and that equals just after midnight Saturday in Maine.   This link will be activated 10 minutes prior to the start of my swim.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Update on Loch Ness swim

Due to windy conditions expected on Saturday, my swim will take place on Sunday sometime after 5am (Scotland time).  Scotland is five hours ahead of my home state of Maine.  Time in Maine will be sometime after midnight Saturday night (EST).  Because of northerly winds expected for Sunday, my swim will start at Lochend instead of Fort Augustus.  The finish line will be Fort Augustus.   The same rules of marathon swimming will apply to my Loch Ness swim....start on dry land and end on dry land, swimmer cannot be touched and cannot touch boat.  No neoprene.  Regular swimsuit and goggles must be worn.
  Please see previous post for link to my Spot Tracker.  It will be activated ten minutes prior to the start of my swim.   My crew of David, Jeannie, and Jean have been fabulous.  I’m so fortunate to have them crew for me.  Many thanks to my family and friends for their encouraging words of support.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Loch Ness swim

     Early Saturday morning, August 18 I will attempt to swim the 23 mile length of Loch Ness in Scotland (weather permitting).   This swim is part of the Still Water Eight Challenge, a group of 8 marathon swims in lakes worldwide.   Loch Ness is known for its alleged sightings of the Loch Ness Monster.   My three young grandchildren are very excited that I might see Nessie.  My crew will have a camera in hand just in case they see the infamous Nessie.  Ha! Ha!
    My biggest concern for this swim is the very low water temperature.  For the past month, it has rained nearly everyday causing lower then normal temperatures.  I expect the water temperature to be 50 degrees and if I'm lucky it will reach 54.  Forecast predicted for our nine day stay is rain everyday with windy conditions.  Not a good weather report for a marathon swim.   The odds are stacked heavily against me for a successful swim due to decreased water temps.   Regardless of the poor conditions for a swim, I will attempt it.     My brother David and sister-in-law's Jeannie and Jean will be my crew.  They are highly trained crew members and I am very fortunate to have them with me.  They know how to treat hypothermia which I will undoubtedly experience.  My swim will start around 5:30am in Fort Augustus and finish at the opposite end of the Loch.    My crew will activate my Spot Tracker 10 minutes prior to the start of my swim.  Due to time zone change,  my swim will start at 12:30am Eastern Time Zone on Saturday morning,   Scotland is 5 hours ahead so my swim would start at 5:30am their time.    Regardless of the outcome, I will update my blog within 24 hours of the completion of my swim.  Two days after my Loch Ness swim,  my crew and I will drive to England for my next marathon swim.  I will attempt to swim the 12 mile length of Lake Windermere.   It is included in the Still Water Eight Challenge.   I will post the link to my my Windermere swim a day before my swim that will occur on August 22 or 23 (weather permitting).  A special thank you to my family and friends for their ongoing love and support.    You're the best!      

Contact information: patgallant.charette@gmail.com

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Lake Tahoe swim results

Swimming the length of Lake Tahoe was an adventure of a lifetime.   It was an incredible experience to swim in such pristine water and see the panoramic view of the surrounding mountains.   Because of the horrible forest fires in Northern California,  South Lake Tahoe had frequent health warnings due to haze and smoke.   I was fortunate on August 7 that the winds shifted from the East and I did not have any issues breathing in smoke.  My crew, Chris and Jean Gallant did an incredible job.  They were a huge support.  My boat pilot Tom Linthicum is highly knowledgeable on swimming Lake Tahoe.  He has completed it three times.  I would highly recommend Tom as a pilot.  He truly wants to see every swimmer succeed no matter how long it takes.   His co-pilot David Pennington was extremely helpful along with Observer Robyn Rose.  
My swim of Lake Tahoe was very challenging due to the high altitude of 6,225 feet above sea level.  My hometown in Maine is 75 feet above sea level.   Before my swim, my nephew Chris wrote his father's name on my arm and my sister-in-law Jean wrote my brother Johnny and my mom on my arm.  My swim was in memory of them.    As I started my swim from Camp Richardson, I felt like I was breathing in a paper bag for the first ten minutes.   It was awful!  I decided to swim slower and it made a tremendous difference.   Water temperature and air temperature were very comfortable at 9pm.   After sunset, air temperature dropped significantly to mid-forties.   I started to feel cold within three of hours of my swim.   After swimming for nearly seven hours, I could feel mild hypothermia starting.  I felt like quitting but decided to swim until sunrise.  I knew from experience that I would feel better at sunrise.   Sunrise was a spectacular sight.   Chris and Jean alternated kayaking in 4 hour shifts initially then to two hour shifts.   They were extremely busy the whole time monitoring my stroke, giving me feeds, and encouraging me every stroke of the way.  When I reached the half-way mark at the tenth hour,  I knew my swim would take at least 20 hours.  What I didn't expect was the strong currents during the last three miles of my swim.  I felt like I was swimming in place.  I wanted to quit several times because I didn't feel like I was getting anywhere.  Chris was kayaking and repeatedly told me that I was making progress but I felt like I was swimming in an eddy.   Currents were swirling and I felt like I was not going to make it to the finish line.  I decided to listen to my crew and boat crew because I knew my though process was getting a little fuzzy due to mild hypothermia.   I reached the finish line and set a new record for the oldest person to swim the length of Lake Tahoe at the age of 67 and 186 days.  And, set another record for having the slowest time of 20 hours and 32 seconds.
   It was a wonderful surprise to be greeted at the finish line by several people.   Many thanks to Jason Grant and Jarmila Carrie for traveling a great distance to see me finish.  
I would like to thank my crew for an outstanding job.  Thank you to Tom Linthicum, David Pennington, and Robin Rose...fantastic boat crew.     Thank you to my family and friends for their support.  A special thank you to my daughter Sarah for her frequent updates on Facebook.   A special thank you to my training partner Yoko Aoshima.    And, thank you to Swimsuit for All for their sponsorship.  Now, onto to my next swim of Loch Ness scheduled for next week.
Contact information:    patgallant.charette@gmail.com

