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  • What is The BIG SWIM?
    The BIG SWIM is a 14kms+ charity ocean swim from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island, crossing the Northumberland Strait. This event is created and managed every year by GIVETOLIVE, a volunteer driven organization.
  • What do I need to do to participate?
    We host an information session between January and March every year to showcase the plans for each year. Our registration typically opens in March and historically we have sold out in as little as 24 hours. We do limit our registration numbers for on-water safety purposes. You are welcome to contact us any time of the year, but please know that we will not permit any new swimmers to register after May, assuming we have the space to add swimmers. If you want to sign-up for updates, please contact us at
  • Am I making a difference?
    ABSOLUTELY!! You are inspiring people by showing them that everyone can achieve something extraordinary. This is no small feat and you should be incredibly proud of the money you are raising for Brigadoon Village.
  • is The BIG SWIM safe?
    The safety of each participant (Swimmers, Kayakers & Volunteers) is paramount in every decision we make. Everything we do and every decision we make will be guided by safety. Nothing is worth the risk of injury or worse. Our #1 goal is: All swimmers in the water safely and all swimmers out of the water safely. This requires a team effort and an understanding that all decisions made are based on safety and may override participants preferences. GIVETOLIVE has been running endurance events since 2008 and we have an excellent safety record. We thank you for your understanding and cooperation to continue our record that includes no major incidents. A few components of our safety plan include: A MANDATORY safety meeting for all participants on the Saturday before the swim. In this safety meeting, we cover the details of the safety plan, event route and will answer other event day questions from participants. You must attend the meeting in order to participate in the event. There are no exceptions. Every swimmer must supply a Paddle Canada Level 1 certified (minimum) kayaker to complete our crossing. This is to ensure the safety of everyone on the water. These kayakers will be trained on how to use our radios to communicate with our larger support team. Our kayakers are supported by our “core” kayaker team, who are highly certified and experienced ocean kayakers. These individuals serve as the first line of support if a support kayaker has a swimmer in distress. We supply volunteer support vessels who are equipped to evacuate participants, if necessary. These vessels are outfitted with lifeguards to assist in medical needs, if required. We have emergency medical services on the beach during our event in case a participant requires medical attention. Kayakers are outfitted with a radio and tracking device so they may remain in contact and be monitored by our support vessels. Kayakers will be trained on these devices in our mandatory safety meetings on Saturday. We will not hesitate to cancel the swim in the event of inclement weather and do our best to make every decision with safety in mind. We have canceled our event in the past due to weather conditions and although this is never a popular decision, we know it is always a possibility.
  • Can I leave my kayaker if he/she has an issue?
    No. This is a safety violation and will cause us to end your swim. You need to stay near your kayak at all times. If your kayaker requires assistance you should help them stay calm and call for additional assistance, as required. If you leave your kayaker and an event organizer sees you, you will be pulled from the water and not allowed to finish.
  • Will there be paramedics, lifeguards, and other emergency personnel?
    Yes. There will be lifeguards on the safety boats and on the beach at the finish line. There will be medical professionals waiting at the finish line to check each swimmer and kayaker at the end of their swim. There is an emergency plan with EMS personnel on PEI in the event of an on-water emergency.
  • Who is in charge on the day of the swim?
    We take safety very seriously. It is our #1, #2, and #3 goal for the event. On the day of the event, there is a chain of command that all participants and volunteers must obey. That chain of command is as follows: Captain(s) in Charge/Safety Officer Event Director/Core Kayaker Team Boat Operators Lifeguards Kayakers Swimmers Family & friends of participants Swimmers MUST OBEY everyone else in the chain of command. All other people in the chain of command are in a more senior position than a swimmer and all people can remove you from the water for safety reasons. This is imperative to the success of a safely run event. If anything goes wrong (weather worsens, waves pick up, someone gets sick), then swimmers must understand and agree that it is not their call on whether they continue swimming or not. If a kayaker is not comfortable with making the decision to pull their swimmer from the event, they should not consider being a support kayaker.
  • Do we have to worry about other boat traffic?
    This is an open boating area and there may be other boats on the water during the swim. We notify the Coast Guard and other boating agencies of the event well in advance and our logistics team will be in regular communication with the Coast Guard and the Marine Traffic Centre to ensure that all boats are aware of our presence and diverted away from participants.
