Maritime Open-Water Swims

Northumberland Strait

Data gathered with the aid of Jennifer Alexander, CBC Reports, swimmers, and others

Bridge.jpg

f_logo.jpg

 

Background  |  Start & Finish  |  Tides & Currents  |  Water Temperature  |  Marine Life  |  Recorded Swims

strait-map-1.jpgBackground

Long before the construction of the Confederation Bridge between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island to the north, swimmers sought to swim across the Northumberland Strait.  The first crossing is credited to Evelyn Henry on 15 July 1951.  Published times for Evelyn’s swim range between 8 hours 26 minutes and 9 hours 53 minutes.

In the absence of an official organizing body, the details of the various swims are sparse; however, there has been increasing interest in the swim since the year 2000.  Consequently, this listing has been compiled to help identify the real accomplishments of those who have made the crossing without swimming aids such as wet suits, swim fins, etc.

Jennifer Alexander compiled the original data and the associated extensive list of references.  We would appreciate receiving additional details from anyone who can provide such information.  Please send the material to the Webmaster.

Further details are reported on OpenWaterPedia.

Some illustrations were obtained from the CBC web site that reported on Kristin Roe’s swim in great detail.

The Northumberland Strait has proven to be an excellent training ground for the English Channel. In 1989, Barb MacNeill went on to become Canada's 15th person, and only Atlantic Canadian, to swim across the English Channel.  Mike Gaudet swam around Manhattan in 1985, and also made an attempt on the English Channel. Jen Alexander's 2006 English Channel attempt was aborted by the captain, but she will reattempt the swim in 2009.

 

Starting and Ending Points

The Northumberland Strait coastline has changed considerably since Evelyn Henry first swam the strait. Prior to 1966, Cape Jourimain was Jourimain Island, and was not connected to the mainland. Construction of the Confederation Bridge began in 1993, and concluded in 1997. As the main piers of the bridge are 250 metres apart, the bridge can give swimmers a sense of their progress (or lack of) as they swim across the strait.

The starting points and courses taken by the swimmers have varied greatly over the years.  The straight-line distance across the Strait is a minimum of 8 miles (13 km) from Cape Jourimain (1 on the map above) at the eastern side of the Confederation Bridge (NB) to Borden (3) at the eastern side of the Bridge on PEI.  The bridge's slight bend increases its length over water to 12.9 km.

Swimming from Cape Tormentine (2) to the same finishing point at Borden (3) adds a mile (1.6 km) to the course.  Longer courses, up to 32 km, have finished at Summerside (5) on PEI, or at an intermediate point on Seacow Head (4).

The need for an official Recording Body is again emphasized by the media reports of starting or finishing points.  Media often fail to differentiate between Cape Tormentine and Cape Jourimain; and at least one article used the phrase "Cape Tormentine's Jourimain Island", even though it hasn't been an island since 1966.

 

Tides and Currents

The Northumberland Strait experiences predictable but irregular tides. During the summer of 2008, the tides will last between 2h 47min and 8h 36min. Tide information can be found on the website of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Currents peak at 2.0 knots (3.7 km/h) during the spring tide and, once each summer month, typically run at a minimum of 0.7-1.0 knots (1.3-1.9 km/h). Information on the tidal currents is not available online, but can be found in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans's "Canadian Tide and Current Tables". These books are available at authorized chart dealers, and often in public libraries.

Due to the tides and currents, swimmers invariably cover a V-shaped or Z-shaped course, with the deviation from a straight-line being dependent upon their speed and the phase of the moon (Spring tide or neap tide).

In contrast with the tides of the English Channel, which change 3-6 metres between high and low tide, the tides of the Northumberland Strait are far gentler, changing 2 metres at most, and occasionally not changing at all.

 

Water Temperature

All successful swims to date have been completed between July 15 and September 6. Near real-time and cumulative historical temperatures can be accessed through Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Remote Sensing service. Temperatures between mid-July and early September typically range between 18°C-20°C.

A temperature plot for early August 2007 is shown in the adjacent picture.  PEI is identified by the large white arrow, and the smaller white arrow identifies the 20°C point on the temperature scale.

 

Marine Life

Jellyfish can be a challenge in the Northumberland Strait during the summer months.  According to the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, only five of the 56 species of jellyfish that occur in Atlantic Canadian waters are harmful to humans. Lion's Mane jellyfish are dominant, with moon jellies present to a lesser extent. Portuguese man-o-war are rare, and only get blown into Atlantic Canadian waters by the gulf stream at the end of summer.

