Friday, July 31, 2009


Beach: Klode
Watter temp: 69
Waves: choppy
Current: from the south
Water Clarity: crystal clear
Crew: The Patriarch, Capt'n
Next swims: Sat 10AM Klode, Sun 5PM Klode

You'd think with all the swims The Patriarch and I have done that nothing would surprise us....but following this morning's cold water temps we were a bit skeptical about the possibility of logging a 'no wetsuit or bust' swim this afternoon. Once again, the Lady of the Lake reminded us not to quit our day jobs in favor of becoming water weather men by greeting us with a very hospitable water temp of 69.

Not to be out done, our little fishy friends this afternoon also surprised us a bit by being very sociable. Upon reaching south-south beach we stopped near the shoreline to admire all the really tiny little fish swimming among the rocks. Also hanging out were a couple larger fish who were not in the least bit shy about getting up in your grill to say hello...not just once either, but several times!

Ahhhh....never a dull moment! :)

Red Herrings

Beach: Klode
Watter temp: 60! it felt even colder
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: crystal clear
Crew: Cap'n, Patriarch
Next swims: Sat 10AM Klode, Sun 5PM Klode
Possibly: A "No Wetsuit or Bust" swim this afternoon - stay tuned.

Check this out!!: I'm signing up!

The water was very cold, very clear, and very calm. It made for a nice brisk refreshing swim to "sewer pipe" and back. (We should think of a better name - there's no sewage - at least I don't think so - it's a storm drain.)

Maybe it was the cold water, or maybe Cap''n had water in his ears, but this was our conversation when we returned to shore:
Cap'n: "Look, a stork"
Patriarch: "It's a blue heron"
Cap'n: "A herring?"
Patriarch: "No a HERON - H-E-R-O-N"
Cap'n: "I've heard of red herrings but not blue herrings"
Patriarch: "A heron, a great blue heron"

Thursday, July 30, 2009

One for the fish

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 64ish
Waves: calm
Crew: Robin, Capt'n (Sir James, Erin & Rob all arrvied for a later evening dip.)
Water Clarity: Clear
Next Swims: Friday 6AM Klode

Judging by my educated toe test this evening I'd place the water temp on the cool side of the mid 60's. Not numbing, but enough to make your skin tingle a bit if you walk the plank minus a wetsuit....which is what I opted to do this evening. (truth be was mostly because I was too lazy to climb into my wetsuit....)

The highlight of this evening's swim...other than the storms which were passing to the north of Klode while the sun still peaked in out of the clouds over the beach...was the company we had. Accompanying us for the entire swim from Klode's southeast beach to the garage and back were little schools of fish. Each one probably contained about 25-50 little fishies but barely a minute passed when a school of them didn't pass below you. Very cool!

Capping off this evening's swim was an amazingly large school (100's? 1000's?) of these little fishies just hanging on the outer perimeter of the Klode's southeast beach. Not in the least bit timid about the fact that we were swimming above them.....were they perhaps a mirage?

...or perhaps they were just anxiously awaiting Senor Loco Sir James to take the plunge into the water? For that, unfortunately, they will need to swim on over to Michigan as James is taking his show on the road for the National Open Water 10K championship this Saturday. Good luck James!!

Howling at the Moon

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 64
Waves: calm
Crew: Patriarch, Gumdrop, Steve, Sandie, Mike (and joined at the end by Shaun)
Water Clarity: Clear
Next Swims: Friday 6AM Klode, Saturday 10AM Klode for a longer swim
Also, Cap'n wants to swim tonight, he'll post when he's going (I can't go, I have a retirement party to attend)

Pretty much the same thing we've had the last few days, water temps in the low sixties, calm and clear surface. Boring, almost, but the lake is never boring.

Brilliant idea of the day: a full moon swim. The next full moon is next Wednesday, August 5th.
We've during sunrise a zillion times, it would be cool to swim during moon rise over the lake.
(Actually, this is Sandie's idea, but it's such a good one I'll take credit.)

Astronomy lesson of the day: the full moon always rises at or near sunset, and sets near sunrise. If you don't believe me, take a couple balls to represent earth and moon, and a flashlight for the sun, and see how things need to align for the fully lighted disk of the moon to be visible from earth.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Laurel & Hardy Swim at Sunset

Beach:  Klode
Water temp: 68
Waves:  light chop
Crew:  Laurel & Hardy (Cap'n & Patriarch)
Water Clarity:  Clear
Next Swim: Thursday 6AM Klode, and we'll probably do an evening swim too, check back.

We were both at the beach, but somehow we missed each other, which is damn near impossible, it could only happen in an old time comedy like Laurel and Hardy.  Apparently I was done swimming and coming up the path, while Cap'n was coming down the stairs. 

The water was warm and wonderful. I swam at least a half mile without a wetsuit, I'm not sure how far Hardy went.  His garbled phone message said something about being attacked by giant fish.  Another fine mess he's gotten us into.

"Refreshing" welcome

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 61
Waves: calm
Current: none
Crew: The Patriarch, Gumdrop, Margie, Capt'n
Clarity: great!
Next swim: Thursday 6AM Klode? (please comment if planning to swim Thursday am)

First time Klode swimmer / long time blog reader Margie greated The Patriarch and I as we slumbered down to the beach front this morning. It's always great to hear from those who follow these blog posts....and even better when they come out and join us for a swim! :)

Visually it was a picture perfect morning for a swim. The radient sun was climbing into the clear blue sky and a slightly rippled lake surface gave the illusion of refreshing retreat from the hot summer heat. But with an air and water temp of 61 this morning 'refreshing' required a little more determination to partake in than usual.

Practicing his speedy transitions this morning Gumdrop was the first to walk (run) the plank. Taking a more scientific approach to planning today's swim strategy, The Patriarch and the rest of the crew took a bit more time to prepare a game plan. For Margie, today's plan was to log a 1/2 mile swim. So under The Patriarch's profient guidance a course was plotted and we set sail..."to the garage!" he exclaimed with his now legendary crazed look in one eye and a nervous twitch of his wiskers.

Crisp & Clear....that's probaby the best way to summarize this morning's swim conditions. This morning's journey took us from Klode's southeast beach to the garage (approximately the 1/4 mile mark), them up to the rock wall and back. Swimming back I ventured out a little deeper to see how far I could swim out and still see the sandy lake bottom. Amazingly, even in 15-20ft of water and approximately 200 meters from shore, the rippled sand of the lake bottom could still be seen!

There's a good chance The Patriarch will venture back this afternoon and again tomorrow morning. If you're interested in joining The Patriarch this afternoon or tomorrow morning please post a comment. We will both be back for sure Thursday evening...time is negotiable.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Beach: Klode
Water temp: 63
Waves: calm
Current: none
Crew: The Patriarch, Sandie, Capt'n
Clarity: Good
Next swim: Wednesday 6AM Klode

Consistently cool appears to be the trend lately with our 6am Klode swims. Morning temps have been ranging in the 62-65 degree range the last few was no exception as the Official Killepitsch temperature gauge read 62.8.

The water clarity was a bit hazy this morning although the sandy lake bottom could be seen easily in 10-15ft of water. Our swim this morning took us from Klode's southeast beach up to the rock wall and back. The glass like lake surface made for a quick swim and offered a spectacular view of the sunrise into the clear blue sky.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A great start to the day

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 65
Waves: calm
Current: none
Crew: The Patriarch, David, Capt'n
Clarity: Good
Next swim: Tuesday 6AM Klode

The lake surface was calm, the sun was rising into the clear blue sky, the Klode beach front was peaceful and the water temp was consistent temp of 65....a great way to start the week!

The water temp of 65 was one of our best starting temps in quite sometime. This morning's journey was a swift to the Rock Pile and back. Despite claiming to be a wee bit tired at first, The Patriarch set a feverish pace.....