Monday, August 6, 2018

It’s a go!

I will be starting my Lake Tahoe swim tonight at 9pm Pacific Time Zone, (12 midnight Eastern Time Zone).  I met with my boat pilot Tom Linthicum, his co-pilot Dave, and observer Robin Rose.   Conditions look great for the 22.6 mile length of Lake Tahoe.  Chris and Jean (crew) are well prepared for this high altitude adventure.  Many thanks to my family and friends for their ongoing encouragement and support.   Also, a special thank you to Swimsuits for All for their sponsorship.
Please see tracker link in last post for live updates.  Tracker will be activated 10 minutes prior to my swim.   Thank you everyone.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

2018 Lake Tahoe swim

I will attempt a solo swim of the 22.6 mile length of Lake Tahoe on Monday, August 6 or Tuesday, August 7 (weather permitting).  My boat pilot will be Tom Linthicum and I will have an Observer to authenticate my swim.   My crew consist of my nephew Christopher Gallant (Robbie's son) and my sister-in-law Jean Murdoch-Gallant.  They are highly trained and experienced crew members.      Part of their training for my upcoming swim is knowing the negative effect of high-altitude caused by low amounts of oxygen.   They know the signs, symptoms, and treatment for high altitude sickness.   Hopefully, I will not experience any significant adverse effect from swimming at such a high altitude, but its best to be prepared.    My hometown in Maine is 75 feet above sea level.   Lake Tahoe in California is 6,225 feet above sea level.  Usually athletes will arrive several days before a competition to become acclimated to the altitude.   Because of my busy schedule,  I will arrive on Sunday and swim on Monday evening (weather permitting).   I have crossed trained with a high altitude mask to mimic the lower oxygen levels.  This mask has had mixed reviews on its effectiveness.  Also, for the past six months I have taken an iron supplement to help with the production of additional red blood cells for the transport of oxygen.   Prior to all my swims, I am very well hydrated with water.
    Feed plan:  Swim for two hours then quickly consume a carbohydrate drink.   Thereafter, every hour feeds alternating with A: carbohydrate drink.    B: plain water with a 250 calorie food item.
       My swim will take me about 17 hours to complete.   I will start at Camp Richardson in South Lake Tahoe and swim 22.68 miles north to Hyatt Beach.
   I would like to thank Swimsuits for All for their sponsorship for my Tahoe swim.  I will be wearing one of their beautiful swimsuits.   I love this company because of their promotion of diversity among all women.    Swimsuits for All recognizes the beauty of women of all ages, shapes, and sizes.
     My swim will be in memory of my brothers Robbie and Johnny, and my mother who recently died at the age of 93.    Chris will write his dad's and my brother's names on my arm.   Jean will write my mother's name.
   I would like to thank my husband,  children, and grandchildren and friends for their ongoing encouragement and support.   And, a special thank you to my training partner Yoko Aoshima for her ongoing advice.
   I will have a GPS Spot tracker that will be on the boat during my swim.  I will be swimming between my kayaker (Chris/Jean) and the main boat.   This tracker will be activated 10 minutes prior to the start of my swim.   I will post an update on the exact time and date of my upcoming swim on Monday, August 6.   Please click on the tracking link below: