Have you registered yet for the Ottawa Riverkeeper swim?

Next to Bring on the Bay it’s probably the next biggest open water swim event held in the Ottawa area. And, it’s a great fundraiser for the Riverkeeper initiative that works hard toward making the mighty Ottawa River a swimmable, drinkable and fishable body of water.

I went out last Saturday morning for a quick dip with some old water polo friends to check out the conditions and I am happy to report that they are ideal.

Water levels are still high. Saying that, the entry off the black floating docks at Lac Deschenes Sailing Club is shallow. It’s around 4 feet deep. The bottom is sandy with a few rocks – but nothing major. The ever-important temperature is 76 degrees – very comfortable.

Since we did not have a boat to bring us back from Quebec we decided to swim to the middle of the Ottawa River and then back to Ontario. We were escorted by my friend Paul on his SUP and he was equipped with a GPS device that allowed us to find the middle with ease and plan out a 4K route.

For those of you frightened of foliage, it was at a minimum on the Ontario side. I can’t report on the Quebec side, but historically speaking it’s usually nasty around the boat channel some 400m from shore.

What was interesting was the effect of the currents. We decided to swim 500m hard alternating with 500m steady. On a couple of occasions our 500m times for the steady section were faster than our times for the 500m hard sections. And believe me, we were trying to swim fast – bragging rights were on the line! So never give up, you may just have the current at your back and not even know it!

I will be on vacation for the swim, but I encourage everyone to sign up and be a part of this event. They’ll be lots of kayaks and SUPs keeping watch and hopefully you’ll enjoy the same ideal conditions that my friends and I had.

There’s nothing better than being in the middle of the river.

Coach Fraser

Coach’s note – this was not the Trail Swim. The plans for the Trial Swim are still being made by people outside of our swim club. If I hear of any news regarding the Trial Swim I will post it to our web site.