I am interviewing my team mates for the Nine Lake Swim, asking what inspired them to participate in this event and why they love the lakes. Here I put together what Andrew Smyth said in response to these questions.
We are so fortunate to have the lakes right in the heart of the community at the southern end of the island where we so many of us live. We see them as we drive around the road. When you go to Mansons, you see Hague Lake and the island and it always looks beautiful at whatever the time of year.
In the summer when you go down to the sandy beach you see so many people in the lake and enjoying the sand. When my daughter Lily was little we’d take her down there and she was always happy sitting in the sand, playing in it and dipping her toes in the water.
There must be hundreds if not thousands of children and visitors who’ve learned to swim at the sandy beach on Hague Lake, the children that grew up on the island and the children of visitors in the summer. It’s hard to imagine a safer, more beautiful place for children to learn to swim than in the warm waters there at the sandy beach of Hague Lake.
In the summer I love to see all the different people doing whatever it is that they’re doing: the babies in the sand, the kids building sand castles, the young kids in their life jackets, the kids learning to swim, the little flotillas of children making their way out to the island with floaties and a boat, groups of adults swimming back and forth, the teens. There are so many different ages of people and everyone is loving the experience of being at the beach or at the bathing rocks and enjoying being out on the lake.
It would be a very, very sad thing if the lakes could no longer be used for swimming. We would lose the experiences at the lake and it would also hurt the economy. I think a lot of people who come to Cortes come in part because of those lakes and the beach and the swim rocks. It would be a big loss of tourist revenue if the lakes were to become unusable.
I think we’re incredibly fortunate that we have a group of concerned and capable residents on Cortes who are organising the scientific research into what the cause is of the algae blooms. If the science can help to pinpoint what the causes of the algae bloom are, then we stand a much better chance of being able to deal with the situation and stop the lakes from going into a decline.
I feel that this is an incredibly important effort and one that I’m really happy to support by doing this sponsored swim. I’ve never swum anything like this kind of distance before so for me it is quite an adventure. I’m really enjoying the training and all the time out there swimming in the lakes and building myself for the big day of the nine lake swim. I’m looking forward to it.
The Nine Lake Swim Team hopes lots of people will sponsor their efforts. Please click here to sponsor/donate
Mark Braaten, Carrie Saxifrage, Andrew Smyth and Bianka Sawicz plan to swim all nine Cortes lakes in one day to raise funds to go toward solving the algae blooms in Hague and Gunflint Lakes