So we did it! A mile swum in each of the Great Lakes in one day, starting and finishing in Oakville at Coronation Park on the lakeshore.
To recap what we were thinking when we planned this day …
There’s a lot we can do for the lakes just with small changes: reducing plastic use, watching what we put down the drains, biking instead of driving to the beach when we can, supporting groups like Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and the Bay Area Restoration Council.
Still, we can fight all the familiar battles – against pollution and shortsighted planning – but if we cannot get people to imagine the lakes as a vital part of their lives, then those other battles are ultimately lost.
A really important thing, then, that’s easy to do, is to get out and have fun on the lakes: make them an essential part of your recreation and inspiration!
So that’s what we did on Friday and Saturday, September 23th and 24th.
We had so many great adventures packed into one long day, but for me the first swim of our whirlwind tour was the most poignant, swimming out into the dark misty waters of Lake Superior, well before sunrise, with dear friends beside me and the milky way shining above us.
I wished there was a camera that could capture that peaceful, captivating beauty: of the starlit mist hanging over the still clear waters and the gentle lapping of swimmers’ strokes. But we didn’t have any camera like that, and besides we were swimming, so I kept thinking of this line in my head instead (because if there were whales in Lake Superior they’d be Julia Donaldson’s and Axel Scheffler’s whale!)
“… she gazed at the sky, the sea, the land, The waves and the caves and the golden sand. She gazed and gazed, amazed by it all, And she said to the whale, ‘I feel so small.’ …”
We finished the (long!) day at Oakville Coronation Park, where a gang of fellow swimmers swam with us out the buoy. All told a fantastic adventure with some extraordinary people!
And if this inspires you to have another Great Lakes adventure of your own, please consider spreading the word to your friends and colleagues about the Great Lakes Trust!