At the height of their season, the frequency of jellyfish can be overwhelming, and can be as high as one jellyfish for every 4 square metres. Jen Alexander reports being stung 10 times during the first 30 minutes of one of her swims, and estimates being stung 45 times on her single crossing, and 60-80 times on her double crossing. Jellyfish seem to concentrate at the shore, and begin to die out toward the end of July.

There are large crabs near-shore; swimmers would be wise to look before putting their feet down. Fishermen claim that the strait is too shallow for sharks, and state that they have never seen them in the vicinity. (Near the bridge, the strait reaches a depth of 26 metres.) Seals also inhabit the strait.

On his web site “Swimming Downhill”, George Park recalls his participation in one of the Professional races across the Strait:

 

Recorded Swims

The details have been retrieved from various reports in the news media and the sources of those reports are linked to the recorded times.

·         In the absence of an official recording body, there is no guarantee that these details are correct or complete.

·         The list has been broken into two parts. 

1.      The first portion lists those successful swims that employed no aids to swimming – e.g. wet suits, flippers, hand paddles, periods out of the water, or periods holding onto a supporting object, etc. 

2.      The second section lists unsuccessful attempts and swims using swimming aids (primarily wet-suited swims, but one YouTube video shows a swimmer holding onto a kayak to feed).

·         Web-links are provided where possible to extra details on the swimmer.  Links to data related to the swimmer’s time are also provided.

·         Unless otherwise noted in the Course & Notes, the swimmer has been assumed to be Canadian.

No.

Name

Age

Time

Date

Course & Notes

Successful Non-Wet-Suited Swims

1

Evelyn Henry (Brown)

23

9:53

8:49

8:26

15 Jul 1951

NB to PEI

2

Dorothy Peters

23

10:25

6 Sep 1955

NB to PEI

3

Jean LaCoursiere

27

7:10

7:18

29 Jul 1963

Jean LaCoursiere of Montreal was considered an international swimming star when he competed in the 1963 race. With a sustainable open-water speed of 2.5 miles/hour (4km/hr), Jean had not expected the race to take longer than four hours. After four hours, his supply of Coca Cola and Quebec maple syrup had run out. LaCoursiere used infrarub instead of grease.

4

John Sarret

39

10:45

NB to PEI.  John Sarrat of Nadick, Massachusetts had polio and was "chilled to a pale blue" by the water, which ranged from 59-65ºF (15-18.3ºC). Cheered on by hundreds of Islanders, John said, "If it hadn't been for you wonderful people of Prince Edward Island, I never would have made it." John finished 3h30 after the last swimmer had been pulled from the water, and 3h15 after the race had already been won. 

5

Herman Willemse

 

"a little more than five hours"

1 Aug 1964

 

NB to PEI.  Herman Willemse ("The Flying Dutchman") of Holland was recognized as a "world champion long distance swimmer". Willemse had won the 26-mile Atlantic City swim five consecutive times from 1960-1964, had swum the English Channel (12h45), and had won Lac St. Jean at least twice. The 1964 race was set to pit Willemse against LaCorsiere. Shortly before the race, however, both Willemse and LaCorsiere cancelled. As the swim committee was leaving to inform the media that they'd cancelled the swim, Willemse called back and said he'd changed his mind. Willemse swam 90-100 strokes per minute for most of the swim, but ([Ed: allegedly]) cranked up 120 strokes per minute for his final mile.

5

George Park

 

?

NB to PEI.  On his web site “Swimming Downhill”, George Park recalls his participation in one of the Professional races across the Strait:

I swam from Cape Tormentine to Borden, Prince Edward Island, four major rip tides and thousands of jellyfish, the toughest nine miles I had ever raced.

The jellyfish there are a variety that sting but are not as bad as some others I have experienced. They were in patches about 50 yards across and 100 yards in length and I went through several of these patches. I was stung all over my body.

Half way through the race due to the stings I started seeing things. Every time I looked at the side of my attending boat I saw bacon and eggs. The most disappointing thing about this swim was as I walked out of the water after finishing, someone walked up to me and handed me a dry tasteless ham sandwich, but all I wanted was the bacon and eggs that I saw on the side of the boat.

