Victoria woman to attempt to swim a double crossing of Juan de Fuca Strait

Victoria woman to attempt to swim a double crossing of Juan de Fuca Strait

WATCH: A Victoria woman is attempting to swim the Juan de Fuca Strait not once – but twice. Ceilidh Millar reports. 

Ogden Point is the spot where 53-year-old Susan Simmons will take off on a journey that will have her crossing international waters.

“I am about to attempt to swim from Victoria to Dungeness Spit near Port Angeles and back in one go,” Simmons said.

On top of the incredible double crossing, which totals over 60km, Simmons will be making the estimated 24-hour journey without a wetsuit.

Simmons believes this swim has never been attempted before.

“I’m feeling pretty positive,” Simmons explained.

Simmons says it’s her longtime battle with Multiple Sclerosis that has given her the strength to attempt the swim.

The disease affects roughly 75,000 people across the country.

“I think about people with MS that have difficulty getting up in the morning or getting out of bed,” Simmons said. “If they can get up and try, I can certainly get in that water and try.”

While she does not need to carry her passport because she’s not officially stepping foot in the USA, she does need to bring the support of her team and even those who paved the way before her, like ultra marathon swimmer Marilyn Bell.

Bell was the first Canadian woman to swim the strait in 1956, and she reached out to Simmons when she heard of her upcoming feat.

“I asked her what she remembered the most about all of her swims and she said it was her failure,” Simmons said. “The first time she did Juan de Fuca she failed which made me really sad that that was what she remembered. She said that the reason she failed was because she didn’t show up. If I want to make this swim, if I really want to make it, I need to show up on the day and be ready to swim.”

Simmons is also raising money to start a swimming group for people with MS.

She plans to start her journey on August 1, dependant on the weather and tidal conditions.

To follow along on her journey, visit Susan’s Facebook page. 


Ceilidh MillarCeilidh Millar

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