Jun 13, 2014 10:12 PM by Dave Fields
The man who swam the nearly 25 miles of Lake Pontchartrain in just under 15 hours just happens to be a Lafayette native.
Matt Moseley, son of the founders of T-Frere's Bed and Breakfast on Verot School Road, returned to Louisiana from his current home in Boulder, Colorado, to raise money for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, an organization he praises for its efforts to preserve a pollution-free and sometimes unappreciated aspect of New Orleans. The Foundation currently is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and Moseley credits the foundation--with campaigns such as "Save Our Lake"--for revitalizing the ecology of the lake and for cleaning up its pollution.
"I had a wonderful support team and that was a very critical part. You know Diana Nyad always said, 'Swimming is not a solo sport; it is a team sport,' and that is absolutely true here in Lake Pontchartrain," explained Moseley.
Moseley said that, like Nyad, his teammates followed beside him for the duration of the swim, providing him with the nourishment and hydration he required while maintaining a "no-contact" perimeter around him.
Moseley explained to KATC that his love for swimming is rooted in his early childhood days here in Acadiana. His love for all things aquatic continued through his years at Comeaux High School, during which time his training and skills as a swimmer flourished.
Moseley's swim--which also aimed to help the foundation fund a documentary film bringing awareness to lake recovery and coastal wetlands issues--finished ashore at the New Canal Lighthouse & Museum, a 145-year-old beacon resurrected following Hurricane Katrina.
For Moseley, who is now a communication strategist by profession, the solo swim not only provides a challenge, he said, but also a connection or oneness with nature.
"I equate open-water swimming with getting off the track and on the trails for running or hiking. In open water, we leave the pool and the lane lines and the clock behind. We are all descendants of the water, and after swimming for long periods, one begins to feel that connection. After several hours of swimming, all thoughts wash away and the adventure becomes simply you and the water ... In some small way, I would like for the swim(s) to make the connections between humans and our waters (for) somewhere along the way, we have lost what water means."
Moseley remarked that returning to his home state for such an adventurous challenge calls to mind the "joie de vivre" of which Louisianians--from Acadiana to New Orleans--are raised to embrace. The proficient swimmer was quick to credit his late father--as well as his mother, Peggy, who now lives in Ville Platte--for much of his success, both in and out of the water.
How does one feel, one may ask, the morning after a fifteen-hour, 25-mile submersion in water?
"I feel great," said Moseley, who said the swim went "smoothly" until the very end. It was only after he completed his swim, Moseley said he learned, that officials had extracted an alligator from the same vicinity of the shoreline where he came aground.
Even the discovery of a gator didn't seem to faze the man from the southside of Lafayette. To Moseley, it was just one the many living creatures with which to frolic in the open water, not to mention another exhibition of evidence that life is good--and getting better--in Lake Pontchartrain.
Pictured above: Matt Moseley and his children (Facebook.com)