  • Will I see wildlife?
    Maybe. The Northumberland Strait is home to jellyfish, numerous types of fish and marine mammals. Swimmers should be comfortable that they may encounter jellyfish although in past events swimmers have encountered almost no wildlife. The occasional seal or dolphin has been seen in the distance by kayakers.
  • What happens if the weather gets bad?
    The weather plays a key role in the safety of The BIG SWIM. We will discuss the weather forecast and the weather contingency plans in detail at the mandatory safety meeting on Saturday. There is a detailed evacuation plan in place in the event that weather degrades during the swim to the point that the event must be stopped. If required, the safety boats will remove all of the participants from the water and get them to shore. In the past we have canceled our event due to weather conditions and typically prefer to do this before anyone enters the water.
  • What about the tides?
    The BIG SWIM planning committee has chosen the event date as the ideal day for this year’s event. This date has been chosen in order to utilize the tide and currents to the best advantage of the swimmers. You will be swimming out with the tide and most swimmers will finish with the current at their back. Although The BIG SWIM will use the tides to the swimmer’s advantage, the currents near the finish can be difficult. Be sure to leave some gas in the tank for your final push!!
  • Will there be waves in the Strait?
    Yes, there will be waves and you may also experience swells and chop depending on the conditions. You may experience turbulent waters when you are swimming near the Confederation Bridge as the waves bounce off the bridge pillars. Some swimmers experience sea sickness that may be caused by the motion of the water and/or swallowing salt water while swimming. We strongly recommend that you train in open water and salt water prior to The BIG SWIM to experience these conditions before event day. Rest assured that if the wind or waves are high enough to be unsafe to swimmers or kayakers, the swim will be canceled.
  • Will there be boats on the water to watch us?
    Yes. In addition to the kayaker that accompanies each swimmer, there are additonal “core” kayakers and safety boats on the water to track swimmers, assist participants as necessary, and to ensure the safety of all participants during the swim. These safety boats are responsible for emergency retrieval of swimmers or kayakers, if it becomes necessary. Swimmers may be pulled by any of these volunteers in the event they deem them unfit to participate.
  • What happens if I get in trouble or can't continue?
    Safety is our #1 concern and that means getting everyone safely to PEI, whether you swim there or arrive on a boat. There is a detailed removal plan for participants who need it and there are boats on the water available to come and get you. If you feel you cannot continue: Notify your kayaker immediately and they will signal and/or call for a rescue boat to come pick you up. Your kayaker will have a spare floatation device and will provide this to you to wear while waiting for the rescue boat. Remain calm and float in the water beside the kayak until the boat arrives. The boat will transport you to a larger boat or to shore. Do not hang onto the kayak as you risk tipping it. If you are struggling but not ready to stop your swim, please be sure to: Communicate with your kayaker. You may need to rest for a few minutes or to hydrate and consume more nutrition. Your kayaker can help talk you through a bad mental stretch and give you your fins/paddles if you packed them. Many swimmers experience moments when they are not sure they can finish. Please note that the swimmer is at the bottom of the Safety Chain of Command and if your kayaker or other supervisor determines that it is unsafe for you to continue, you will be pulled from the water for your own safety and taken to shore.
  • Should I drive home afterwards?
    Absolutely not! You will be tired from completing The BIG SWIM and we strongly urge you not to drive that afternoon. Please, arrange to get a ride home or to your local accommodations with a family member or friend. This applies to everyone; swimmers, kayakers, and volunteers.
  • How do I get to The BIG SWIM event?
    Each participant is responsible for getting themselves to and from The BIG SWIM. The BIG SWIM starts at the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre, Cape Jourimain, NB and finishes on Beach Road in Borden – Carleton, PEI.
  • How do I get home from The BIG SWIM event?
    Each participant is responsible for getting themselves home from The BIG SWIM. We do not recommend that any participant drive themselves home after the event.
  • When do I need to be at Cape Jourimain Nature Centre?
    All participants are required to attend a safety meeting on the Saturday prior to our event. Our official event weekend schedule will be provided in the month leading up to our event. Generally speaking, you should plan to be at our event location mid-day on Saturday. Our event day start time will be released in the week before The BIG SWIM. This time may be altered as the weather changes in the days leading up to the event. The most accurate start time will be the one provided in our safety session on Saturday.
