Monday, June 29, 2009

Suffering For Her

Beach:  Klode
Water temp: 60, but it felt colder
Waves:  small chop moving north to south
Crew:  Capt'n & Patriarch
Water Clarity:  Clear
Official Speedo 2009 Lake Michigan Swim Counter: 14
Next Swim: Tuesday 6AM Klode

Today was about showing her we still wanted her, that we were willing to suffer for her.  It was a crummy day; cool, cloudy, threatening.  60 degrees should have been tolerable in our wetsuits, but it felt colder, especially in pockets.  Twenty minutes was plenty today.

It's frustrating to look at the water temp chart and see a ton of warm water just offshore. Blow East Wind, blow!

We're going to give a shot again tomorrow morning, even though there's no reason to believe it will be any warmer.  But, as we've learned, the lady is unpredictable.  Will she demand more suffering or reward our persistence?  

Sunday, June 28, 2009

She's Lost That Lovin' Feeling

gone...gone...gone, the warm water is gone, ran away with that lousy bastard West Wind.

The water temp was 51 this morning, almost twenty degrees cooler than Friday!  We didn't even try to swim.  Oh well, just like any love affair, we have our ups and downs.  She'll be back. How could she possibly stay away from studs like the Capt'n and me?

In the meantime, we'll take advantage of this break in the action to introduce a new feature, the 2009 Lake Michigan Swim Counter. The Swim Counter currently stands at 13.

Next swim:  4:30 PM Monday at Klode, hopefully it will be warmer in the afternoon.  

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Klode / Big Bay Swim at 9am Sunday

With the Pleasant Prairie Open Water Challenge / Aquathon today The Patriarch and I unfortunately did not have a chance to jump in the lake today. The map looks absolutely phenomenal though...mid to upper 70's?

We did, however, cash in on our double dip opportunity on Friday afternoon. The official reading from the Patriarch's thermometer read 69 a few feet below the surface. The surface temperature was most likely a few degrees warmer. As you can probably guess, swimming without a wetsuit for us was a real no brainer. :)

Friday's swim was an easy one for us. From Klode's south beach we kicked around the bay a bit and retrieved a floating walking stick. Ventured down to south-south beach and then returned to kick around the Klode bay a bit more to retrieve the Captn's pistol that floating about 150 meters from shore. "Exhilarating!" With the sunny skies and warm air temps to go along with the warm water temps it was a real challenge to motivate us to get out of the water.

This morning's aquathon was an absolute blast! Haven't seen the official results yet...but the Patriarch's mile swim was in the neighborhood of 36 and mine was around 28...approx. 8 minutes faster than last year! (...many thanks to the Schroeder Swim coaches Jessica, Dave, Adam and Chase for their words of wisdom over the winter!!)

Also saw Megan, James and John Jones at the Open Water Challenge. All three completed the the 3 mile event...amazing!

Looking forward to seeing everyone at Klode!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Double Dippin' at 4pm

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 61 (am), 69 (pm)
Waves: gentle 1ft waves
Current: none
AM Crew: The Patriarch, Mathew, Linda, Robin, Brenda, Capt'n
PM Crew: The Patriarch and Capt'n
Water Clarity: (am) clear, (pm) cloudy
Next Swim: Friday 4pm Klode

What a sharp contrast to last nights conditions. Gone was the near shore tree well as the bath water like temperatures. Instead the water was clear and refreshing. With a wetsuit it didn't take long to acclimate to the conditions.

This morning's swim took us from north beach to the rockpile and back. Conditions were beautiful, gently rolling waves, clear water and occasional schools of minnows swimming along the lake bottom.

The plan is to swim again at 4pm from Klode's south beach. "NO WETSUITS OR BUST" our moto. :)

Current proposal is to do a Klode to Big Bay swim Sunday morning at 9am. Distance is 1 1/4 miles one way..2.5 miles round trip. Any takers?

See you on the beach!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bath water? June???

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 58 (am), 72-80???
Waves: none
Current: none
AM Crew: The Patriarch, Senor Loco (James), Steve, Capt'n
PM Crew: Synergie, Capt'n
Water Clarity: (am) clear, (pm) tree pollen and other gunk near shore, very clear out a bit
Next Swim: Friday 6AM Klode

C-r-a-z-y!! That's the best way to summarize today's swimming adventure. The unscientific toe test this morning was so numbing I was nearly convinced that this morning's swim wouldn't happen. But The Patriarch's thermometer this morning read 58. Being hard to argue with technology we decided to pull on the wetsuits and give it try. It did take awhile for our faces to acclimate this morning but when they did The Patriarch and I did manage to log a Klode South Beach to Sewer pipe swim.

