Thursday, September 21, 2017

Party on Sunday!

Next Swims:
* Thursday 9-21 6PM
* Friday 9-22 6:15 AM & 5:30PM
* Saturday 9-23 1PM
* Sunday 9-24, Swim at Noon, followed by:
CLOSE TO THE END OF THE SEASON LAKE MICHIGAN SWIMMERS CELEBRATION
2141 N. BUFFUM ST, MILWAUKEE WI (Handyman Hank and Northshore Nancy's new home--you can take the girl outta the Northshore, but you can't take the Northshore outta the girl). HH and NSN will provide burgers and brats, beer, and soda/water.  They ask that people bring a dish to pass.

Last Swims: 
Thursday 6:15 AM
Water: 63 Gently Rolling, No Chop, Mostly Clear
Crew: Cool Hand Luke, Showgirl, Patriarch

Wednesday 6PM
Water: 67, 2-3 ft swell
Crew: Itch, Liz, Wet Taco, Mr. Anonymous, Patriarch

Tuesday 6PM
Water: 68 Chop on Top of One to Two Foot Swell
Crew: Handyman Hank, Itch, Drangonfly, Panini, Patriarch

After Sunday's 58 degree water the temperature has remained above 60.  It's supposed to be hot and humid the next few days, come down to the beach to cool off.

And on Sunday continue cooling off with some cold brews at Hank and Nancy's party.  They are self-professed beer snobs, so I expect we'll have a nice selection of craft brew.  








Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Nose Knows

Next Swims:
* Tue September 19th 6PM
* Wed 6:15AM & 6PM

Last Swim
Mon 9-18, 6PM
Water: 65 1-2 ft waves clear
Crew: Drangonfly, Capt'n, Itch, Patriarch

I was not at the morning swims Monday or Tuesday so I have no report.  If anyone was there and has a moment please let us know.

There has been much speculation of late as to the large descrepancies between the water temperature and wave conditions we observe on the beach versus all the various graphs, buoys and marine weather reports on the web. After long observation I can say the websites can be very helpful, and are often correct, but sometimes they can be misleading too, especially when the lake is in transition in spring and fall.

It's not that they're wrong, it's because conditions can change rapidly, with transient large local differences between one spot and another.  The only way to really know the conditions at the beach is to go to the beach.

But wait!  All is not lost!  There is one sure fired method for predicting the water temperature - Capt'ns nose.  We're walking down to the beach Monday evening when Capt'n says, "Warmer water has blown in, I can smell it.  It smells like 65 degrees.".  This of course elicited much ridicule from the rest of us.

But I'll be damned.  Not only was Capt'n right, he was exactly right.  It was 65 degrees.   I hate it when he's right!

So tell us Capt'n, what does your nose tell you today?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Back To Reality

Next Swims:
* Mon 9/18, 6:15AM & 6PM
* Tue 9/19, 6:15AM & 6PM

And Don't Forget:
CLOSE TO THE END OF THE SEASON LAKE MICHIGAN SWIMMERS CELEBRATION
2:30 PM--people can still get in a swim at noon
2141 N. BUFFUM ST, MILWAUKEE WI (Handyman Hank and Northshore Nancy's new home--you can take the girl outta the Northshore, but you can't take the Northshore outta the girl). HH and NSN will provide burgers and brats, beer, and soda/water.  They ask that people bring a dish to pass.

Last Swims:
Sunday 9/17 noon
Water: 58 small waves
Crew: Diablo, Beth, Drangonfly, Phoenix, Wet Taco, Kahuna, Mark (Cool Hand Luke?), Lorraine, Capt'n, Itch, Magic Mike, Gumdrop, Pamini, Patriarch

Saturday noon
Water:  67 lots of chop on top of one foot swells
Crew: Kahuna, Gumdrop (on his SUP), Phoenix, Handyman Hank, Capt'n, El Jefe, Magic Mike, Nanook, Diablo, Itch, Liz, Mark, Patriarch  

Much consternation and moaning on the beach today as the temperature gauge failed to crack 60 degrees for the first time since July 17th!  We knew this day was coming, but it's always a shock when it actually happens.  

That's not to say the swim season is over.  There's plenty of warm water out there, all it takes is a wind shift to bring it back in.  And it's easy to forget but a couple of months ago we'd have died for 58 degree water.  It could be a lot worse.  Hell, it WILL be a lot worse.  

