A P.E.I. swimmer successfully made the long journey to the Island, taking the 24.5 km route from Nova Scotia instead of the shorter 13.5 km route from New Brunswick favoured by Northumberland Strait swimmers.

Jill Leon left about 8 a.m. Wednesday, and hoped to make the swim in about eight hours. Leon took roughly the same path followed by the ferry that runs between Caribou, N.S. and Wood Islands, P.E.I.

The 57-year-old distance swimmer finished the exhasting swim on nine hours and 48 minutes, making it to shore shortly before 6 p.m. at Woods Islands.

In the early going, the water was a bit rougher than she had hoped for, and she lost a bit of time.

Leon has been a distance swimmer most of her life, and has been training for this swim since the winter.

"You just continue to train in the pool and increasing mileage, and this winter I took on sort of a heavy-duty weight program," she told CBC News just before starting her swim.

"I'm hoping that all of that combined is going to give me a successful trip today."

This is Leon's second crossing of the strait. She did the New Brunswick to P.E.I. swim five years ago.


Swimming the ferry route adds about 11 km. View Northumberland Strait swim in a larger map