The Great Bear Swim

msathletemsathlete Victoria, British Colubia, CanadaMember
edited May 2016 in Event Announcements

I thought it would be kind of neat to honour some of Canada's most senior swimmers this year by reviving their story through a swim. In the 1960s Ocean Falls, British Columbia, a tiny remote community of 3,000 in the Great Bear Rainforest produced half of Canada's national male swim squad. Their coach, Mr. George Gate, later went on to coach a number of our top swimmers and Olympic champions. He also became Canada's coach of coaches.

What does this have to do with Marathon swimming?

Mr. Gate was the Aquatic Director at Point Claire Swim Club when I trained as a youth. He is the person who taught me self discipline and determination - two things a marathon swimmer must have. Although I never swam more than a 400 meter race as a youth I did some pretty crazy workouts, including a 5km continuous butterfly swim, that instilled in me the mental discipline I would later tap into as an adult in the open water..

So in Mr. Gate's honour, and to honour some incredible swimmers who came before me I will be swimming from Ocean Falls to Bella Bella in the Inside Passage. The swim will be staged over two days.

Here's the ask. If you know of anyone who swam for the Ocean Falls Aquatic Club during its rein I would greatly appreciate if you could put them in touch with me. I have started a website where I would like to share their stories so they are not lost through time.

Thank you



  • swimrn62swimrn62 Stowe, VTSenior Member

    I've paddled in this area, one of the most beautiful on earth. What a special way to honor your coach.

  • msathletemsathlete Victoria, British Colubia, CanadaMember

    Very excited! Just 2 weeks until I head to Canada's Great Bear Rainforest on the central coast of British Columbia for my second swim in the Inside Passage. I am slowly making my way down the coast.

    This year I will swim from Bella Bella to Namu. It truly is a beautiful water way with an abundance of wildlife. Here's a peek at last year's swim from Ocean Falls.

  • It looks gorgeous - just viewed the video from the last swim, as well as the video on Namu on the website.
    Good luck in the Great Bear with friends!

  • SoloSolo B.C. CanadaSenior Member

    Have fun with your event! The water on the south coast is still really cold, hope you are going to have warm water.

  • msathletemsathlete Victoria, British Colubia, CanadaMember

    Great Bear Swim II - Journey to Namu is done for this year. I had quite the time on the first day out with some very strong wind and opposing tide. Was perfect training for Juan de Fuca.

    Second day out I encountered a humpback. The whale likely swam beneath me and then surfaced about 300 feet from me. I stayed in the water for about another 30 minutes but at the passage I was swimming through narrowed I felt it best I exit until I can hook up with a larger crew to take me into Fisher Channel and Hugh Fitz Sound - home to the humpbacks this time of year!

    I am looking to know if others would like to swim in this water way next year.

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