After the race was over and the prize money was given out, I was on the search for a restaurant that would make me bacon and eggs and found one who did. For about a week after that when swimming I could see jellyfish tentacles whenever my face was in the water.... even though I was swimming in Lake Ontario - no jellyfish there just lamprey eels. 

6

Ralph Brooks

14

11:23

NB to PEI.  At 14 years of age, Ralph Brooks, then of Hatfield Point, NB, became -- and still is -- the record holder as the youngest swimmer to swim the strait. 

7

Frank Gaudet

 

??:??

19 Aug 1985

Landed at Seacow Head.

8

Mike Gaudet

33

10:05

02 Aug 1986

To Summerside (32 km).  Fifth attempt in three years.

9

Terry Edison

 

7:04 ??

03 Aug 1986

Landed at Seacow Head.

10

Barb MacNeill

28

7:50 ??

Landed at Seacow Head. 

11

Barb MacNeill

29

11:23

11:25

22 Jul 1987

Jourimain Island and landed at Summerside Yacht Club.  Successful at third attempt.

12

Andrea Brown

 ???

???

1989

Daughter of Evelyn Henry

13

Kristin Roe

25

7:45

28 Jul 2005

Cape Tormentine (NB), 05:40 h, to 1 km east of the Confederation Bridge, Borden (PEI), 13:25 h. CBC Report.

 14

Jen Alexander

31

11:04

15 Jul 2006

NB to PEI.  Jen Alexander, a Halifax swimmer with type 1 ("juvenile") diabetes, conducted 32 blood tests while treading water to manage her diabetes. Jen swam attached to a waterproof insulin pump, and was able to maintain her blood sugars at an average level of 7.0 mmol/L. Scheduling conflicts lead Jen to swim on the spring tide, during one of the fastest currents of the swim season. The strong currents and strong tides pulled Jen approximately 15 kilometres east of the bridge. During the worst of the tide, Jen made only 10 metres of forward progress in a 15-minute window. 

 15

Lara Gibson

34

5:15

25 Jul 2006

Lara Gibson of Halifax, NS, started on Cape Jourimain at the foot of the Confederation Bridge, and landed just west of the bridge. Lara had been on track for a 4-hour swim, but currents slowed her progress during the final kilometre.

 16

Jen Alexander

32

19:17

25-26 Jul 2007

First two-way swim: Cape Jourimain, NB to Borden, PEI to Cape Tormentine, NB. Jen Alexander, a Halifax swimmer with Type 1 ("juvenile") diabetes, conducted 60 blood tests while treading water to manage her diabetes. Jen adjusted the flow rate on her waterproof insulin pump 14 times during the swim to maintain control of her diabetes, and averaged 6.2 mmol/L during the best 10 consecutive hours of the swim. Jen swam from NB to PEI in 6:47 -- one of the fastest recorded single crossings. Her luck changed on the journey back, however. Pushed back by the wind and the tides, it took her 8 hours to swim the remaining 5 kilometres. Local media report

17

Kristin Roe

27

<15h ??

26 Jul 2008

Two-way Swim. Borden-Carleton-PEI.  CBC report no longer available.

18

Jen Alexander

33

???

??-?? Jul 2008

PEI-NB-NS attempt.  Jen made it from PEI to NB but was pulled out of the water before making it to NS.

19

Jill Leon

52

4:33:57

11 Aug 2008

The fastest male or female non-wet-suited crossing of the Strait.  Jill (Taylor) Leon has a great history of swimming achievements and contributions to swimming.  She established the Dalhousie Masters swim programme.

20

Kristin Roe

29

>6h

28 Jun 2010

A cool crossing in an average of 13.5°C water that provided the 6h qualifying swim for her subsequently successful crossing of the English Channel in 16:40.

21

Steuart Martens

30

3:29

4 Aug 2013

GiveToLive: The Big Swim #3

Cape Jourimain (NB) to Borden (PEI).  Data provided by Heather McGrath.
USA swimmer.

Bright, sunny day.  Minimal wind.
Steuart was the only swimmer who did not wear a Wet Suit.

The FASTEST reported crossing of the Strait by a non-wet-suited swimmer.

22

Suzanne Nicholson

22

5:33:30

18 Aug 2013

Cape Jourimain (NB) to Borden (PEI). 

Suzanne’s swim raised about $11,000 for the UPEI Panthers swim team.

Timekeepers/Observers: Heath Glover and Gary Pike.

