Tuesday, July 28, 2015

No Rest For the Weary

Next Swims:  Tuesday July 28th 6PM
Wednesday July 29th 6AM
Thursday July 30th, 6AM
Friday July 31st 6AM
Blue Moon Swim Friday July 31st 7:15PM, followed by Beer Garden
Also, possibly evening swims on Wed & Thu, check back

Last Swim: Tuesday July 28th 6AM
Water Temp: 68
Waves: Half Foot Rollers
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Anna, Diana, Diablo, Bubba, Crash, Nanook, Kahuna, Jackie, Forger, Jack Frost, Itch, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 5/7

It's been so good and I've spent too much time at the beach.  My car smells like Lake Michigan.  Sand is in everything.  My arms and shoulders are tired.  I really should take a day or two off.  No way!  The swim season is short.  I have to take advantage while I can.  See you at 6PM.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Trifecta

Next Swims:  6AM Tuesday through Friday July 28th - July 31st
Also, possibly 6PM swims Tue, Wed, Thu, check back

Friday the 31st at 7:45 PM will be a Blue Moon swim. The full moon rises over the lake at 8:15PM.  Beer Garden after the swim.

Last Swim: Monday July 27th 6PM
Water Temp: 71
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Ultra HD Clear
Crew: Two Mikes, Super Hera, Eric, Dave, Mark, Renee, Mr. Anonymous, Kelly, Diablo, Crash, Jack Frost, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin:  3/10

Tonight we hit a rare trifecta of Lake Michigan swimming.  Water over 70, flat calm and crystal clear.  And on top of that a beautiful summer evening.  This goes down as one of the top ten all time best.  This is what I dream about in January.

Draw

Next Swims: Tonight Mon 7/27 6PM
Tomorrow Tue 7/28 6AM

Last Swim: Monday 7/27 6AM
Water Temp: 58
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity:  Ultra HD Clear
Crew: Diablo, Gumdrop, Forger, Bubba, Capt'n, Showgirl, Crash, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin 4/4

The battle between warm water and cold water was fought to a draw.  The extreme temperature differences that we experienced yesterday have evened out, the water temperature settling down to 58, in between the two extremes.

We're coming back at 6PM tonight.  Today's weather is forecast warm and sunny with an onshore wind, which in theory means warmer but maybe choppier water.  But as with all my predictions it's probably wrong.  The lake is never dull.

A Blue Moon rises over the lake at 8:15 on Friday evening.  We will meet in the Klode parking lot at 7:45 so we can be swimming while the moon rises.  Perhaps the Beer Garden afterwards?  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Thermocline

Next Swims:  6AM Monday - Friday this week, July 27th - July 31st
There may also be some 6PM swims this if conditions are favorable, stay tuned
On Friday evening we'll have a Blue Moon swim followed by a stop for food and beverage, details later

Last Swim: Sunday July 26th 1PM
Water Temps:  Measured 60 on shore but pockets of much warmer and much colder water.  Also, a steep thermocline.
Waves: Gentle Rollers
Water Clarity: Ultra HD Clear
Crew: Jackie, two Annas, Jack Frost, Mark, Renee, Diablo, Capt'n, Showgirl, Valarie, Kate, Lorraine, Neo, Kahuna, Sonnakuhuna, Gigi, Gumdrop, Mr. Anonymous, Itch, Mike, Slip-n-Slide, Dan, Patriarch and I may have missed a couple, there are so many people coming lately it's hard to keep track
Wetsuit/Skin: 12/10
Pitsch: 17

I was amazed so many people showed up to swim, especially after yesterdays report of 49 water temp.  We're either a hardy crew, a determined crew, or a just plain dumb crew.  So let's raise the quality of this blog for just once with a lesson.

Thermocline: Noun. A layer in a large body of water such as a lake, that sharply separates regions differing in temperature, so that the temperature gradient across the layer is abrupt.  For example, standing up in neck deep water today your shoulders felt 70 degree water and your feet felt 40.

