Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Canada
Reload this Page >

Lake Ontario Swim Attempt: Natalie Lambert

Notices

Lake Ontario Swim Attempt: Natalie Lambert

Old Aug 25th, 2008, 04:35 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 903
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lake Ontario Swim Attempt: Natalie Lambert


As a youngster, I swam in Lake Ontario at Niagara-on-the-lake and picnicked in the park with my family on many occasions. Nowadays, when I take my early morning walk on weekends, I usually cut across Queen’s Royal Park and walk along the shore past the old beach, remembering those happy times and wondering whether anybody swims there anymore.

The gazebo wasn’t in the park back then. It was donated to the town by makers of the creepy 1983 Cronenberg film, “The Dead Zone”, adapted from a Steven King novel, but it was located in a different park during the shoot. The house where Christopher Walken’s character lived in the film is the old rectory of St. Mark’s Church. It appears in a Tricia Romance print as well.

This past Saturday morning, as I walked across the park with a friend, we saw a group gathered on the shore at the foot of King Street, between the gazebo and the Whale Inn, many wearing lifejackets. It turned out to be marathon swimmer, Natalie Lambert, with her entourage, about to embark on a late season attempt to swim across the lake. One of the group was her sister Jenna who has already successfully swum the lake but at a different point. The supporters wore orange T-shirts with the banner “Natalie Lambert’s Swim the Difference Marathon”.

Anchored offshore were two tall-masted sail boats while dinghies and kayaks were beached along the shoreline. Natalie graciously posed for a photo and began her mental preparation for the swim. She stripped off her warm outer clothing but didn’t apply a layer of grease; she is one of the few marathon swimmers that don’t grease up we were told by a man who piloted the boat for an autistic boy who previously swum the lake. Fortunately the lake temperature was a mild of the lake 20 degrees.

Natalie hugged her boyfriend and stood at the edge of the lake for a few moments, talking to a woman taking photos and then appearing deep in thought. “Take one step, then another,” said her coach, Vicki Keith, from a dinghy and Natalie entered the water wearing a mismatched pair of crocs, one orange and one blue, to carry her across the pebbles. Upon reaching swimming depth she paused and threw one croc after the other back to shore – I caught one in the air with my camera – and then started her swim between dinghies on either side. Her stokes were strong and she soon left the shore far behind.
moolyn is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2008, 04:40 PM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 903
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

While Natalie was preparing herself and beginning her swim, a man reported on a cell phone, giving a play by play of the action, perhaps to a radio station. We heard that Natalie had awoken with a sore throat that morning but didn’t want to cancel what would be her last chance to attempt this swim this year. I asked someone where I could send my photos and was told to look for the website.

We learned that Natalie had made two previous attempts but had to give up both times, once because of waves and once because of lightening. She was heading to Marilyn Bell Park, by the CNE, the official end point of swims across the lake. Many people attempting the swim are swept eastward towards the Leslie Spit, a shorter distance, and are not given credit for crossing the lake, even though they have. This is the very first time I have seen a swimmer start this challenge and it was very exciting for me as I well recall that first successful lake crossing by Marilyn Bell. It felt like being part of a historical occasion.

Gradually all the kayaks and dinghies joined Natalie’s flotilla with the sailboats on each side. My final photos show this group growing smaller in the distance.

All day we wondered about Natalie’s progress but we heard nothing on the news. Later that evening I though to search for the website and learned that Natalie had been swimming strongly at 11:23 but had left the water at 1:23, exhausted. She had not been able to overcome the affects of her cold and sore throat, it seems, as she had made it further on her earlier attempts.

I’m sure she will be back to conquer the lake next year and I’ll be watching!
moolyn is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2008, 04:45 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 903
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Here are some links:

My Photos:

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...ActnLVy5aMmTzA

About Natalie Lambert:

http://www.penguinscanfly.ca/penguin...ge=natalie_bio

Natalie’s Journey:

http://www.penguinscanfly.ca/penguin...atalie_journey

About Jenna Lambert:

http://www.penguinscanfly.ca/penguin...page=jenna_bio

Jenna’s Journey:

http://www.penguinscanfly.ca/penguin...jennas_journey
moolyn is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2008, 05:08 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,120
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
moolyn what a well written report felt I was there but I didn't see the photo of the croc flying. I'm sure starrs and I would love it. We wear (GHAST) crocs on occasions.
cigalechanta is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2008, 05:22 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,725
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What lovely pictures of this quest. The light was perfect. Great job.