23

Jeremy Davidson (M)

32

5:43

2 Aug 2014

Cape Jourimain (NB) to Borden (PEI).

Start: 6:23 am.  Finish: 12:06 am.

Details as reported by Jeremy Davidson.

Timers: Sherise Davidson and Tara Leskie, and the Davidson and Leskie family and kids.

Safety Boat: Captain, Hanson Spence.

Medic & Kayaker: Joshua Leskie.

Cloudy sky, calm water, 26°C air temperature, calm water that was reported as “Cold” for the first 90 minutes; however, this was Jeremy’s first non-wet-suited swim across the Strait and was #4 of his training for the “Bigger Swim” – his planned two-way crossing of the Strait that was set for 23 August 2014.

24

Jeremy Davidson (M)

32

16:15

(8:04)

(8:11)

23 Aug 2014

The Bigger Swim

Two-Way.  Cape Jourimain (NB) to Borden (PEI) and return to Cape Jourimain (NB).

Details as reported by Jeremy Davidson, Canada.com, and The Royal Canadian Dragoons.

Start: 6:40 am.  Finish: 10:55 pm

NB to PEI: 8:04

PEI to NB: 8:11
Observers of the start, turn and finish were Sherise Davidson and members of the Neil Squire Society.

Bev Grasse (NSS) posed with Jeremy for a photo at the start of his swim.

Medic & Kayaker: Joshua Leskie.

No other team members on the water.

Jeremy is an army corporal from Vancouver and based at CFB Gagetown, NB.

Rough water, heavy swells, white caps, and air temperature around 19°C.

Successful Wet-Suited Swims

1

Jessica Fraser (F)

26

5:00:15

03 Sep 2001

Data supplied by Jessica Fraser.

Wet-suited swim.

Left Cape Jourimain at 9:15am and arrived at Seacow Head at 2:15pm – almost exactly 5 hours later.

George and Winnie Sheen (along with another sailing gentleman - name not available?) from the Summerside Yacht Club provided the support boat, plus 2 kayakers, Mike Orr and Simon Sagar from Halifax.

Since the swim was just days before the 9-11 attacks in the United States, the fundraising for Nova Scotia Kidsport was cut short; however, the Chronicle Herald and Daily News in Halifax covered the story, and Jessica reports that the Journal Pioneer included a photo of her arriving on the rocks at Seacow Head.

In addition, Global Television ran a story profiling Jessica’s efforts prior to the swim (August 31st, 2001) and CBC Radio's main street conducted interviews with her both pre- and post-swim (August 30th, and September 4th). 

2

Jean-Francois Bergeron

33

3:25

29 Aug 2004

Borden to Cape Tormentine.

 

Denis Sonier reported that all of the swimmers wore Wet Suits.

 

Race organized by Circuit de l’Est.  Contact Denis Sonier.

 

Strong winds of 60-70 km/h forced the swimmers to change their initial plans.  So the swim started in PEI (Borden) and finished on the new Brunswick shore (Cape Tormentine), with the strong wind aiding the leading swimmers.

3

Marie-Josée D’Amour

36

3:58

4

Melanie Leger

16

4:15

5

Serge Melanson

4:32

6

Josée Haché

19

5:14

7

Pierre Samson

64

5:45

8

Lise Caron

49

7:10

9

Denis Sonier

65

7:10

10

Denis Sonier

70

7:02

20 Aug 2009

Wet-suit swim. Cape Tormentine (NB) to Borden (PEI).  Denis’ tribute to his pilot Captain Hanson Spence.

11

Peter McCormick

53

5:20

21 Aug 2011

GiveToLive: The Big Swim #1

Cape Jourimain (NB) to Borden (PEI).  Wet suit.  Men in Suits fund-raising of over $45,000 for Children’s charities.

12

Todd MacDonald

36

5:50

13

Chris Dobbin

37

6:40

14

Christopher Dawson

45

6:49:50

13 Jul 2012

Cape Jourimain (NB) to Bells Point (1 km east of Borden (PEI).  Wet suit.  Triathlete Chris encountered some unpredicted currents in the middle stages of the swim that slowed his progress.

CBC News report.

15

Meghan Todd (F)

23

3:45

14 Aug 2012

GiveToLive: The Big Swim #2

Cape Jourimain (NB) to Borden (PEI).