  • What do I do about food?
    All meals are the responsibility of each participant. If you have dietary restrictions, we recommend you investigate meal options ahead of time as the options are very limited in Port Elgin, NB and Borden, PEI. The BIG SWIM may offer a ticketed meal on the Saturday prior to our event; this information will be released closer to the event weekend. Participants should plan and test the foods they plan to consume on event day and practice packing these in their kayak. Kayakers will carry swimmer nutrition and hydration, along with their own, and should practice having this extra gear in their kayak. Kayakers will be provided a bagged lunch after our safety paddle on the Saturday prior to event day. Dietary restrictions will be requested ahead of time
  • Where do I sleep?
    All participants must plan their own accommodations during event weekend. There are a limited number of accommodations in the close proximity to the Confederation Bridge. It is imperative that you book your accommodations as soon as possible. Here is a list of some recommended options where our participants have stayed in the past. Participants must plan to arrive no later than the Saturday prior to our event day so they may attend our mandatory safety session. Tourism New Brunswick and Tourism PEI can be a great place to start as well.
  • What time are we starting the swim?
    The start time is calculated based on tides and currents. A decision will be made closer to the event weekend and the exact start times will be announced at the safety meeting on the Saturday prior to the event. All participants will be required to be at the Cape Jourimain beach start point at least 30 minutes prior to the first wave beginning. There will be safety check-in requirements in the morning so it is imperative that you arrive early. We recommend kayakers have their kayaks prepared for departure on the Saturday prior to the event.
  • Can I swim with my friend?
    Trust us when we say that once you enter the water, it is unlikely you will stay with your other swimmer friends. In our experience as past swimmers, there will be points where you feel like you are the only swimmer in the ocean. Swimmer speed, swimmer comfort, kayaker experience, tides, currents, and a variety of other factors cause you to spread apart during the event. Please do not try to manipulate your pace times to stay with other participants; it will likely result in you extending your swim distance.
  • Do we all start together?
    Swimmers will be starting in waves (no pun intended) based on their anticipated pace. We will request each swimmer’s estimated 3kms pace time in the weeks ahead of the event. There is typically 3 waves and they will be launched at intervals of approximately 15 minutes. Please note that we monitor the weather, tides and currents carefully and that the launch times cannot be confirmed prior to the Safety Meeting on Saturday. Plan to be flexible with the schedule on Sunday morning and to be on time getting to the beach.
  • If I'm in the last wave do I need to be there for the start of the first wave?
    Yes! Although you may be on the beach for some time before you start, the beginning of The BIG SWIM is exciting and everyone should experience it together. It is also possible that the wave start times may be adjusted in response to conditions so it’s important for everyone to be on the beach and ready to go.
  • Are there bathrooms available during the swim?
    Practically, no. Bathrooms are available before the start at the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre and port-a-potties are available at the finish area in PEI. We urge you to arrive early to the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre on the morning of the swim so you can make use of the facilities there before the swim.
  • How far and in what direction is the swim?
    The distance of our event varies greatly based on event day conditions and swimmer abilities. We will follow a path similar to the direction of the Confederation Bridge which has a distance of approximately 13kms. Depending on your speed and direction you may be swimming 15-17+ kms or more depending on conditions and your pace. We have seen swimmers swim as far as 22kms. Your kayaker is responsible for keeping you on course and the safety and operations vessels will keep the kayakers on course. The route will depend on the tides, currents, and weather forecast for event day. The planned route will be presented and discussed at the mandatory Safety Meeting on Saturday.
  • How long will I be in the water?
    During The BIG SWIM 2014 a swimmer completed the swim in less than 3 hours and 24 minutes setting a world record for the fastest Northumberland Strait crossing without the assistance of a wetsuit. The majority of our participants, however, do not fit in this incredible category. The average time to completion can range from 4.5 hours to 6.5 hours. Some swimmers have taken up to 8+ hours. Swimmers may be pulled if they exceed our expected time frame and we believe conditions are becoming unsafe. In all our years, we have not needed to do this.
  • Will we cross under the Confederation Bridge?