Despite the frigid water temps this morning, James was determined to swim without a wetsuit. And that he did...out to around the stair case and back from Klode's south beach. (approx. 1 1/4 miles round trip) The achievement was so crazy that I hearby dub James the nickname "Senor Loco". As crazy as The Patriarch and I can be sometimes, James' feat this morning was absolutely c-r-a-z-y!

But wait, this story gets crazier! For anyone who took a glance at the colored lake temps map this afternoon you probably saw the "purple" water color indicated for the Milwaukee shoreline. As I've never seen this I couldn't resist the temptation to return to Klode this evening. Could the water temp really be near 80?

Similar to Tuesday evening's non-wetsuit swim the water was calm and littered with tree pollen and helicopters. The toe test at Klode's south beach indicated a much warmer temp than this morning but nothing that felt like 80. Upon entering the water it became clear where this morning's cold water went....while the surface water was pleasant the water about 1-2ft below the surface was considerably colder.

Swimming out about 100-150 meters from shore was absolutely astonishing...the surface water actually felt warm against my face. The 80 degree water indicated by the water color map was indeed true! In all the swims I've done in Lake Michigan I don't think I've ever experienced the feeling of warm, bath like water, against my face.

I've got my fingers crossed that this water hangs around for a bit so everyone can enjoy it!

Future Swim Opportunities:

Friday: 6am Klode

Saturday: Pleasant Prairie Aquathon

Sunday: Klode to Big Bay Swim (...time is negotiable. Interested??? Let us know what time you'd like to start. 9am? 10am? noon?)


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Science of Swimming

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 58, few pockets of warmer and cooler water
Waves: calm
Current: none
Water Clarity: Excellent
The Crew: Patriarch, Nahi, Linda, Mike, Capt'n
Next Swim: Thursday 6AM Klode

What a difference 12 hours can make. Unlike yesterday evening's wetsuit optional conditions swimming without them this morning would have been quite a challenge. (...the thought did cross our minds though...) Despite the cooler water temp it didn't take long for everyone to acclimate to it. Remnants of yesterday's warm water temps could still be found scattered between Klode's north beach and the rockpile....although they were few in numbers. Perhaps signs of the conveyor belt theory?

Good news is today's sweltering hot weather forecast should warm the lake surface up quite nicely. Looking forward to tomorrow's 6am swim.

Future Swim Opportunities:

Saturday: Pleasant Prairie Aquathon

Sunday: Klode to Big Bay Swim (...time is negotiable. Interested??? Let us know what time you'd like to start. 10am? noon?)


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Double Dippin'

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 61 (am), 63+ (pm)
Waves: calm (am), 1ft from the south (pm)
Current: none (am), from the south (pm)
Water Clarity: FANTASTIC!
Next Swim: Wednesday 6AM Klode

Ahoy mates! The Lady of the Lake be treatin' us to some fine early season swimming. Me and the Patriarch took the plunge from the north beach this morning and enjoyed some of the finest sights of the season. The water was crystal clear, the lake surface had a slight ripple and the skies were sunny. Fan-tastic!

This morning the water temp was slightly cooler then Monday evening so we walked the plank clad in wetsuits. After a few minutes of swimming our faces easily adjusted to the cool water and we were off to the rock pile. Not content to just swim to the rock pile and back we ventured a little further this morning up to the end of the rock wall...which is about 3/4 mile north of Klode. As was the case the past few days we were accompanied by several schools of minnows who would occasionally grab our attention by darting through the glimmering shadows created by the sunrise illuminating the rippled lake surface.

Unable to resist the temptation to take the plunge again due to today's summer like conditions, I ventured this evening down to Klode's north beach. Without the Patriarch, (...who I think was on a recruiting mission of sorts at the zoo...) and his handy dandy temperature gage...I would place the water temp around 64. Slightly warmer than Monday evening and definitely swimmable without a wetsuit. Compared to this morning, walking the plank was relatively easy. Without the wetsuit and with the current pushing slightly from southeast to northwest the swim to the garage and back was a bit more of challenge....but a nice change of pace from the pool. :)

We'll be back at it again Wednesday morning at 6am. Nahi is rumored to be planning a visit.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on the beach!

Monday, June 22, 2009

No Wetsuit Required

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 63, pockets of warmer and cooler water
Waves: hardly any
Current: none
Water Clarity:  A lot of tree pollen and other gunk near shore, very clear out a bit
Next Swim:  Tuesday 6AM Klode

John and Mike joined the Capt'n and me for a nice swim from the south end of the beach to "sewer pipe" and back, about .8 mile if I recall .  It was great to see those guys again, it's been a while.   We seemed almost too warm in our wetsuits so when we got back, Capt'n and me decided to ditch the wetsuits and swam another fifteen minutes.  It was definitely cool, but we could have swum further I think.

When we returned to the beach Matthew was there to greet us.  Hopefully he'll be joining us soon.   Nahi said he'd join us Wednesday morning and James on Thursday.  It would be great if we could get a regular group going.   