Data provided by Heather McGrath.
Bright, sunny day.  Minimal wind.
All swimmers wore Wet Suits.

16

David MacDonald (M)

27

3:45

17

Mark Campbell (M)

44

4:30

18

Joachim Stroink (M)

40

4:40

19

Todd McDonald (M)

37

5:10

20

Doran Donovan (M)

44

5:15

21

Dan MacDougall (M)

24

5:30

22

Peter Cameron (M)

23

7:15

DNF

Chris Dobbin (M)

38

DNF

23

Carolyn Rowe-Turner

43

4:47

14 Aug 2012

Cape Jourimain (NB) to Borden (PEI).  Wet suit.

Journal Pioneer news report.

24

Eva Strongman

38

4:47

25

Carolyn Rowe-Turner

43

4:47

Cape Jourimain (NB) to Borden (PEI).  Wet suit.

Journal Pioneer news report.

26

Jill Leon

57

9:48

31 Jul 2013

PEI swimmer.  Caribou (NS) to Wood Islands (PEI), 24.5 km.  Wet suit.

CBC News report and map.

CBC video, 3:03.

Map.

27

Keith Dwyer (M)

20

3:50

4 Aug 2013

GiveToLive: The Big Swim #3

Cape Jourimain (NB) to Borden (PEI).

Data provided by Heather McGrath.
Bright, sunny day.  Minimal wind.
Steuart Martens (USA) was the only non-wet-suited swimmer to complete the course and is listed in the Non-Wet-Suited swims.

All swimmers wore Wet Suits and a YouTube video shows one swimmer holding onto a kayak to feed.

 

There was also plenty of coverage from the news media.  Detailed below are links to articles that may still be accessed (as of May 2014):

 

Newspaper/Online:
The Canadian Press article appeared in the:
Victoria Times Colonist (from BC!!) http://www.timescolonist.com/life/health/34-people-swim-from-new-brunswick-to-prince-edward-island-for-charity-1.569659
Waterloo Record (from Ontario):
http://www.therecord.com/news-story/3924461-32-people-swim-from-new-brunswick-to-pei-for-charity/
Metro News Canada:
http://metronews.ca/news/canada/757437/34-swim-northumberland-strait-for-fundraiser/
Halifax Chronicle Herald (page A4):
http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/1146024-big-swim-from-nb-to-pei-raises-cash-to-support-those-with-chronic-illness
Truro Daily News:
http://www.trurodaily.com/News/Local/2013-08-05/article-3339853/34-people-swim-from-New-Brunswick-to-Prince-Edward-Island-for-charity/1
Charlottetown Guardian:
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-08-04/article-3339166/The-Big-Swim-a-big-success/1

Custom articles also appeared in the following newspapers:
Journal Pioneer:
http://www.journalpioneer.com/News/Local/2013-08-05/article-3339451/Taking-the-plunge/1
Kings County News:
http://www.kingscountynews.ca/Sports/2013-08-04/article-3338915/The-next-thing-I-know-Im-swimming-to-PEI/1
Hants Journal:
http://www.hantsjournal.ca/Sports/2013-08-04/article-3339193/Annapolis-Valley-women-conquer-Northumberland-Strait/1


TV:
There was write-up and photo on all three sites CBC Nova Scotia/PEI/New Brunswick:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2013/08/04/ns-big-swim.html
CTV:
http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/34-people-swim-from-new-brunswick-to-prince-edward-island-for-charity-1.1398118.

 

Radio:
CBC Fredericton with Olivia Leger: http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Shows/Maritimes/Information+Morning+-+Fredericton/ID/2399511312/

Online:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2013/08/04/ns-big-swim.html

http://www.optimyz.com/fitness/4113

28

Johanna Campbell (F)

34

3:53

29

Tim Houtsma (M)

39

3:58

30

Colby Grogan (M)

21

4:39

31

Robert (Bob) Grant

56

4:39

32

Jennifer MacKay (F)

30

4:42

33

Jessica Plummer (F)

15

4:50

34

Todd McDonald (M)

38

4:51

35

Joanne Weiss Reid (F)

39

4:53

36

Suzanne Ferrier (F)

42

4:58

37

Beth Hamilton (F)

23

5:00

38

Jeremy Davidson (M)

31

5:01

39

Sue Sirrs (F)

48

5:04

40

Angie Briand (F)

38

5:10

41

Jeff Langill (M)