    Most participants cross under the bridge at least once during The BIG SWIM. The currents can cause some swirling around the pillars of the bridge. Listen to your kayaker and stay away from the pillars. Work with your kayaker to plan your crossing to be in the middle of the pillars. Your kayaker should position themselves between you and the closest pillar during the crossing. Please do not panic; it is a very cool experience to see the bridge from below!
  • Will the event be timed?
    The BIG SWIM will not provide timing services. If you want to know your total swim time, please plan to monitor this yourself or ask your kayaker to assist you (in advance of the swim).
  • What should I do with stuff I need on the other side?
    Any items you want at the finish line should be given to a friend or family member who will be meeting you at the finish line. You will likely want dry clothes, shoes and some recovery food/drinks.
  • What happens when I get to the finish line?
    When you reach the beach, you will be greeted by BIG SWIM volunteers who will present you with a BIG SWIM medal. Volunteers will then help you to the finish area. All swimmers and kayakers are REQUIRED to proceed directly to the finish area and be checked by a paramedic for a quick evaluation before doing anything else. Please, share this information with your friends and family, as we understand they will be excited to see you.
  • Will there be transportation for me to get back to NB (Nature Centre)?
    The BIG SWIM will not provide transportation services during event weekend. We strongly recommend that you have a friend/family member meet you in PEI; not only is it lovely to have a cheerleader, they can also have a change of clothes for you to change after the swim along with a drive back across the bridge. Please, arrange to get a ride home or to your local accommodations with a family member or friend. We will have limited arrangements to assist in transporting kayaks from our finish line back to the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre. Kayakers must transport their own kayaks to and from the Nature Centre.
  • What is required of swimmers for participation?
    There are some specific details that swimmers must understand that they agree to when they participate in The BIG SWIM. These include: Swimmers must raise a minimum of $1,500 ahead of the event weekend for our charity of choice, Brigadoon Village. This is non-negotiable and any swimmer not in compliance will not be permitted to participate. Swimmers must supply their own Paddle Canada Level 1 certified kayaker in order to participate. All participants must be present at a Safety Meeting on the Saturday prior to the event. This mandatory safety session will cover pertinent details of event day and if a swimmer or kayaker does not attend, they will not be permitted to participate. Swimmers must acknowledge that the event may be canceled due to weather or safety events. Swimmers participation may be revoked if they are not in compliance with our fundraising or safety rules. And swimmers must understand that they are the lowest on the chain of command during event weekend. Swimmers must be open and honest about medical conditions, capabilities, and estimated pace times that could impact their participation. Event organizers will not tolerate dishonesty as it relates to the safety of the event.
  • How do I train for The BIG SWIM?
    Training for The BIG SWIM is unique to each participant and it is important to understand what works for others may not work for you. We do provide a recommended training plan to all participants upon registration to our event. Generally speaking, we recommend that participants should: Be able to swim 3kms by March. We have had participants learn to swim in January and complete our event in July/August. Although possible to complete without any experience, we recommend that you have a base level of swimming stamina ahead of registration. Become comfortable swimming in open water a minimum of 1-2 months ahead of the event. Swimmers should try different open water conditions, including the ocean. We highly recommend that no swimmer train alone for safety purposes. Understand that our event distance can vary substantially due to tides, currents, and other event day conditions. We have seen distances range from 14kms to 22kms during our event. You should be prepared to potentially swim more than 14kms, and be happily surprised to swim under 18kms. Plan to swim 3 times a week and gradually increase distance with each long swim. Swimming frequency varies greatly based on participants lives, commitments, preferences, abilities, and many other factors.
  • Do I have to wear a wetsuit?
    That is up to you. Most swimmers prefer the warmth of a wetsuit and the additional buoyancy that it provides. The large majority of our participants have chosen to wear a wetsuit (made of neoprene, NOT a surf suit).
  • Do I have to wear a swim cap?
    Yes. For safety reasons we will provide swimmers with a colour-coded latex cap that MUST be worn. If you prefer the warmer silicone caps, then please plan to wear that below the cap we give you. These bright colored caps have meaning to our safety support team to keep you safe which is why it is mandatory. If you have a latex allergy, please plan to wear a silicone one under your issued latex cap.
  • What should I bring with me on the swim?