With sunshine and temps in the mid 80's forecasted for today there's a good chance the evening water temps will be in the 'absolutely delightful' range. :) ...unfortunately with evening plans I won't be able to make it down for a dip this evening but The Patriarch has vowed to give it a shot. on the watch for his evening report.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mixed bag of temps

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 62-65
Waves: none
Current: slight from the north
Crew: The Patriarch, Steve, Robin, Capt'n
Clarity: Good
Next swim: Monday 6AM Klode

Between Klode's south beach and south east beaches this morning the shoreline water temps ranged from 62-65. The experience offshore was similar...although if I had to guess the range of temps felt more like 58-63 with an occasional pocket of water that was probably in the upper 60's.

The water clarity remained good today. Our first school of little fishes did not greet us until we arrived at the rock wall but after that the sighting became a little more frequent. Is it just me, or perhaps the goggles I'm wearing...or are these little fishes getting bigger? This morning's swim went from the Klode's southeast beach to the rock wall and back. Not quite ready to call it a day The Patriarch and I continued our swim down to south-south beach before returning.

We'll be back at Monday morning at 6am. Most certainly Sunday's sunny skies will warm the surface of the lake...the question that remains is whether or not it will last until Monday morning....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Going Long...thousands of fishies

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 63
Waves: none
Current: slight from the north
Crew: The Patriarch, Steve, Linda, Robin, Capt'n
Clarity: Fan-tastic!
Next swim: Sunday 10AM Klode (breakfast afterwards?)

The water clarity this afternoon at Klode was absolutely stellar. The weather too was superb with sunshine and air temps pushing 80. While a water temp of 63 may seem like a blemish on today's report it actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

We all reluctantly pulled on our wetsuits and proceeded to walk the plank from Klode's south east beach. (...well, perhaps it was just The Patriarch and I who were reluctant in wearing our wetsuits...) Shortly after starting we were greeted by a school of perhaps a few dozen of the Lake Minnows. By the end of our swim we would encounter several schools of these minnows...the highlight being what appeared to be a blanket of them that numbered on the plus side of 1000.

With the warm sun warming our backs as we swam it didn't take long for us to become comfortable in the water....really comfortable. The first leg of today's journey took us up to the rock wall and back. Upon returning to Klode we couldn't bring ourselves to call it a day yet. So we swam south down to the 'sewer pipe' before returning to Klode. Total mileage for today's swim...approximately 2 1/4 miles.

Despite a little fatigue we all plan to be back at it again Sunday morning. 10AM is the plan with perhaps a post swim social at Panera.

Hope to see you on the Beach!

Friday Swim Report

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 67
Waves: choppy
Current: from the south
Crew: The Patriarch, Capt'n
Clarity: good

The Patriarch and I returned to Klode Friday afternoon for another installment of our 'no wetsuit or bust' swims. After yesterday's delightful surprise of a water temp of 71 we pretty much expected a similar experience. .....we should have known better.

The near shore water temp read 67 on the Patriarch's thermometer...but after taking the plunge it didn't take long for us to figure out that 67 might have been a bit generous. Still we pushed on without our wetsuits. When all was said and done our bodies acclimated to cooler water temp (...well, not really...) and we logged two trips from Klode's south beach to south-south beach and back.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Difficult Decisions

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 65
Waves: dead calm
Crew: The Patriarch, Gumdrop, Capt'n
Clarity: Excellent
Next swim: Friday 4:30PM Klode, Saturday 2:00PM Klode

Life is full of difficult decisions...."which speedo to wear?", "does this swim cap go with my speedo?"....and most difficult of all, "should I wear a wetsuit today or not?"

This morning's decision was tough....The Patriarch's thermometer read 65, right on the borderline for swimming without a wetsuit. The sunny skies and Caribbean like water color tempted us to take the plunge without our wetsuits, but the cooler air temp and cold sand swayed us in the other direction.

Further complicating The Patriarch and I's decision this morning was Gumdrop who had developed a sniffle over night and avoided this morning's debate by declaring immediately that he would be wearing his suit this morning.

We pulled out our wetsuits....and then we put them away....and then we pulled them out again...and then...we put them away and took the plunge without them. A FANTASTIC decision!