Regardless, it was a fantastic two months, perhaps our best swim season ever. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Just Another Tequila Sunrise

Next Swims:
 * Fri 5:30PM
 * Saturday Noon (followed by a bike ride to Port by those wacky triathletes, all are welcome)
 * Sunday Noon

Last Swim:
 *Friday 6:15 am
 Water: 64.4 (yes, I used my thermometer), swells out of the south, clarity good away from shore
 Crew: Kahuna, Showgirl, Super Hera, Mark?
 Skin/Lava/Suit/kilt: 2/1.5/1/1

It looked like there would be no sunrise this morning, and then... mid-swim, there it was in all it's glory.  We swam north and the waves carried us along easily.  The return trip required a bit more effort.

There was a mystery swimmer just cruising out thru the rock piles when we got there-- we think that was Mark.

And no, there was no tequila consumed this morning.  Check back after the weekend.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Nostalgic Swimming

Next Swims:
* Thurs 6PM
* Fri 6:15AM & 5:30PM

Last Swim:
*Thursday 6:15 am
Water: 64, flat and clear as glass
Crew: Panini, Showgirl

*Wednesday night?

*Wednesday 6:15 am
Water: 64, flat and clear as glass
Crew: Patriarch, Panini, Showgirl

*Tuesday night?

As the summer swim season winds down, every swim is lightly imbued with nostalgia. When I wake up and I want to stay in my warm bed, I remind myself that the days of swimming are numbered, and every morning swim is a gift.

Panini and I arrived at Klode at the same time this morning.  The po-po were there, having a chit-chat in the middle of the parking lot. We did our best to appear law-abiding, and then rewarded ourselves for that effort with a post-swim skinny dip.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Still Great Swimming

Next Swims:
* Tuesday 9/12 6PM
* Wed 6:15AM & 6PM
* Thu 6:15AM & 6PM
* Fri 6:15AM & 5:30PM

Last Swims:
* Tue 6:15 AM
Water: 63 flat calm, crystal clear
Crew: Showgirl & Patrarch

* Mon 6PM
Water: 66 clear, a little choppy
Crew: Itch & Patriarch

* Mon 6:15AM
Water: 63 small waves
Crew: Panini & Patriarch

Not many people showing up this week, which is a shame because fantastic swimming is still to be had.  Take this morning.  Showgirl and I enjoyed a crimson sunrise while swimming through flat crystal clear water.

This time of year days like today are a gift, and every one could be the last.  Come and enjoy while you still can.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Is It Really 64 Or Did You Make That Up?

Next Swims:
* Mon 9/11 6:15Am & 6PM
* Tue 9/12 6:15AM & 6PM
Note that morning swims are moved to 6:15 because it's too dark at 6AM

Last Swims:
Sun 1PM
Water: 66 1-2 ft waves choppy and rough
Crew: Handyman Hank, Wet Taco, Mark, Gumdrop, Liz, Drangonfly, Diablo, Itch, Magic Mike, Patriarch

Sat 1PM
Water 66 wavy and rough
Crew: Gumdrop, Magic Mike, Super Hera, Wet Taco, Diablo

Saturday 8AM
Big Shoulders, Ohio Street Beach, Chicago
64 very choppy "washing machine" water
Crew: Mitch & Itch 5K no wetsuit, Drangonfly & Patriarch 2.5K wetsuit

Before the race at Big Shoulders I happened to be standing near the announcer's tent when he broadcasts that the water temp is 64.  A very upset lady walks up and angrily says to him, "Is it really 64 or did you just make that up?"

I cracked up because that's exactly what happens when I perform my daily pre-swim water thermometer reading and I announce the result to the crew.  There's almost always someone who doesn't believe it.  Mostly they seem to think the water is colder than it really is.

Now of  course my thermometer could be wrong, but it's always within a degree of Itch's fancy thermometer.  Or it could be that the temperature offshore is cooler than measured right at the water's edge.  But I don't think that's the issue.

For whatever reason they believe the lake is colder, rougher and more polluted than it really is. And any evidence to the contrary must be wrong.  But why do they believe that?   I don't really know but my theory is they're psyched out by the lake and really don't want to swim but don't want to wimp out either. So they resolve the internal conflict by changing the external facts.

I've done the same thing to myself a thousand times.  Before some challenge or other I come up with all the reasons why it's too hard and why I shouldn't even try.  Afterwards I wonder what I was so worried about.