An epic battle going on in the lake today between good and evil, warm water and cold.  Extreme differences between one spot and another and surface water versus five feet down.  Into this maelstrom we swam, and it quickly became a test of will.  Those who focused on just the cold spots quickly exited the water, especially because the coldest water of all was right at the rock piles where we start.  But those of us who have experience knew that if we just hung on for a bit, we might find warmer water offshore, and today we did.  We were richly rewarded with (mostly) warm calm clear water.  But it was not a good idea to stop and touch bottom or tread water.

Obviously the lake is in transition.  Will good or edit prevail?  We'll find out at 6AM

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Polar Plunge in July

Next Swims:  Sunday July 26th 1PM, Monday July 27th 6AM

Last Swim: Saturday July 25th 9AM
Water Temp:  49, but possibly even colder
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew:  So I forgot to bring my notebook to the beach so I'm doing this by memory and there were a lot of people there, including some I never met before, so here is as much as a senile old man can remember.  Pam, Michael, Lenore, Raphael, Anna, Kelly, Liz, Blondie, Mr. Anonymous, Scott, Diablo, Nanook, Gumdrop, Mark, Renee, Jackie, Kelly, Showgirl, Capt'n, Patriarch.  I'm sure I've missed some, sorry!
Skin:  Kudos to Lenore, Nanook, and Diablo, who swam skin to sewer pipe and back in frigidly cold water.  I don't know how you do it, I can't even manage it in a full wetsuit.

Our hopes of a Big Bay swim were dashed by frigid water.  Almost unbelievably the water temperature  at the beach has dropped over 20 degrees in just 48 hours.  All is not lost however. The warm surface water that was here two days ago is pooled just offshore and the winds are predicted to turn onshore this afternoon, so the warm water might blow back in.  Or maybe not.  It's impossible to predict and you never really know until you get there. I'll be back Sunday at 1PM hoping for the best.  

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hard to Get

Next Swims: Saturday July 25th 9AM
Sunday July 26th 1PM

Lake conditions are currently extremely variable.  We may or may not attempt a Big Bay swim this weekend, see comments below.

Last Swim: Friday July 24th 6AM
Water Temp 61 at the beach, pockets of very cold water away from the beach (but some warm too)
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Crash, Diablo, Diana, Rosa, Showgirl, Mark, Gumdrop, Mike, Kelly, Forger, Capt'n, Monica, Patriarch

The Lady of the Lake is playing hard to get.  We had hoped to do a "Big Bay" swim this weekend, but she's not going to make it easy for us.  After a week of relatively warm water temps (mid to high 60s), it was much colder this morning (Friday).  God only knows what will happen on Saturday morning.  If the water is warm enough for a long skin swim (high sixties at least) and calm enough, we'll still attempt Big Bay, but if not we'll just do a regular swim and postpone Big Bay to Sunday or another day.

Moral of the Day: You can't predict Lake Michigan, you can only take what it gives you.

P.S.  By a Big Bay swim I mean one or both ways between Klode Park beach and Big Bay park beach.  It's 1.2 miles one way.  For one way swimmers we'll shuttle cars as we need to (or you can leave a bike or shoes at the other end and walk, run, or bike back).  The direction of the one way swim will depend on waves and currents, we'll do it the easy way :)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Almost 70

Next Swims: Friday July 24th 6AM
Saturday July 25th 9AM
Sunday July 26th 1PM

On Saturday, if conditions are favorable, we will do a Big Bay swim.  One or two way swim between Klode park and Big Bay park, 1.2 miles one way.  For the one way swim we will shuttle cars as necessary.

Last Swims:  Friday July 22nd 6AM and 6PM
Water temps: 63 at 6AM, 69 at 6PM
Waves:  Calm at 6AM, a bit choppy at 6PM
Water Clarity:  Super Ultra HD Clear
6AM Crew: Diablo, Crash, Itch, Mike, Tom, Bubba, Mr. Anonymous, Patriarch
6PM Crew: Itch, Lorraine, Capt'n, Liz, Jack Frost, Steve, Nanook, Monique, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 7/11
Pitsch Count: 8

It's been an incredible string of good swimming days.  The water has been crystal clear and temperature has been rising and now is only one degree shy of 70.  But we can't get complacent, we know from experience that it can quickly turn cold.  Come and enjoy it while it lasts.