Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Friday

July 26, 2013

Swimmer crosses Straits of Mackinac in 2:40

TRAVERSE CITY — Cathy Nagler swam the 5.8 miles across the Straits of Mackinac a day later and by a different route than planned.

She completed the 5.8-mile swim Thursday in 2 hours and 40 minutes, said Jim Shutt, who captained the Seaker Fishing Charters 27-foot support boat that transported Nagler’s two daughters, coach and doctor across the Straits as she swam.

The original plan was to swim from St. Ignace to Mackinaw City, starting Wednesday at 5 a.m. She had change the day to Thursday because of a boat problem. She decided to change the direction of her swim at the last-minute Thursday morning, citing a wind change and currents. She left from Mackinaw City at 6:05 a.m., Shutt said.

Nagler, 51, originally is from Michigan and learned to swim at her family’s summer cabin in Northport. She lives in Rochester, Minn.

She was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when she was 5.

Her biggest concern days before the swim was the possibility of hypothermia from the cold water, which was 67.2 degrees at surface level Thursday. She wore a lightweight wetsuit, and dive boots often used by tri-athletes.

Shutt said she had no problem with either hypothermia or hypoglycemia.

“She held up incredibly well,” Shutt said. “Her goal was three hours and she beat that.”

Shutt said Nagler was the fifth swimmer over several years he has escorted across the Straits. Three of the swims had to be cancelled because of weather and rough waters. One other person completed it in 3 hours and 10 minutes, he said.

Nagler could not be reached for comment.



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