The water conditions turned out to be superb. The water clarity was stupendous and the rising sun was more than adequate to keep us comfortable in the water. As has been the case this week, several of our fishy friends greeted us as we made our journey between Klode's south beach and South South beach.

Our plan is to return again at 4:30 to hopefully enjoy a return of the 70 water temps experienced yesterday.

Hope to see you on the beach!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Warming Up

Beach:  Klode
Water temp: 70!!
Waves:  small rollers
Crew: Patriarch, Cap'n, Gumdrop
Clarity:  Excellent
Next swim: Friday 6AM Klode, after which we will go for breakfast

It's hard to believe the conditions could change so much in a few hours.  This morning's cool cloudy water was replaced by warm clear water.  We swam a mile or so without wetsuits in near perfect conditions.  We'd have like to swim longer but ran out of time. Hopefully the warm water will still be here this weekend for a longer swim.  



Beach: Klode
Water temp: 63
Waves: calm
Current: slightly from the south
Water Clarity: cloudy
The Crew: The Patriarch, Gumdrop, David, Steve, Robin, Capt'n
Next Swim: Friday 6AM Klode (possibly a 'no wetsuit or bust' swim at 4:30pm Thursday)

A nice morning for a swim....water temp wise it was a bit on the cool side but certainly manageable with a wetsuit. The turquoise water color was very appealing to the eyes but only an occasional glimpse of the lake bottom could be seen while swimming.

We swam from Klode's southeast beach up to the rock wall and back. Visually there were no signs of a current but our return trip to Klode was a bit on the swift side for there not to have been a current.

There's a good chance The Patriarch and I will venture down to Klode again at 4:30 for a 'no wetsuit or bust' swim. Any takers? :)


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Things you won't experience in a pool....

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 63
Waves: Rolling 1-2ft and building
Water Clarity: hazy
The Crew: The Patriarch, Gumdrop, Sandie, Scott, Capt'n
Next Swim: Thursday 6AM Klode

Rolling 1-2ft waves took center stage at this morning's swim from Klode. A very unique experience that you most certainly wouldn't experience in a pool...and probably not even with most inland lakes. The sensation is unmistakable when you finish your swim and close your eyes...even 4 hours after this morning's swim I can still feel my body drift from side to side when I calmly close my eyes.

Opportunities to swim with rolling waves have been few and far between so far this year. Looking to enjoy the unique conditions, The Patriarch and I opted to climb into our wetsuits...

This morning's swim took us from Klode's southeast beach up to the rock wall and back. The waves have stirred up the water clarity a bit but the sandy lake bottom could still be seen in 10-15ft of water....just good enough to witness an occasional school of the lake minnows swimming along the bottom.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nice & Cold

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 64
Waves: One foot rollers
Water Clarity:  excellent
Next Swim:  Wednesday 6AM Klode

No, not the beer.  The water.  On our way back up the bluff two nice ladies asked us "how's the water", and we replied "nice and cold".  We had just completed one of our "no wetsuit or bust" swims, and with the water temp at 64, it was damn near bust.  But we got 'er done.  It was nice too, very clear water and zillions of minnows and small fish.

Lessons learned the hard way:  you can stay in very cold water a long time, much longer than you might think.  Your hands and feet might get cold, but the body will protect the core and vital organs.  The problem is when you get out and all that cold blood in the extremities starts flowing back to the core.  You'll start shivering in a hurry, and it may take hours to warm up again.  So the trick is to get out well before you feel really chilled.  We put this lesson to good use today by limiting our swim to 15 minutes.    

...three fish, four fish...

PM Beach: Klode
Water temp: 62
Waves: rippled surface with occasional roller
Current: very slight from the south
Crew: The Patriarch, Robin, David, Capt'n
Water Clarity: great!
Next Swim: Wednesday 6AM Klode (maybe a 'no wetsuit or bust at 4:30 Tuesday?)

Gone this morning were the choppy waves from yesterday afternoon. Standing on the beach the lake gave the illusion that there was a current from the south...and another one just off of Klode's north east rock pile that was moving south... Once in the water though, the lake surface was virtually calm with an occasional rolling wave rippling the lake surface.