39

5:16

42

James Keirstead (M)

45

5:18

43

Hillary Windsor (F)

23

5:24

44

Tyler Anstey (M)

30

5:36

45

Leanne Whiting (F)

33

5:37

46

Ashdynn Bramfield (F)

20

5:40

47

James Lamond (M)

29

5:44

48

Shawn Lewis (M)

41

5:49

49

Anna Naylor (F)

22

5:58

50

Laura Whynacht (F)

30

5:59

51

Alicia Forbes (F)

22

6:07

52

Olivia Leger (F)

20

6:16

53

Kirk MacLeod (M)

41

6:25

54

Janice Beaver (F)

30

6:40

55

Angie Selig (F)

40

7:06

56

Jennifer Nicholls (F)

37

7:16

*

Luke Mosher (M)

16

DNF

1 km to go

*

Mary Hewitt (F)

41

DNF

*

Constance L’Ecuyer (F)

49

DNF

57

Lynn De Lathouwer-Rodgers (F)

42

~4:45

16 Aug 2013

Cape Jourimain (NB) to Borden (PEI).  Wet Suits.

Times, as reported by the swimmers.

Stacey has Type 1 diabetes and needed to monitor and adjust her blood sugars during the swim.

Swimming to support “Crossing the Strait to Support Diabetes”.

Link to Lynn’s report on her swim with Stacey.

58

Stacey Van Wart (F)

40

~5:00

59

Jeremy Davidson (M)

32

5:28

13 Jul 2014

Cape Jourimain (NB) to Borden (PEI).  Wet Suits (Sleeveless).

Details as reported by Jeremy Davidson.

Rough swim (15-20 knot winds), with plenty of jelly-fish stings.

Safety Boat: Captain, Hanson Spence. Deckhands, Mike Gelinas and Judy Long.

Kayak Crew: Kasia Danigier, Jeremy Froese, Heather Shannahan, Dawn MacDonald.

On the day of the swim, Ania cut her hair and donated it to support cancer research.

60

Ania Danigier (F)

26

5:37

61

Jeremy Davidson (M)

32

~7:15

19 Jul 2014

Cape Tormentine (NB) to Lord’s Seaside Cottages, Cape Traverse (PEI), 46.222498°N, 63.646002°W..

Xterra sleeveless wetsuit, plus leg-support floaters.

Start: about 6:45 am.  Finish: Just after 2:00 pm

Details as reported by Jeremy Davidson.  As an Army man and a Rescue Swimmer with 12+ years in the Navy, his comments on the swim become even more meaningful.

Cloudy day with moderate waves at the start that became 1-2 m swells, with many stings from the Lion’s Mane and Moon jellies.
Jeremy was targeting the Borden Beach but got caught at the tide 1120 hrs and, after fighting the flow, decided to aim for the nearest shore at Cape Traverse. 

When his Dad was diagnosed with a severe arthritic condition in 2010, Jeremy was stimulated to start to raise funds for associated treatment provided by the Neil Squire Society that has helped his father so much.
So this is just #3 of Jeremy’s training for “The Bigger Swim” - a two-way crossing of the Strait planned for August 2014.

Safety Boat: Captain, Hanson Spence.  Kayaker: J Knight.

62

Andrew Järvis (M)

22

5:11

2 Aug 2014

Cape Jourimain (NB) to Borden (PEI).

Start: 6:23 am.  Finish: 11:34 am.

Details as reported by Jeremy Davidson.

Timers: Sherise Davidson and Tara Leskie, and the Davidson and Leskie family and kids.

Safety Boat: Captain, Hanson Spence.

Medic & Kayaker: Joshua Leskie.

63

Jessica Fraser-Thomas (F)

39

4:15

13 Aug 2014

Cape Jourimain, NB (west side of bridge) to Bell’s Point (PEI).

Start 6:05 am.  Finish 10:20 am.

Details provided by Jessica Fraser-Thomas.

XXXXXXX

O3her Recorded Attempts

*

Bill Connor

Aborted

29 Jul 1963

After a 9:10am start, Bill was in second place by 9:30am (500 yards short of first place). By 12:00pm, he had slipped to third place. At 2:45pm, Bill was back in second place, 2 miles from shore, but 4.5 miles from Borden. Bill ended the race at 3pm due to sea sickness. Bill lived in Halifax at the time of the race, had previously won the Halifax 5-mile and 15-mile swims, and had "placed well" at a CNE swim. 

*

Gerald MacKenzie

Aborted

After a 9:10am start, Gerald MacKenzie of the HMCS Stadecona was in third place by 9:30am. By noon, he'd moved up to second place, but fell back to fifth place by 2:45pm. At 4:15pm, he was "out of the race -- off course". MacKenzie was the last swimmer to be pulled from the water.

*

Morgan Mitchell

Aborted

Morgan Mitchell, of Charlottetown, pulled out of the race after 1 hour and 50 minutes of swimming, due to cramps in his left leg.

*

Davison Biggar

Aborted

Davison Biggar of Charlottetown ended his race after 5 hours and 40 minutes due to being pushed off course.

*

Donnie “Turk” Arsenault

Aborted

Donald "Turk" Arsenault of Summerside was in 7th place after 80 minutes, 5th place after 2 hours and 50 minutes, and out of the water with cramps after 4h35.

*

Helen Carragher

19

Aborted

Helen Carragher of Ebbsfleet was a crowd favourite, and fought for more than an hour without progress. After 6h35, she was off course and pulled from the waters "nearly exhausted". Helen was the second-last swimmer to leave the water.

*

Ronald Burns

Aborted

Ronald Burns of Cape Tormentine left the water after 2h10 because of cramps.

*

Richard Brown

Aborted

1982

 

*

Barb MacNeill

Aborted

19 Aug 1985

Barb was one of six Summerside Masters Swim Club swimmers to attempt the 21-mile swim to the Summerside Yacht Club.

*

Mike Gaudet

Aborted

Mike was one of six Summerside Masters Swim Club swimmers to attempt the 21-mile swim to the Summerside Yacht Club.

*

Terry Edison

Aborted

Terry was one of six Summerside Masters Swim Club swimmers to attempt the 21-mile swim to the Summerside Yacht Club.

*

Cyril Perry

Aborted

Cyril was one of six Summerside Masters Swim Club swimmers to attempt the 21-mile swim to the Summerside Yacht Club.

*

Jim Thain

Aborted

Jim was one of six Summerside Masters Swim Club swimmers to attempt the 21-mile swim to the Summerside Yacht Club.

*

Ben Kraimer

Aborted

Ben, from Quebec, was the only non-Summerside swimmer to attempt the 21-mile swim to the Summerside Yacht Club.

*

Lori Wedge

Aborted

04 Aug 1986

NB to PEI. Seasickness caused Lori to abort her swim after three hours.

*

Frank Gaudet

Aborted

NB to PEI. Frank ended his swim after 4.5 hours because of leg cramps.

*

Larry Rhindress

Aborted

NB to PEI. Larry Rhindress of Fredericton, NB, was "pulled onboard" for unspecified reasons just 1 kilometre away from his destination at Borden.

*

Wayne Berry

Aborted

31 May 1997

Wet-suited swims.  Wayne and Johnathan attempted to swim along the line of the Confederation Bridge during the bridge's opening ceremonies, but experimental weights in their wetsuits strained their knee muscles, causing them to abort their attempts.

*

Johnathan Hickey

Aborted

*

Johnathan Hickey

Incomplete

28 Aug 1997

Claimed that they swam 67 kilometres, but either hung on to the boat or got on the boat regularly to eat. Got on the boat to motor over to a fisherman and ask for directions.

*

Wayne Berry

Incomplete

*

Jen Alexander

38

Aborted

28 Aug 2013

Traditional (Non-wet-suited) swim from Cape Jourimain (NB). 

10 hours 42 minutes of one-arm swimming and travelling a distance of 16.6 km before the headwind forced her to retire.

Jen has conquered the Strait in the past; however, her ongoing battle with the management of the physiological aspects exacerbated shoulder problems that even Jen’s determination and extensive physiotherapy could not conquer . . . so, she decided that a “one-arm” swim was the only way she could get back into the waters she loves.

Jen’s extensive report is perhaps one of the best documented swims on the Strait and is worthwhile reading from that standpoint; however, it is more important in terms of documenting the extra challenges encountered by an athlete managing diabetes.

The plot of her course alone tells the story of the head-wind.

whale.jpg

Data provided by Jen Alexander

Denis Sonier & Peter McCormick

Collected Media References

Contact Webmaster

 

Constructed 24 March 2008

Last Updated 30 August 2014