Wow, it's only the 22nd of June and we're already swimming without wetsuits.   That's almost a month ahead of last year!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Beach: Klode
Water temp: 60
Waves: small rollers
Current: north to south
Water Clarity:  crystal clear
Next swim: Monday 4:30 PM Klode

It's only three degrees warmer than yesterday, but somehow it felt a whole lot more comfortable. 

Capt'n and me had a very nice swim out to "rockpile" and back, and then we decided to head straight out to see if we could still see bottom in deep water.  No problemo.  

There's nothing much to see on the bottom, mostly rippled sand, occasionally scattered rocks, but it's mesmerizing to be suspended ten or fifteen feet above bottom and watch it glide silently by.  It never gets boring.   I wonder if eagles feel the same as they soar through the sky.

The lake as a whole seems to be warming up much more quickly than last year, I don't know why, but I sure hope the trend continues. A few degrees more and we'll be jettisoning our wetsuits.  

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Summer Has Arrived

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 57
Waves: very small
Current: light current from the north
Water clarity:  Crystal Clear (surprisingly, I would have thought yesterday's intense storms would have stirred it up)
Next swim:  I'm thinking Klode at noon on Sunday, but I need to verify that with the Capt'n, assuming he survived the HHH

I was on my own today, as Capt'n is doing the Horribly Hilly Hundreds.  It's the first really hot humid day, so I'll bet right about now he's hallucinating about a nice refreshing dip in the lake.

Another day like Thursday, difficult to get started, I had to stand and get my face out of the water two or three times before I acclimated.  But after a couple minutes it was much better.  I did a nice easy half hour swim, just enjoying the scenery on the bottom as it drifted by.

The forecast looks very favorable for the next few days.  Warm, sunny, with onshore winds, which usually blow in warmer surface water.  And hopefully some waves, we haven't seen any big ones yet.  

Certified Crazy to 57 degrees

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 57
Waves: light chop
Current: from the south
Water Clarity: good

Capt'n was supposed to blog Thursday's swim, but apparently he forgot his password (and I'm supposed to be the one approaching senility).  

There's no doubt that 57 is really cold, the worst part is getting your exposed face in the water.  But surprisingly, if you can endure the first couple minutes it gets a lot easier.  You just have to be careful not to let your body get too chilled, because as we've learned the hard way, the real suffering starts when you get out of the water.  Knowing this, we limited our swim to a refreshing 20 minutes or so.

We intended to swim again Friday, but we outsmarted ourselves (not too difficult, as perceptive readers have already perceived).  We met at Klode at 6AM and the water was 56 degrees, doable certainly, but we figured it would be warmer and more fun to go later in the day, but the weatherman was right for a change and all-day thunderstorms wrecked the rest of the day as far as swimming goes. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Beach: Klode
Water temp: 60 (but pockets of much warmer water)
Waves: Very small rollers
Current:  the web says from the south, but it felt the opposite
Water Clairity:  stirred up and murky near shore from yesterday's storm, but very clear 100 meters out, bottom visible 
Next swim: Thursday 6AM Klode

Today we more than made up for our wimpiness of yesterday.  We had a great swim out to the rock pile and back, about a mile.  We were almost too warm in our wetsuits, it almost felt like we didn't need them, at least in the warmer pockets.

We're way ahead of last year, the water wasn't this warm for another three weeks or more.  The season is off to a great start!

Hey, Schroeder masters:  there is no Thursday morning practice at the pool, come and join us in the big pool.   

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


It was raw, cold, and rainy at Klode tonight, and the water temp was 57, right on the edge of how much suffering we can endure.  So....... I hate to say this ............ I'm choking on the words ......... but we WIMPED OUT.  

Oh well, we have a whole season ahead of us, and tomorrow afternoon looks much better.  We're going to try again 4:30 Wednesday at Klode.    

Monday, June 15, 2009

2009 Lake Michigan Swim Season Officially Open

Beach: Pirates Cove (Bay View Beach)
Water Temp: 59 (as measured by my new water thermometer)
Waves: Calm
Current: None
Water: Murky
Next Swim: Tuesday 7PM at Klode Beach in Whitefish Bay

I'm happy to report on our first lake swim of the year.  Cap'n and I met at Pirates Cove after work, thinking that the water would be warmer behind the breakwall.   

I had forgotten (or blocked out) the shock of that initial plunge into cold water.  But after a couple minutes, we were plenty cozy in our wetsuits and multiple caps (Cap'n had neoprene booties and gloves too!).  We could have swum for as long as we wanted, but we were pressed for time, so we only did 15 minutes.  Still, it was great to be in the drink again.

But now we're anxious to get out in the open lake, to rock and roll in the waves again, and get away from all the boats coming in and out of South Shore Marina.  So we're going to give Klode a shot tomorrow at 7PM.  

Please join us!