As was the case yesterday we were greeted by a school of fish (smelt?) just off the Klode shore. Swimming north this morning I did come across a school of several hundred little fishies swimming along the lake bottom. They appeared curious at first but when I stopped to admire them they quickly darted for deeper waters.

With the slightly cooler water temps this morning we walked the plank clad in our wetsuits. Our journey this morning took us from Klode's southeast beach up to the rock wall and back. It was a delightful morning for a swim and perfect for a little sightseeing of the lake bottom along the way.

There's an outside chance The Patriarch and I may venture down for a 'no wetsuit or bust' swim at 4:30 this afternoon. If not, we will most certainly be back at 6am Wednesday morning.

See you on the beach!

Monday, July 20, 2009

One fish, two fish...

PM Beach: Klode
Water temp: 66
Waves: Choppy One foot rollers
Current: from the south
Crew: The Patriarch, Gumdrop, David, Capt'n
Water Clarity: Outstanding
Next Swim: Tuesday 6AM Klode

Superb conditions greeted us this afternoon at Klode. Air temps in the low seventies, plentiful sunshine, crystal clear water clarity and a balmy water temp of 66 compared to what it has been the past 3 days.

The Patriarch, Gumdrop and I all walked the plank this afternoon clad in nothing but our speedo's, swim caps and goggles. The choppy 1 foot waves provided an excellent workout opportunity for us as it consistently challenged us to maintain our swim stroke.

As we swam out off of Klode's south beach it didn't take long before we were greeted by a little minnow or two....or were they smelt? Not long after the occasional sighting of a little fish or two we came across a group of 10-20 and before we knew it groups of 100's if not 1000's of little fish would curiously swam beneath us before scurrying off in a different direction.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Super Sunday

AM Beach:  North Beach (Spirit of Racine Tri)
Water Temp: 63
Waves: None
Crew: Robin, Mike, Patriarch, and a few hundred triathletes
Water Clarity: Good

PM Beach: Klode
Water temp: 62
Waves: One foot rollers
Crew: Cap'n, Sandie, Scott, Patriarch
Water Clarity:  Very good away from shore

Next Swims: Monday 4:30PM Klode; Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday 6AM Klode

 Two great swims today.  The first was the swim leg of half-ironman.  Mike was also the swimmer on a relay, and Robin did the whole tri.  Luckily for the organizers the lake was quiet today and warm enough to be comfortable in a wetsuit.  There were many swimmers who seemed to struggle even in the near-perfect conditions.  I wonder what they would do if it was cold and wavy?  Anyhow, I had a fantastic swim, two minutes faster than last year.  It feels so good when you get a nice rhythm going.

But I was plenty tired, and to be honest I wasn't really sure what I was thinking when I promised Cap'n I'd meet him at Klode this afternoon.  I figured I would do a nice easy ten minutes or so, but of course Cap'n badgered me into a rockpile swim.  So overall I swam two and a half miles today, and amazingly enough I'm no worse for the wear.  I must be getting in shape.  

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ready to Rumble

Beach:  Klode
Water temp: 61
Waves: a few inches
Crew:  Cap'n, Robin, Patriarch
Water Clarity: Very clear
Next Swim:  Sunday 1PM Klode

After yesterday's numbing cold, we were expecting to need the Coast Guard icebreaker to accomplish today's swim.  There was no reason to expect warmer water.  But, as always, the lake surprises.  The water was a relatively balmy 61.

Today was Race Preparation Day.  Tomorrow Cap'n is doing the Roots & Wings 10K run, Robin is doing the Racine half-ironman tri, and I'm doing the swim leg in the tri relay.  Robin cooled her legs in the shallows while the Cap'n and I enjoyed a relaxed mile and change to "rockpile" and back.  

As usual, we felt refreshed and rejuvenated after the swim and we're ready to go tomorrow.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cool? No, cold!

