Faced with battling waves and nasty weather, Bryce Barlow took on a challenge.
The 17-year-old crossed Lake Ontario Saturday in a 12-foot sailboat to raise funds for Women’s Place of South Niagara.
Launching from Port Dalhousie and landing in downtown Toronto, Barlow wanted to help an under-appreciated not-for-profit organization in Niagara.
Women’s Place of South Niagara Inc. strives to end abuse and violence by empowering women and their children with safe shelter, counselling, education and community partnerships.
Barlow said it is one of the most important organizations in the region.
While the planning went off without a hitch, weather during the morning launch turned into a challenge.
After a storm the Friday evening, the waves were rough and choppy making the launch impossible from the marina.
Fishermen in the area directed the group to a private launch in a sheltered area, where the long journey began.
Once leaving the harbour, the E.L. Crossley student faced of waves close to seven feet high. The 12-foot sailboat cut through and quickly put the shore behind him.
About a kilometre out, the waves started to space out, allowing Barlow’s sailboat to reach 10 km per hour.
Three-and-a-half hours into the journey, he was about 12 kilometres off Toronto when water began filling into the cabin, but Barlow said the water kept his feet warm.
He continued the journey which paid off around 7:45 p.m., as he entered the Toronto Harbour.
Once on dry land, Barlow bent down and kissed the ground. He had successfully battled the elements in the 45 kilometre trip across Lake Ontario.
The idea of making the trip came after attending a Rotary event in April called SlapShot.
It was there the planning began. The Rotary club helped gather donations.
Barlow plans to make the journey an annual tradition. He hopes to continue raising funds for local charities in Niagara.
To view his journey in videos and photos, visit the Facebook page set up for the journey at www.facebook.com/operationwaterwings.
To send in donations, contact Barlow at email@example.com.