WILLSBORO — On a warm Tuesday, July 9, a brother-and sister duo swam the 8-mile stretch between Willsboro Point, New York and Shelburne Point, Vermont.
Matthew Weiskotten, 26, and Shauna Weiskotten, 24, were recreating a special swim, while their mother, father, and sister followed them in a motorboat.
“About 22 years ago, my dad swam across the lake and so for a long time, I wanted to see if I could do it,” Matt said.
“I remember him [my dad] setting out and just looking across the lake and thinking ‘there’s no way somebody could do that, it just seems impossible,’” Shauna said, “and I guess when I got to about [age] 12 or something it occurred to me that ‘hey maybe I could do that too.’”
Their father, Ron Weiskotten, swam across the lake on July 23, 1991.
“I remember the stretch between the Four Brother [Islands] and Juniper seemed like a long stretch, and then one of the things I did was I went around the north end of Juniper and Matt and Shauna went around the south end,” Ron said.
After coming around the islands, Ron ended up more in the boating lanes so his wife, Jeanne, who was his guide in the motorboat, stayed close to him to let other boats know where he was. At one point he had to swim out of the way of the Ethan Allen.
“It wasn’t a close call, but you know when you see it coming at you it’s interesting,” Ron said.
After making it to Shelburne, Ron remembers how good it felt just to walk up on shore and to know he made his goal. But he didn’t fathom that his children, who were 5 and 3 at the time, would follow suit.
“I never dreamed someday they’d [Matt and Shauna] be doing it like they are and it was wonderful to see them doing it,” Ron said. “They kept up a beautiful pace, just going and going and going. They were waiting for each other and at times they were almost swimming almost next to each other and I think that was definitely a benefit.”