Beach: Bradford
Water Temp: 56? (felt colder)
Waves: calm
Current: none
Crew: The Patriarch, Brian B., Capt'n
Water Clarity: crystal clear
Next swim: Saturday Noon?

The Patriarch's water thermometer read 56 along the Bradford shoreline this morning....but our toes, face and hands indicated a temp colder than that. (Perhaps 53-54?) We were persistent this morning and after a few breathless moments at the onset of our swim we managed to acclimate to the conditions.

We didn't venture far during our swim this morning....targeting the buoy's along the south end of the Bradford beach. In total we lasted about 25 minutes in the water before deciding to head back to shore to warm up.

The plan is to return to Klode for Saturday's swim. Time is still negotiable. Perhaps noon? Please suggest a time if you're interested.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

All Mixed Up

Beach: Klode
Water temp: Anywhere from 53 to 60, depending on where you measured it.
Waves: Calm
Crew:  Cap'n, Robin, Patriarch
Next Swim: Bradford Beach 6:30AM Friday

The battle between sun and wind continues.  The sun is heating the surface water, the wind is pushing the warm surface water out and pulling up the cold water from below.  The result: a jumbled mess.  There were steep temperature gradients from one spot to the next, and from the surface to a couple feet below.  

Overall not too bad once we got going.  We managed a 25 minute wetsuit swim, so our goal of swimming every day in July remains intact.  The next few days will be challenging as the strong offshore winds continue.  The Racine Tri could be interesting.

Tomorrow we are planning something a bit different, a morning swim from Bradford Beach.  Our work buddy Brian said he would meet us there, and if he doesn't he will never hear the end of it.  

Polar water remans

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 53
Waves: none
Crew: The Patriarch, Robin, Capt'n
Water clarity: clear
Next swim: Thursday 4:30PM Klode

Not surprisingly, with yesterday's strong winds and without sunshine, warm air temps or an east wind overnight the water temp this morning was a bone chilling 53 degrees. A little too cool for us to venture out for a swim this morning. (...upon return to the parking lot we also found out that not even Senor Loco James couldn't last more than 2 minutes in the water this morning!)

With today's forecast calling for sunny skies and a high in the 80's current hopes are that the water temps will rebound during the day. We'll try again at 4:30 this afternoon to log a swim.

Stay tuned for the 4:30 report...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bi-Polar Swim

Beach: Klode
Water temp:  59 (south end of beach), 63 (north end of beach)
Waves: none
Crew: Cap'n, Patriarch
Water clarity: stirred up from the storms
Next swim: Thursday 6AMKlode

A furious battle raged today, between the hot July sun warming up the surface water, and the offshore wind, pushing the warmed water out, and bringing up the cold water from below.  

Nevertheless,  "No wetsuits or bust" was our motto this afternoon, and we were sorely put to the test when we felt very cold water at the south end of the beach, my thermometer measuring 59.  Yet kids were swimming on the north end, so we took a measurement there and got 63.  

Ever the optimists, we jumped in without wetsuits and headed north, the water was cool but tolerable.  We turned around at "garage" and headed back towards the south end of the beach and hit a wall of very very cold water.  Now, it's not unusual for there to be pockets of warmer and cooler water, but this was extreme, and it kept going, we could not swim through it.  It was so cold we felt we had no choice but to bail and get out.

The lake never ceases to surprise and fascinate.    

Rolling Romper-room

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 64
Waves: 2ft rollers (moving in from the southeast)
Current: none really
Crew: The Patriarch, Gumdrop, Robin, Capt'n
Water Clarity: cloudy
Next swim: Thursday Klode 6AM (perhaps 4:30 for a 'no-wetsuit or bust' swim)

Rolling 2ft waves were all that remained from the early morning storms that moved through the area. The skies were grey, the winds were light and the rain had moved out of the area.

At first glance the seascape littered with waves might appear a bit intimidating but in reality today's waves were like playful puppies compared to the choppy waves the frequently accompany stormy conditions.