Your description of the event is marvelous and so poignant. I was caught up with the whole thing.

It matters little whether or not she completed the swim. She tried... and this is often lost with mega events like the Olympics where gold medals are tallied and heroes are measured by world records, captured by thousandths of a second.
She tried and no one can take that away.

Thanks.
robjame is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2008, 05:28 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,523
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Moolyn, great report and great photos.
I did see the one with the flying croc.! Wonderful shot.

Boy I'd hate to be in that cold water. I think she did very well.
I still remember Marilyn Bell and the day she did her swim.
kodi is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2008, 06:25 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 903
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mimi, the flying croc is in photo 23 but you can observe Natalie's mismatched pair in some of the earlier shots. It's easier to find if you play the slideshow.

Bob, I appreciate your kinds words. I'm sure my photos would have been much better with your DSLR than with my little elph!

Kodi, thanks! I'm glad I'm not the only person who remembers Marilyn Bell's historic swim!

It was very exciting for me to observe the start of this adventure and to learn about how the Y Knot Abilities Programs help disabled children and their families. Natalie and her sister Jenna are an inspiring pair. I wondered whether the woman taking photos was their mom.
moolyn is offline  
Old Aug 26th, 2008, 05:27 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,149
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the report, moolyn.

Marilyn Bell's swim was in our reader in grade 4 or five - what I remember most about the story was that they fed her ice cream during the swim. Ice cream in that water!
SallyCanuck is offline  
Old Aug 28th, 2008, 12:08 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 903
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sally, I'm glad you enjoyed this. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time - with my camera.

I remember Marilyn Bell being fed corn syrup and bananas but didn't know about the ice cream. One of the links I posted mentions Natalie having water, dextrose and Boost - a liquid meal replacement.
moolyn is offline  
Old Aug 28th, 2008, 01:53 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 9,232
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow. That is impressive! Thanks for the report.

I don't even like it when I get hit by a wave from the lake while I'm walking my dogs along a pier here in Rochester.
wliwl is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2008, 06:17 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 92
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This must rank about 1,255,290 in the list of pointless challenges and near achievements. Oh, excuse me I forgot we live in the XXIst century and these are the things that really matter now. My bad.
anatoleschadenfreude is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2008, 02:40 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 903
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Anatole,

If you had bothered to read the links, you would have discovered that Natalie took on this challenge to raise awareness and funds for a YMCA program that allows young people with physical disabilities and their able-bodied siblings to participate side by side in sport and recreational opportunities. Natalie supported and paced her older sister Jenna - born with cystic fibrosis - during her 2006 historical swim of the lake and now Jenna is doing the same for her.

In 2007, Natalie swam across Lake Ontario from Sacket’s Harbor, NY to Kingston, 54 kilometers away, in 23 hours and 15 minutes. She became a double world record holder by being the youngest person to complete this crossing, as well as setting a new speed record.

During the summer of 2007, Natalie raised over $44,000 for her outstanding efforts and dedicated those funds to helping her teammates in the Y Knot Abilities Programs. This innovative program was developed at the Kingston Family YMCA by world-renowned marathon swimmer, Vicki Keith.
Natalie sees her marathon swimming as an opportunity to show everyone, no matter what their age or ability, that nothing is impossible, if you believe in yourself. She has set out to make a difference in this world, and at the age of 15, she is already well on her way.

Pointless - I think not.
moolyn is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2008, 06:03 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,523
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Anatole,
"my bad."
Yup, you got that part right.
I don't understand people who post for the sole purpose of being rude. It makes no sense to me.
But if you are so inclined, at least get your facts straight .
kodi is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2008, 04:18 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Right on Moolyn and Kodi.

Anatole, I just hope you now feel a little better after having vented your spleen on Moolyn's interesting and articulate first-hand swimmer reports.

Perhaps by now you have re-read the posts you were responding to and can begin to appreciate some good news, about wonderful young people with goals and achievements, amid these current dark-news days.

All the best to you and I only hope you re-think what you wrote.

Shania
shania is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
August2015
United States
5
Jul 1st, 2016 09:50 AM
Nelson
United States
5
Jul 15th, 2014 07:23 AM
Malpa
Africa & the Middle East
13
Nov 10th, 2009 03:23 PM
aranda
Europe
7
Jan 24th, 2009 01:36 AM
chriss_hk
Europe
5
Jul 25th, 2006 02:07 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO