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Truro girl swims the Northumberland Strait

Amy Barnhill took part in the Big Swim on August 12. Her kayaker, Chesley Earle, took this photo during the swim. A kayaker accompanies each swimmer in case they need help.
Amy Barnhill took part in the Big Swim on August 12. Her kayaker, Chesley Earle, took this photo during the swim. A kayaker accompanies each swimmer in case they need help. - Contributed

Amy Barnhill spent six hours in the water on Sunday, battling waves to make it across the Northumberland Strait.

On August 12, the 15-year-old member of the Truro Centurions swim club, joined a group of people taking part in the Big Swim, swimming from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island.

“I’m very tired now,” said Amy on Monday. “It went really well, but it was longer because of the currents. It was supposed to be 14 kilometres but it was more like a 20 kilometre swim.

“I knew I could make it but when I was near the end, and kept getting waves, it was a little frustrating. I didn’t realize how strong the currents were.

“There was so much energy and everybody was so excited, it was great.”

Although some people had to pull out of the swim because they became sick, Amy wasn’t affected by that issue. She found chafing from the wet suit to be one of the biggest problems, and is going to take a break from open water swimming.

“It’s very different from a pool,” she said. “You can’t see anything and it’s colder. The first time, I found it hard to breathe. The salt water tastes bad and makes my lips puff up, but it’s easier to float in.”

She was inspired by people in her swim team who had participated in the event, and took part in long swims, and did resistance training to help her make it through waves.

“I trained with my kayaker (Chesley Earle), because if something goes wrong that’s the person I have to count on to help me,” she said.

The Big Swim raises money for Brigadoon, a camp in the Annapolis Valley for young people living with chronic conditions and special needs.

It costs about $1,000 to send a child to camp for a week, and Amy has been able to raise $2,380 through her Give to Live page.

“I’m very grateful I had this experience,” she said. “I learned a lot about Brigadoon, and what they do for these kids is really amazing.”

Visit the website for more information on Camp Brigadoon.

lynn.curwin@trurodaily.com

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