Courtesy of Madhu Nagaraja and Bryan Finlay, Great Lakes, Canada.

Madhu Nagaraja did a 1,600 km road trip between all the Great Lakes in Canada where he and Mauro Campanelli, Loren King, Lynn De Lathouwer Rodgers, Bud Seawright, Hilda Leahy, and Geoff Farrow each swam a mile in each of the Great Lakes- the first of its kind- and swam a mile in all the lakes. “It was a fantastic experience and Bryan Finlay joined us at Canatara beach in Lake Huron and wrote a beautiful poem.”

The Magnificent Seven
Yes, we are all here for the Great Lakes Trust
You and I form a part of its very thrust
To save us from poisons from Nature or Man
To plan the attack and do what we can.
Chemical run-offs from factories and land
Farmers and industry. Mining rocks and the sand
Phosphates and mercury and so much more
With plastics discarded from each daily chore.
Phragmites and carp from some foreign land
Invading our waterways beyond our command.
Zebra mussels choking water intakes
Now firmly entrenched in our Great Lakes.
So they set forth their Goal to establish a Trust
To raise funds and move others to rise from the dust
To create this new movement and all that it takes
To motivate others to save our Great Lakes.
To promote their mission and draw eyes to their goal
A group of seven would each test their soul
To visit each lake within 24 hours
And to swim one mile in each, despite wind or showers.
So a trip such as this takes planning precise
It’s no task for the timid. No gambling with dice.
For it’s 800 clicks to get to the start
For that Superior dip. Yes, at 4:30 it’s dark!

The Planner
So Mauro he studied the maps and the road
And planned each break to lighten the load.
Locations defined by GPS
To be there on time for each mile’s test
To Brimley and Mackinaw. Sarnia, Port Stanley
To return to the start, Oakville and family.
On Canadian roads to the USA
Over bridges and borders. Some sixteen-hundred k.
To Superior and Michigan in the dark before dawn.
Down to Huron’s blue waters before the day is half done.
Then weary and tired, but with Lake Erie in sight
Before embracing Ontario in Oakville’s last light.

The Dreamer
He’s the Prof. He’s the Geek. He’s the Great Lakes King
He’ll hit you with science for that is his thing
Does he ever sleep, or even relax?
For each challenge or project, Loren takes to the Max.

The Speedsters
There are speedsters galore in ‘most every sport
But cold-water ventures breed a different sort
Now this pair were perfect, no wet-suits – that’s good
Their group-timing was perfect – our slim Lynn and Bud.

The Team
So who were the others to travel afar
To share with the tasks. Swim ‘neath a North Pole star.
To add to the fun and to further the goal.
Hilda and Geoff were all part of its soul.

The Team-Maker
Now this one has friends all over the globe
Just how he has met them – nobody knows
But mention his name from here to Peru
And be sure they are friends with our guru Madhu.

The Dream
This was no dream. It was planned to perfection
Each one on the Team brought trust and direction.
May the Great Lakes Trust raise funds to be given,
With thanks to the drive of our Magnificent Seven.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association