    You will develop your own list of required items as you complete your swim training. Below are suggestions to give you an idea of what your kit might look like. You will need to work with your kayaker to store the following in the kayak for your swim: All food and drink you will want/need for your swim. You will have experimented with nutrition during your training and should know what foods work best for you during long swims. We recommend both water and electrolyte fluids, enough for you to drink about a 500ml bottle/hour. Any swimming equipment you might need, i.e. extra goggles. You may wish to pack fins and/or paddles in the event that you need a boost to get through an eddy or to the finish. Personal care items like sunscreen, mouthwash (some like to use this to reduce the taste of salt water and limit the swelling of your tongue which may occur in salt water), something to help with seasickness, vaseline or another lubricant (to help reduce the chaffing that your wetsuit may cause). Water shoes or flip-flops: the shoreline, although mostly sandy, does have some rocky sections, the rocks are covered in barnacles and there are numerous small hermit crabs. Phone or camera with a waterproof/tethered case. It’s wonderful to see some pictures and videos of your epic feat afterward. Dry bags or other dry storage for your stuff. Keep in mind that your kayaker also needs to store their safety equipment and nutrition in the small storage compartments available. Make sure you have everything you need for a comfortable, supported swim but leave the kitchen sink at home. We suggest that you speak to your kayaker in advance about how to package your gear for their boat. A good attitude and a belief that we are all capable of so much more than we can even begin to comprehend! Take a look at this video that suggests what you and your kayaker will want to bring with you during the swim:
  • Can I bring/wear fins?
    Yes. There is nothing wrong with wearing fins if required. It’s a good idea to have them in your kayak just in case you need them. Then you at least have another option instead of outright stopping.
  • Can I listen to music during the event?
    No. We do not permit swimmers to swim with electronic music devices. This is to ensure your safety during the event and swimmers caught with these devices will be removed from the event.
  • What will the water temperature be in the Northumberland Strait?
    The water temperature is likely to be about 18-20°C (66-70°F). The water tends to be warmer in the shallow areas near the shore and cooler in the middle where it is deep and there are currents. The air temperature and wind will have a big impact on how warm or cool you feel in the water, independent of the water temperature.
  • What if it's really hot?
    Having enough water to prevent dehydration is very important. Periodically opening your wetsuit to allow some new water to come in contact with your skin can help cool you down. Carry sunscreen with you for frequent re-application if it is very sunny; ensure you have a small towel available as well to ensure your goggles do not get covered in sunscreen.
  • How much do I need to fundraise?
    Each swimmer must raise a minimum $1,500 BEFORE the event weekend. If you have not submitted a minimum of $1,500, we will not allow you to participate in the event. Brigadoon can help you with fundraising ideas if you need direction. Please reach out to us at if you need ideas or assistance.
  • How much will we raise as a group?
    The overall goal of this year’s BIG SWIM is to raise a minimum of $150,000 in support of Brigadoon Village
  • Can I raise money for another charity?
    GIVETOLIVE has an agreement in place with Brigadoon Village and we have committed that the funds raised will go to Brigadoon. Although there are lots of other worthy organizations, we cannot accommodate the requests to fundraise for any other organization at this time.
  • What percentage of the money raised goes to expenses?
    GIVETOLIVE and The BIG SWIM strive to keep expenses to a minimum. Your registration fee will cover most of the expenses for your participation in this event. GIVETOLIVE is seeking corporate sponsorships to support The BIG SWIM, along with donations of food, water, and equipment rentals to ensure that we maximize the amount raised for Brigadoon Village. If you are interested in sponsoring the swim or donating supplies, please let us know by emailing
  • What should I bring with me on the swim?
