Sunday, July 27, 2014

Eventful Weekend

Next Swim:  Monday 7/28 5PM, forecast says waves 3-6 feet are possible

Last Swims:
Sunday 7/27 1:00PM
Water Temp:  mostly 50 or below, but a few warmer spots too
Waves: Calm at the start, but sudden heavy weather forced us out (see below)
Water Clarity:  OK
Crew: Diablo, Neo, Cobbie, Cathy, Panini, Gumdrop, Phil, Patriarch, with special guest Capt'n
Wetsuit/Skin: 6/2
Pitsch Count: 9

Saturday 7/26 11AM
Water Temp: 51 at the beach, maybe colder away
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: OK
Crew: Mike, Mike, Bill, Brian,Tim, Monica, Julie, Showgirl, Panini, Andy, Diablo, Patriarch, Capt'n
Wetsuit/Skin:  12/1
Pitsch Count: 8

Despite the cold water, a wonderful and amazing weekend.  On Saturday we met this incredible woman Abbey Brau who swam for an entire hour in 51 degree water without a wetsuit and only a single latex cap!  When she emerged from the water she wasn't even shivering or slurring her words like we do in much shorter and warmer swims.  Abbey is from Minnesota and she is training for the 10K "Bridge to Bridge" swim in San Francisco (Golden Gate to Bay Bridge) on August 9th.  On the event webpage it says, "This legendary swim is recommended for elite swimmers wanting to race between two landmark bridges in the exciting bay waters".  Pleased to meet you Abbey, good luck in in San Francisco.

Our Sunday our swim started uneventfully enough.  It was sunny and warm, the water was flat.  We could see rain on the lake far to the north, it didn't seem like a threat.  But what we didn't see, because it was "hiding" behind the lake bluff, was a violent storm furiously bearing down from the west.  Cobbie and I were just finishing our swim and just barely made it back.  But Phil and Gumdrop got caught and had to bail out.  One of the great things about Klode is the long sand beach.  If you get in trouble you just get out and walk back, which isn't possible in most places along the shore.  Phil wasn't too far away, but Gumdrop had to walk almost a mile back.

From the shelter above the beach we watched a huge wind pick up the flat water, toss it into a spray and push it rapidly south.  It almost seemed like a herd of invisible buffalo stampeding across the water.

Another amazing but disgusting thing was all the brown foamy gunk gushing out of the street sewer just north of our beach.  Although it's not raw sewage it might be worse in some ways, heavy with all the foul stuff running off the streets and people's lawns.  Fertilizers, insecticides, road oil, and God knows what else.  Yuch!  Hopefully it dissipates quickly.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Triple Play

Next Swims: Saturday 7/26 11:00 AM, Sunday 7/27 1:00 PM

Last Swim: Friday 7/25 6AM
Water Temp: 57-59 depending on who was measuring, what they were measuring with, and where they were measuring
Waves:  Like glass, but there was a noticeable current heading north
Water Clarity:  Poor near shore, better further away
Crew: Kahuna, Capt'n, Gumdrop, Diablo, Wendy, Julie, Panini, Showgirl, Bubba, Patriarch
Special Guest: Wonder Woman
Wetsuit/Skin: 5/5

A gorgeous sunrise.  A great swim.  Breakfast at Solly's.  Enough said.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Operator Error

Next Swim:  Friday July 25th 6AM followed by breakfast at Solly's.  Even if we don't swim we will still go to breakfast

Update Thursday 7PM:  I stopped by the beach at 5:30 and was flummoxed to measure a water temp of 64, a full 15 degrees warmer than this morning.  I am totally at a loss to explain, but I sure am happy about it.  I had a very pleasant skin swim.  Hopefully the warmer water will still be there in the morning.

Also, I will stop by the beach tonight (Thu 7-24) at 5:30 but I'm not optimistic that it will be warm enough to swim.

Last Swim:
Thursday 7/24 6AM
Water Temp: 49
Waves: One Foot
Water Clarity:  Terrible, with lots of gunk washed up on shore from yesterday's big waves.
Crew:  Diablo and Gumdrop, with me and Kahuna shivering on shore
Wetsuit/Skin Count: 1/1

Today we added another misadventure to our long list of skulduggeries.  I drove to the beach expecting warm water because that's what the NOAA maps showed.  I arrived at the beach and waded in as usual to take the temperature.  The water felt very cold but my thermometer read 60.  It didn't seem right so I took another reading and got the same thing.  So I prepared to do a skin swim, but the water still felt very cold and after three attempts to get in the very cold water I finally gave up.  I couldn't figure out why 60 degrees was such a problem.

