Oldest Lake Ontario Conqueror
On 30th August 2017, Pat Gallant-Charette, a retired nurse from Maine (USA), at age 66 years and 209 days, became the oldest person to cross Lake Ontario. She completed the swim from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Marilyn Bell Park, Toronto in a time of 24 hours 28 minutes 19 seconds.
Prior to her Lake Ontario crossing, Pat had established an impressive list of international oldest swims that are well-documented with YouTube videos on her blogspot, Pat's Blog and in the long swims database.
Lake Ontario provided one of its harshest challenges in terms of water-temperature fluctuations. Starting at 19 degrees C in the warmth of the Niagara River, the surface temperature ranged between 12 and 19 degrees C. The temperature profile is shown in the attached image. While Pat has swum in the North Channel in water temperatures that may be in the consistent low 10-12 degrees C, many swimmers note that it can be more of a challenge to swim for long periods in temperatures that fluctuate significantly - as they did during Pat's Lake Ontario swim.
Pat's core-temperature was measured via a radio-frequency CorTemp pill located in her intestines and show that her temperature just before entering the water was 37.07-deg.C. After 18.5 km (when the water temperature was 14.4 degrees C) her core temperature was in complete control at 37.65-deg.C. Another reading at 21.9 km (Water 56-deg.F) was 37.56-deg.C. A post-swim temperature, recorded by ambulance staff, was 35.4-deg.C. Pat's body's ability to maintain such great control over core temperature throughout such fluctuating water temperatures is the sign of an experienced cold water marathon swimmer. She did note significant discomfort in her extremities - especially during the second "drop" in water temperature in the last 5-10 km as she approached Toronto.
Video of Pat's Lake Ontario swim