Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition

Skeena Swim Blog

Monday, July 27: Brian calls from O’Dwyer Canyon

[Transmitted by satellite phone]

Listen to the audio file of Brian’s blog entry]

Hello, hello, this is Brian calling with the Skeena Swim Blog for yesterday (July 27) and today (July 28). I’m calling you from O’dwyer Canyon on the Skeena River, surrounded by giant walls of rock. The river pours in from one side and curls around a sharp point of rock and disappears on the other. The river is full of fish.

Yesterday, Ali Howard swam some of the largest rapids on the entire river, and to this point of the trip she has swum every single inch of the Skeena, and it’s just blowing our minds. Our planning for this trip and our expectations are being obliterated by her efforts and her grace and her determination and as a team we’re drawing inspiration from her all day long. We sit in our rafts and our kayaks day after day all day long and we look down and realize she’s been in the water all day long. Her focus and determination are something beautiful to see.

If you’re listening to this, you should have had a chance to check out some of the video from the last few days. I think that you’ll find that this place is remarkably beautiful, and our journey down it is a real gift to all of us, to be here. We’re really looking to share this place with all the communities and all the people of the Skeena, as we roll on down. We can’t wait to see everyone down there.

We’ve gotten to watch this river grow tributary by tributary. A few days ago at the Sustut confluence it was just a remarkable place in this river. And now here we are in this awesome canyon.

We just had dinner and dessert, fishing for… [satellite phone reception lost]

Lundi 27 juillet: Brian appelle depuis le Canyon O’Dwyer

Salut, salut, ici Brian qui appelle pour le Blog de la Skeena à la nage pour hier (27 juillet) et aujourd’hui (28 juillet). Je vous appelle depuis le Canyon O’dwyer sur la Skeena, entouré par de gigantesques mur de roche. La rivière se déverse d’un côté et va contourner une pointe de rocher et disparait de l’autre côté. La rivière est pleine de poissons.

Hier, Ali Howard a nagé l’un des plus grands rapides de toute la rivière et jusqu’à maintenant elle a nagé l’intégralité de la rivière Skeena et on en est complètement éberlués. Toute la préparation pour cette expédition et nos attentes sont balayées par ses efforts, sa grace et sa perspicacité et notre équipe reste inspirée par elle à longueur de journée. Nous sommes assis dans nos rafts et nos kayaks toute la journée et on se penche et réalise qu’elle a passée la journée entière dans l’eau. Sa concentration et sa perspicacité sont belles à voir.

Si vous écoutez ce message, vous avez surement du avoir la chance de regarder quelques unes des vidéos des quelques jours précédents. J’imagine que vous allez trouver que cet endroit est incroyablement superbe, et notre descente est un vrai cadeau pour nous tous. Nous sommes impatients de partager cet endroit avec tous les villages et leurs habitants de la Skeena, alors que nous continuons notre descente. Nous sommes tellement impatients de retrouver tout le monde lá bas.

Nous avons observé cette rivière grossir après chaque confluence. Il y a quelques jours à la confluence de la Sustu, qui était une portion remarquable de la rivière. Et maintenant nous sommes ici dans ce canyon génial.

On vient juste de manger le diner et le dessert, pêcher pour …[la réception du téléphone satellite a été interrompue].

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Posted by Peter  on  07/28  at  07:55 AM

Your decription and details relly helps to put each of us with you.  I wish I could be part of this amazing worth while adventure.  Keep going and keep your heads on the 360 as each corner could bring something unexpected.

Keep it going!

Posted by Grant & Sara McPhail  on  07/28  at  08:32 AM

Hi mommy it looks like your having as much fun as we are with nana & auntie Lisa & Adia.  We swam all day yesterday it the neighbours big big pool but we didn’t have any rapids.  Mommy you should see me ride my big bike now I can stand up when I ride and I can ride over big bumps.  Sara and me are coming home on the plane tomorrow with daddy and I hope we can see you and give you lots of hugs and kisses we miss you but are glad that you can have so much fun with Ali. OK mommy be careful and we are going to see you on the weekend just afew more sleeps nana says.  Me & Sara love you sooooooooooooooooooo much, xxxxxxxxxxxxxx00000000000000000000x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0

Posted by Amy Rzadki Zimmer  on  07/28  at  09:07 AM

I’m and old friend of Ali’s!
Please send her my good vibes and best wishes for a safe swim!
We’re rooting for you here in the big TO!
Lots of love,

Posted by Christine  on  07/28  at  10:27 AM

Ali…you are doing such a great job….revel with the river.


Posted by Dorothy Giesbrecht  on  07/28  at  01:20 PM

Way to go team.
We’ve been following your progress every day. Brian, your eloquence is astounding. Shannon, your message from the kids brought tears. Ali, we’re with you all the way. Sounds like you’re approaching the section of river DF folks rafted last year. Beautiful
We’re booked to see you all in Rupert on the 15th!

Posted by Diane Rogers  on  07/28  at  05:08 PM

Oh my!  I am in awe! I even shed a tear over this blog and Ali’s accomplishment so far.  What a support team she has too!  Her parents,(my friends just around the corner), leave tomorrow for Smithers and they are sooo excited and can’t wait to meet up with her!  Waydego Ali.  Diane and Don Rogers

Posted by Alex and Jim Howard  on  07/28  at  10:21 PM

Well that one had us with a lump in our throats and a tear in our eyes… who is this gal?  do we know her?  where is she getting all her strength from?  So proud Ali, we cannot tell you how much xoxo   wlumtulu!