    Kayakers will have a required gear list and a personal gear list. Do not forget that you will be carrying your swimmers items as well, so be sure to practice with this load to ensure you are able to safely get in and out of your kayak. Personal Gear List: All food and drink you will want/need for the swim. We recommend both water and electrolyte fluids, enough for you to drink about a 500ml bottle/hour. Personal care items like sunscreen, or a hat for sun coverage. Water shoes or flip-flops: The shoreline, although mostly sandy, does have some rocky sections, the rocks are covered in barnacles and there are numerous small hermit crabs. Phone or camera with a waterproof/tethered case. It’s wonderful to see some pictures of your epic feat afterward. Dry bags or other dry storage for your stuff. A good attitude and a belief that we are all capable of so much more than we can even begin to comprehend! The BIG SWIM does require that every kayaker is outfitted with a list of items to ensure the safety of the swimmer and kayaker. Each kayaker is expected to source their own items. The required gear list includes: 14ft + Ocean compatible kayak with sealed hatches, secured deck lines and a cockpit skirt. River kayaks, tandem kayaks and open cockpit kayaks do not qualify. Two (2) Canadian approved PFDs. One to be worn by the kayaker and one secured to the kayak’s deck fitted for the swimmer. One (1) safety whistle One (1) Compass. Deck-mounted versus hand-held preferred One (1) approved rescue throw line One (1) bailer. Hand held or pump One (1) Paddle float. Solid foam or inflatable One (1) Spare paddle One (10) Cockpit skirt These items will be provided by The BIG SWIM on event morning One (1) Smoke flair One (1) VHF radio One (1) Spot Tracker GPS unit This video suggests what you will want to bring with you during the event:
  • How skilled do you have to be as a kayakers for this event?
    All kayakers must hold a minimum of Paddle Canada Level 1 certification to participate in our event. It is important that kayakers are comfortable in a kayak and comfortable in a variety of different ocean conditions. You must be skilled enough to rescue yourself and a swimmer, if needed, and comfortable enough to sit in a kayak moving at a swimmers pace for approximately 4-8 hrs. Serving as a support vessel and the first line of support for a swimmer is a serious commitment, one that should not be taken lightly. We highly recommend that new kayakers spend some time in the ocean and practice with their swimmer ahead of the event.
  • What certifications do I need to hold as a Kayaker?
    All kayakers must hold a minimum of Paddle Canada Level 1 certification to participate in our event; please note that we will request your certificate number for verification. You can review the skillset for Paddle Canada Level 1 at here: The only exceptions to this rule will be if an individual holds an equivalent certificate from another country. This will be on a per request basis.
  • Do I need to know how to roll?
    Ideally, all kayakers would hold this skill however it is not necessary for our event. As long as you can eject from a tipped kayak, and then be able to self rescue back into the kayak unassisted. These are the major skills you learn in Level 1 training.
  • What if I don't have a kayak?
    Kayakers must provide their own kayak and all associated required safety gear. If you do not own this gear, we recommend that you reach out to your personal network or investigate a gear rental. If the event weekend is near and you are still struggling, please contact for assistance. If you are unable to provide the gear, you will not be permitted to participate, which could have an impact on whether your swimmer can participate.
  • Is there insurance to cover my kayak?
    The GIVETOLIVE insurance policy covers all participants for injury but does not cover your equipment and gear, rented or owned. You must insure your own kayak and gear or ensure that there is coverage for any rental you may acquire. The BIG SWIM is not liable for the loss of a kayak in case of emergency.
  • What is The BIG SWIM like for kayakers?
    Unlike most of your paddling experiences, this one will be likely slower and mainly consist of small adjustments and bracing against waves and wind. You will be maintaining a compass bearing and adjusting the bow of your boat to point in that direction (which is why a deck compass is best). At the same time you will be attempting to stay close to your swimmer but not so close that you would hit them with your paddle or your boat. You will hear safety conversations on the radio, but otherwise it will likely be a very quiet event for kayakers, as participants spread out quickly within the first kilometer. It is important that you practice with your swimmer ahead of time to work on this positioning. Ask your swimmer where they want the boat positioned relative to them swimming. Some have a preference because of how they breathe or which side they look from the most as they swim. Some might not feel comfortable swimming with a boat right in front of them, so will want you behind them. Our recommendation is that you are positioned in a way that you and the swimmer can connect through line of sight, and that you are positioned between the swimmer and the bridge. Our “core” kayakers will connect with you throughout the event to ensure the safety of you and your participant. You will also be asked to monitor a radio channel in case of emergency procedures, or a revision of course (which does happen occasionally during our events).
  • Can I wear headphones or listen to music?
    No. During The BIG SWIM you are responsible for the human being swimming next to you. You are their life raft in this event and it is imperative that your attention is solely on that person and our safety protocols. Swimmers and kayakers are not permitted to utilize electronic music devices during the event. This is to ensure your safety during the event and anyone caught with these devices will be removed from the event. We also ask that you avoid taking phone calls or updating social media while on the water to eliminate distractions.
