Solo Swims of Ontario Inc.

Hall of Fame

Pat Gallant-Charette

- Oldest Lake Ontario Conqueror -

On 30th August 2017, Pat Gallant-Charette, a retired nurse from Maine (USA), at age 66 years and 209 days, became the oldest person to cross Lake Ontario. She completed the swim from south to north (Niagara-on-the-Lake to Marilyn Bell Park) in a time of 24 hours 28 minutes 19 seconds.

Swim Masters: Marilyn Korzekwa and Colleen Shields..
Coach: Jean Murdock-Gallant.
Pilot: Christine Arsenault
Crew: Andrew Harpwood

The swim and credits are well-covered in a YouTube video.

Prior to her Lake Ontario crossing, Pat had established an impressive list of Oldest swims that were similarly well-documented with YouTube videos.:
2016 North Channel
2017 English Channel

Pat's Blog provides extra, excellent, details of the thermal challenges and also on her experience with Lamprey eels which was not covered in the Swim Master's report and which have not been mentioned on swims for many years. Note that, in the presence of predators, it is not unusual to see fish jumping, and it is unlikely (hopefully) that Asian Carp have reached the mouth of the Niagara River . . yet !

Lake Ontario provided one of its harshest challenges in terms of water-temperature fluctuations. Starting at 65-deg.F in the warmth of the Niagara River, the surface temperature ranged between 54 and 66-deg.F. The temperature profile is shown in the attached image.

While Pat has swum in the North Channel in water temperatures that may be in the consistent low 50s deg.F, many swimmers note that it can be more of a challenge to swim for long periods in temperatures that fluctuate significantly - as they did during Pat's Lake Ontario swim.

Pat's core-temperature was measured via a radio-frequency CoreTemp pill located in her intestines and show that her CoreTemp just before entering the water was 37.07-deg.C. After 18.5 km (where it is shown that water temperature was 58-deg.F) the CoreTemp was in complete control at 37.65-deg.C. Another reading at 21.9 km (Water 56-deg.F) was 37.56-deg.C. A post-swim temperature, recorded by ambulance staff, was 35.4-deg.C; however, there is no report of whether this was an oral, aural, or rectal temperature.

Pat's body's ability to maintain such great control over core temperature throughout such fluctuating water temperatures belies the fact that she did note significant discomfort in her extremities - especially during the second "drop" in water temperature in the last 5-10 km as she approached Toronto.

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Created: 5th October 2017
Last Updated: 23rd October 2017