Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition

Skeena Swim Blog

Thursday, August 13: Seals and saltwater! The end is near!

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

Hello everyone it’s Brian calling. Standing on a log over tidal sedges on the lower Skeena. Sun just went down over the far ridge and we’re all heading to bed.

We got up really super early this morning to catch the outflow tide. Clear skies and calm waters and Ali swam about 18 kilometers down the far bank of the Skeena. Had a good flow with the tide going, didn’t know how that was going to be but it carried our boats pretty well — drifting at about four kilometers per hour.

Came around a few points and past two really large colonies of seals. Four to five hundred in each grouping. That was a pretty awesome site. They were all hauled up on these sand bars in the middle of the river and exploded off of there in a spray of water and sand and woofing. Then it went from 500 seals on the shore to 500 heads in the water and Ali swam through them and they followed her and it was really nice. Not dangerous at all.

Then we came around Windsor Point to big winds, whitecaps and no more current going down. Ali swam for another kilometer or so but it was too much work against the current. So then we pulled over and suffered the rest of the day away in Frizl hotsprings. Hours and hours of soaking in a tub and enjoying each others company. Now we’re set for a really early day tomorrow. We’re hoping for calm weather in the morning with the low tide, with the outflow, and we’ll make the crossing.

The crossing down here is about three kilometers. We’re calling it the Skeena but it’s ocean! It’s totally tidal dependent and filled with seals. The water is starting to taste a bit salty.

Downstream we can see the end of the continent. There are no more mountains. The view just opens right up. We can see the end in sight and spirits are high.

We’re all looking forward to the meteor shower tonight and the late moon.

And that’s all she wrote! We’ll see each and every one of you in Rupert I hope.

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Posted by Russ Huntington  on  08/14  at  08:24 AM

To Ali & Crew

Everyone is so proud of all of you.  It will be amazing at the end, wish I could fly out and watch. It must be tantalizing to be so close… safe, Love Russ

Posted by Colin  on  08/14  at  09:46 AM

I don’t know anyone on the team. I am not an activist. I am not a protestor. To tell you the truth, I don’t even like to make my opinion known for the most part. But I have spent the last hour looking at the blog and Youtube footage of the swim, and I was almost brought to tears.

Ali and the team are some of the most couragous, passoionate people I have ever seen. Her strength and need to speak out have truly touched me. I live so far away from the Skeena and it’s community but I feel as though by not doing anything, I am letting myself and all of you down. Just by doing what you are doing, you have made me want to help, and in that, your journey has been a success.

Please let Ali and the team know that just by the action of caring, they turned a passive observer into a concerned citizen. I will try to help, however small an impact I might make, but all great movements are a combination of small steps.

Posted by Karen Hansen  on  08/14  at  04:40 PM

We watched Ali and the gang arrive in Terrace and are so in awe and thrilled that they will be here tomorrow.  We met Ali’s mom and dad in Terrace and have never seen parents as proud, and rightly so.  You have done such an amazing thing and we are so thankful that you had the courage and fortitude to bring this issue to the forefront and speak for all of us who believe in the cause.
Best Fishes!
ps Ali - my friend Margaret took a lovely picture of your dad waiting for you in Terrace.  I also lent him a blanket.  Could you have them email or call me (250-624-5129) so I can make arrangements to give them the picture and pick up my blanket - I said I would see them when you swam in but won’t be able to get out to Port Ed.  Thanks. Karen

Posted by Brenda White & Al Niittymaa  on  08/14  at  05:41 PM

Congrats on your achievement - just unbelievable and a fantastic accomplishment!!! We have kept up with your blog every day or so and it has made for some interesting conversations around our cottage home. Knowing your mom and dad, she is probably worried sick and your dad busting at the seems with pride. I can see her jumping up and down and praying at the same time on the banks of the river. Enjoy the finish and I’m sure we’ll hear all about it from your mom. We send our prayers to keep you safe in the last stretch.

Posted by jim Allen  on  08/15  at  09:23 AM

Hey there guys.  Big hugs from Aurora, Alana and Jim.  Wish we were there.  You have made believers out of many.  See you soon.

Love you all

Posted by elaine pigeau  on  08/15  at  08:21 PM

ali, i have watched your progress with great admiration,you are an amazing woman, i was in terrace and standing with your mom and dad,she crying he yelling words of encourement it made me very proud to share this day with you and with your family and friends.  you have done us all very proud and we will never forget the reason behind the swim thank you so much
elaine pigeau
terrace b.c.

Posted by Russ Huntington  on  08/16  at  05:08 AM


Posted by Ruth Wilkie  on  08/16  at  03:48 PM

I have just got off the phone with Meagan.  She was telling me how amazing and emotional it was to see you finish, meet your parents and brother and to share in the evening.  Over the years I have heard so much about you, Moni and Chris.  Your family must be so proud of your accomplishment, you are an amazing person.

I have enjoyed your blog and checked it often, it made you feel part of it even through you went there.  You have made so many people aware of the cause you were bring attention to with your swim.  Congratulations to you, your crew and you family.

Posted by Lynne Dunford  on  08/16  at  07:31 PM

Congratulations to both Ali and her crew! You made it! I am so proud of all of you.  You are all so incredible.  I can just imagine all of your friends and family as well as new friends waiting and cheering for you at the end.  Oh but it is only the beginning.  You have all made a difference and reached out to so many people. You are all Awesome and should be so proud yourselves. Thank you to all of you! Warm Hugs from me to all of you.  Ali’s cousin Lynne