|Not all swims are successful but a number of those swims certainly warrant a detailed recording.
Anita Morrow's BREASTSTROKE swim to cross Lake Ontario in 2005 involved a massive effort of more than 14 hours against the worst of the Lake's currents and, as such, is certainly one of those noteworthy swims; however, her associated fund-raising efforts for "The Gatehouse, Child Abuse Advocacy Centre" are a true reflection of her Heart, along with her ongoing concerns and drive for the well-being of everyone.
Anita's story has four main aspects to it:
The Gatehouse "Swim of Hope"
The fund-raising brochure provided a tremendous, concise statement of Anita's background and desire to support their cause. The following is quoted from their brochure that advertised the swim.
"As a young girl in Romania, Anita Morrow was an avid swimmer. In adolescence Anita found that her chosen sport of competitive swimming was a welcome respite from her turbulent life, but it was not until the summer of 2003, after she had been living in Canada for some time, that Anita was able to finally confront the abuse that had plagued her in her younger years."
For those that have had the honour to know her, Anita's ties to her husband Scott and their dog(s) have been a perfect reflection of her universal Love. Sadly, our dogs have a shorter life-span than we do.
It is a common sad fact that the url Internet-links for many of the these short-term charity-raising projects disappear shortly after the projects are over.
Lake Cecebe Training Swims, 4 & 18 June 2005
Anita swam for many hours in indoor pools in preparation for the open-water season, and on June 4, 2005 completed a 7-hour, 10 km swim on Lake Cecebe where she and her husband owned a cottage .
Lake Cecebe is located to the east of Georgian Bay of the Canadian Great lakes.
Her first serious preparatory open-water swim with her assigned Swim Master, Bryan Finlay, took place at the same location and over the same course on Lake Cecebe on 18th June 2005. This swim was conducted as her official SSO 6-hour Trial Swim. Her 10.1 km course is illustrated in the adjacent image and, starting at 11:35 am, she completed the distance in 6 hours 4 minutes.
CREW: Scott Morrow, Arthur Henes, Shelley Reid, Bryan Finlay (Swim Master), and Matisse (Anita and Scott's
Air 16-20-deg,C. Water 18-22-deg.C. Water surface ranged from flat to choppy (15 cm waves). Breaststroke Stroke-Rate 23-28 per minute.
This event was a successful Training swim that led to a planning meeting on July 8 for an official Trial Swim on
Lake Ontario. As a result of the enthusiasm at that Planning Meeting, a special poem "Beacon of Hope" was written
Lake Ontario Test Swim
To ensure that her boat crews were well coordinated for her planned Grimsby-to-Oakville attempt, she completed a swim on July 23 along the final 7.2 miles (11.5 km) of the planned course into Coronation Park.
In this swim, Anita swam at a rate of just better than 1 mph to complete the distance in 7 hours. She encountered some problems with cap and goggles but these issues were less than on her Trial
Swim; however, the 38' lead sailboat encountered some overheating due to the slow speed and it was a perfect chance to resolve these issues before the main swim.
Lake Ontario: Swim of Hope
The planned 33 km course was from Nelles Beach Park (Grimsby, Ontario) to Coronation Park (Oakville, Ontario).
CREW & EQUIPMENT:
The swim started at 18:00:33 hours with a full moon and excellent water and air temperatures that were fairly consistent throughout the swim and were both around 21-deg.C. Anita started to report some knee pain at the 4.5-hour mark. While there was little-to-no wind for the first 9 hours, it soon became obvious that Anita was swimming against a surface-current; however, it wasn't until after the swim ended that the satellite images could be downloaded and revealed the significant magnitude of those surface currents which appeared to peak at around 0.9 knots (1 mph) !
Note: The general movement of the water of the lake is variable and reflects the actions of wind and thermal gradients in prior days. While these surface currents are generally less that 0.25 mph, under certain weather conditions they may be much larger. Due to the inertia of the water's movement, the currents persist even in the absence of the wind. So an apparently calm lake can have its surface moving at a significant rate.
|Consequently, after 13 hours, Anita had only travelled 4.5 miles, even though her stroke-rate and its strength was normal - 21-22 per minute for 8 hours and increased to 25-26 spm to try to combat the
* WNW (head-on) winds had developed at that stage, along with white-topped waves up to 1 m in height.
* At that stage the GPS started to show that she was being pushed backwards - a situation that persisted for 33 minutes.
* This development was discussed with the swimmer who, understandably, was greatly dismayed.
* In the absence of the satellite data on the currents, it was decided to terminate the swim BUT to swim back towards Grimsby to tests the Swim Master's hypothesis about the currents, which was confirmed when Anita covered 1.22 miles in 52.5 minutes.
* She then retired and climbed, without aid, onto the lead boat.
In that evening, a reception had been organized at the intended finish at Coronation Park, Oakville.
MY FRIEND THE LAKE
Although Anita did not complete her intended crossing of Lake Ontario, it is interesting that this swim is a Record for longest time recorded by SSO for a Breaststroke swim on Lake Ontario.
Her achievement was notable in that her drive and enthusiasm are so infectious, which was reflected in a subsequent post-swim celebration with all of the participants.
In 2016, Anita went on to form a highly successful international Facebook group to embrace and encourage people with such backgrounds and interests - One Million Meditators.
Forever Irrepressible - Anita Morrow !
Compiled from: News Media reports: the Swim Master's documents/reports,
Anita's training/preparation documents, and photographs provided by Anita and her crew
SSO Home Page | Tony Dekker - Great Lake Swimmers | Contact WebMaster
Created: 30th May 2020
Last Updated: 11th July 2020