  • How do I know what direction to take my swimmer?
    Kayakers will be provided with a map in their welcome package on Saturday to assist them in navigating the area. More specific details will also be covered in our mandatory safety paddle on the Saturday prior. On the morning of the event, we will announce a compass bearing for kayakers to follow that will capitalize on the conditions and ideally ensure the best crossing for the swimmer. Note that we often must adjust the compass bearings during the event, and sometimes for specific swimmers, to ensure they are having a successful event. The goal is to have the swimmer land ashore close to the bridge, on the western side, where there is a beach and the crowds will be. It is important that all kayakers can understand how to read a compass and follow a compass bearing.
  • I don't have a swimmer but I want to paddle.
    Please, know that we love all our kayakers, but unattached kayakers do hold a special place in our hearts. Every year we inevitably have swimmers who struggle to find kayakers and that is where you become very helpful to us. Please, register as soon as possible and we will assign you to a swimmer as soon as we can. We try our best to match swimmers and kayakers in similar geographic areas to encourage them to connect ahead of the event weekend. Know that by registering for our event, you are helping a swimmer relieve a very serious worry from their mind. Not everyone has connections and you are helping us make some dreams come true.
  • Can I talk to the swimmer?
    We encourage you to develop a relationship with your swimmer and get to know them! Not only will it make the experience more special for you both, it will also help you to understand their mental state during the event should they begin to struggle. Kayakers play a key role in our swimmers’ experience, and your attitude may very well be the thing that gets them to the finish line.
  • Can I kayak back from PEI?
    No. We do not recommend that any kayakers plan to kayak back to PEI. Please know that our event insurance will not cover you for your return to NB and our support vessels will provide any assistance.
  • Can Kayakers raise funds?
    Absolutely! The more funds raised, the more children are helped at Brigadoon Village. Kayakers are not required to fundraise, but it is certainly appreciated. Please, let us know if you plan to fundraise and we can connect you with our Brigadoon contacts to set-up your fundraising page.
  • What do I do if my swimmer looks to be in distress?
    Every year we inevitably have a few swimmers who must pull out of the event for various reasons. Whatever the reason, it is important to communicate any safety issues or concerns to our on-water team. If you believe your swimmer is in distress, you will: Notify our support vessels immediately through your radio and we will send our "core" kayaker team and/or a rescue boat to investigate. Our team will check with you and the swimmer as to whether they are fit to continue. Please note: swimmers may not wish to be pulled, but it is important to be honest about their condition. Ultimately swimmers are not permitted to decide whether they continue; the safety vessels are highest on the chain of command and will make that call. If your swimmer is pulled, you may exit the event with them on a safety vessel. If you are deemed fit and wish to continue kayaking, you may be permitted to continue. Our "core" kayaking team and support vessels will decide if it is safe for you to continue kayaking or if you must also be removed from the water.
  • What happens to my swimmer if I can't attend or continue during the swim?
    Ahead of event weekend: Ultimately it is the responsibility of the swimmer to provide a certified kayaker for their crossing. We do recognize that things happen, and last minute injuries do occur. If you are unable to participate after having committed, we do ask that you notify us as soon as possible by emailing . We will do our best to re-assign another kayaker to your swimmer in the event that you must cancel at the last minute. During event weekend: Safety is our #1 concern and that means getting everyone safely to PEI, whether you kayak there or arrive on a boat. There is a detailed removal plan for participants who need it and there are boats on the water available to come and get you. If you feel you cannot continue: Notify your swimmer and ensure that they remain with you at all times. Swimmers may not leave their kayakers at any time unless they are re-assigned a new kayaker or are on a support vessel. Notify our support vessels immediately through your radio and they will send a rescue boat to come pick you up. Remain calm and floating in the water with your swimmer until the boat arrives. The boat will transport you to a larger boat or to shore. If you are struggling but not ready to stop being a support kayak, please, be sure to: Communicate with the support vessels using your radio and we will have one of our “core” kayakers come to chat with you. You may need to rest for a few minutes or to hydrate and consume more nutrition. These “core” kayakers can help talk you through a bad mental stretch and give you a rest if need be.
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