This year’s planning has been a bit of a whirlwind. We have picked some great tides between June 5 and June 8- there’s little difference between high and low which means slower moving water from that perspective. I originally thought the deciding factor would be the air temperature and rain, as the water is sitting at about 10C, the air 11 to 12 and there’s been quite a bit of rain since we arrived. Today however, we were hearing from locals that the wind might be up to 40km an hour on the first day of our window – yikes!
I have also heard that the ice pack on the mountains surrounding Bella Coola is melting quickly with its runoff flowing into the Burke – one of the channels I will need to cross to get to Namu. The water was last measured at 4C. These are some interesting challenges indeed.
I am blessed to have such an extremely experienced team. We have had some very frank lively discussions about the conditions and have looked at a number of options. We have decided that this will truly be a go-with-the-flow kind of swim and may require more stages than we originally thought. At approximately 10:00 am tomorrow morning (June 5) we hope to make our way to my start spot in Lama Pass. If the wind cooperates, I will swim across the pass and then down toward the entrance of Fisher Channel. As we get close, my crew will make a go-no-go decision as to whether I enter the Channel. I am remaining optimistically hopeful.
If I am able to enter the Channel I hope to shoreline swim in a protected area, although the wind direction is not working in my favour for this. I have prepared myself and my crew for an early exit if needed. We will do what we can with the weather we have. We have all noted that the wind and waters seem much calmer in the late afternoon and evening. If need be we have all agreed to pause the swim until later in the day. It will be colder, but I will be able to swim.