Then I finally realized what was going on.  My thermometer takes two temperatures, air and water, but it only displays one of them.  I always set it to display the water temp, but I must have accidentally somehow toggled the button to read the air temperature.  So I took a third reading and got 49, which finally made sense.

Capt'n was conspicuously absent from the beach this morning but there is an item in the morning paper that may explain it: "a male was arrested for drinking and possession if both marijuana and drug paraphernalia at Klode Park at midnight".  Donations to his bail fund can be handed directly to me (cash only in a plain envelope).  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Well I'll be Dipped

Next Swim: Thursday 7/24 6AM

Surprised again!  This morning the water temp was 49, this evening it is 63.  That means it's time for a dip.  See you on the beach at 6AM.

Apparently there is some disagreement in the Crew on the best day for Breakfast at Solly's.  Some want Friday morning after our 6AM swim.  Others would prefer Saturday morning so breakfast won't interfere with work.  But that would mean an early swim Saturday (7AM?).  If you have a preference and have not already commented please do so.  I'm fine with either options, there's never a bad day to have breakfast at Solly's.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Next Swim:  ???  Whenever it warms up again, I will be monitoring

Update Monday evening 7/22 - water temp has fallen even further, 46 at 8PM

Last Swims:
Monday 7/21 6PM
Water Temp: 54
Waves:  Choppy
Water Clarity: Good
Crew:  Mike, Mike, Andy, Gumdrop

Tuesday 7/22
Water Temp: 49!
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Good
Crew:  Monica, Gumdrop, Diablo (others, including myself wimped out)

Yesterday I was predicting warmer water, so I adopted a "skin or bust" strategy for last nights swim.  It was a total bust.  Not only was my prediction wrong, it was spectacularly wrong.  The water temp was 56 yesterday morning, 54 yesterday evening, and 49 this morning.

What an unusual year.  It's not unusual to have some days of very cold water, even on the hottest days of summer.  But what's unusual this year is the lack of any warm days.  In past years we've seen many days with water temps in the high sixties or even low seventies by now.  But this year is different.  My raspberries and tomatoes are 3-4 weeks late this year, and so is the lake.

Maybe instead of whining about it I just need to adopt a new strategy, the "Diablo Strategy": swim no matter what.  Today's 49 degree water did not stop him from swimming to the picnic table and back without a wetsuit!  Wow!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cooling Down. Warming Up?

Next Swims:  Mon 7/21 6PM
Tue 7/22 6AM

Last Swim:  Monday July 21st 6AM
Water Temp: 56
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Panini, Showgirl, Diablo, David, Capt'n, Kahuna, Patriarch, and GG giving her legs an ice bath
Wetsuit/Skin: 6/1

The last few days the pattern has been the same.  The water cools into the upper fifties overnight, and then warms to the low 60's during the day.  Today should be the same.  It's hot humid and sunny, with a southeasterly breeze, and that usually (but not always) means warmer water.  It could also mean choppy water. I'll be back on the beach at 6PM for a "skin or bust" swim,  meaning I intend to swim without a wetsuit, and let the water temperature dictate how far I will go.  Please join us, you can bring your wetsuit if you want.

Coming Highlights:  Later this week, probably Thursday or Friday or whatever day works best for people we'll have breakfast at Solly's following the morning swim.  There are no bad choices at Solly's (but few healthy ones).  I recommend the large stack of Door County Cherry Pancakes, smothered in butter and real maple syrup.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Morning Swims Begin

Next Swims: Monday & Tuesday 7/21 & 7/22, 6AM
We might also do evening swims if it appears the conditions will be good, stay tuned

Last Swims:
Sunday 7/20 1PM
Water Temp: 60
Waves:  Choppy
Water Clarity:  Excellent, large schools of fish visible
Crew: David, Panini, Showgirl, Gumdrop, Diablo, Capt'n, Patriarch
Plus:  Showgirl's son David, Scooby on his jet ski and Crispy was just leaving as we got there.
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/4
Pitsch Count: 7

Saturday 7/19 8AM and noon
Water Temp: 56 at 8AM, 62 at noon (amazing how quickly it can change!)
Waves:  Choppy
Water Clarity:  Excellent
8AM Crew:  Capt'n, Gumdrop
Noon Crew: GG, Neo, Diablo, Patriarch, Panini, Showgirl
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/5
Pitsch Count: 5

60 degree water could hardly be considered warm, but it sure seems that way after all the cold water we've experienced thus far this season.  And it's warm enough for some amazing swimming, with crystal clear water full of large schools of fish.  It's also warm enough to begin morning swims again.  See you on the beach at 6AM.