We all walked the plank this morning clad in wetsuits. The additional buoyancy of the wetsuit added to our romper room like experience as we pillaged and plundered the waves that got in our way. Oh what fun it was to climb up, over and down the waves just in time to climb up the next one. The experience left the Patriarch and I longing for the return of the 5-8 footers of event you have to see to believe and a sensational experience words can't describe. (...although I would strongly encourage anyone considering venturing out into waves over 4ft to bring along a partner to share the experience...)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Superman Swim

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 64
Waves: none (glass like surface)
Crew: The Patriarch, Linda, Capt'n
Water Clarity: clear
Next swim: Wednesday Klode 6AM (perhaps also at 7pm Tuesday)

Outstanding conditions prevailed this morning in what The Patriarch and I like to call a "Superman" swim. Swimming over the glass like lake surface this morning was so effortless it made you feel like superman flying through the sky.

Water temps this morning were borderline for us to swim without a wetsuit....but an air temp of 60 and the sun hiding behind a thin layer of clouds convinced us to climb into the wetsuits.

This morning's adventure took us south from Klode's south beach to a new land mark....the 'stone stair case'. This new stair case is approximately 100 meters past the 'old' staircase which is about 200 meters from the sewer pipe and not to be confused with the 'new' wood staircase which is about 100 meters from the sewer pipe. (stay tuned to the official distances once I get a chance to g-map pedometer the route.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Playing Hooky

Beach:  Klode
Water temp: 69
Waves: small but choppy
Crew: Cap'n, Patriarch
Water Clarity:  clear
Next swim:  Tuesday Klode 6AM, actually 5:50 so that Brian has more time

The water temp map turned redder during the day, heralding warmer water.  How could we refuse such an invitation?  We cut out of work and had a great swim.  We really shouldn't have, but we have no regrets, the turds we left on our desks will still be there tomorrow morning, just a bit smellier and more flies.  The swim season is short, we must take advantage when we can.   

Continued pleasant

Beach: Klode
Water Temp: 64
Waves: calm
Current: very slight north to south
Crew: The Patriarch, Gumdrop, Scott, Capt'n
Water Clarity: OUTSTANDING clarity continues!
Next swim: Tuesday 6AM Klode
Water temps were slightly cooler than yesterday afternoon, but with today's forecast calling for plentiful sunshine and warm air temps it is likely the water temps will at least rebound to the upper 60's we enjoyed over the weekend.

A little on the cool side for us to venture out without a wetsuit...although it would have been entirely possible if we were willing to settle for a short 1/4 mile swim.

We all walked the plank this morning wearing wetsuits. This morning's journey took us from Klode's southeast beach north to the rock wall and back.

There's an outside chance we may return for this evening for a 'no wetsuit or bust' swim. We'll for sure be back Tuesday morning.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Turquoise Lagoon

Beach: Klode
Water Temp: 67
Waves:  light chop
Current: from north to south
Crew: Robin, Sandie, Scott, Cap'n, Patriarch
Water Clarity:  I've never seen it so clear.
Next swim:  Monday 6AM Klode

It was such a nice summer day, the beach loaded with people, and the bay with boats, and the water so crystal clear, that we could have been swimming in some tropical lagoon.  Well, OK, I'll grant you that 67 is hardly tropical, and sort of borderline as far as wearing wetsuits.  

As usual, the Cap'n and I preferred to swim without wetsuits, even if it meant we had to limit our time in the water, but the other did wear them and went further.  Both groups had a great swim. It was especially fun to swim north against the current and turn around and feel the "hand of Neptune" pushing us home.

The water clarity was amazing, I could see a long distance underwater.  The swimmers next to me seem suspended in space, to be flying rather than swimming.       

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mid water collision...what are the chances?

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 66
Crew: The Patriarch, Robin, Capt'n
Water Clarity: absolutely Outstanding!
Waves: choppy none
Current: from the north
Next Swim: Sunday 12PM Klode

Wow...what a superb day for a swim from Klode!! Sunny skies, temps in the low 80's and water clarity that few windows at home could match.

The Patriarch's thermometer read 66...just a degree warmer than yesterday...but just a bit offshore the water felt closer to the 70s. Not surprising The Patriarch and I swam again today without wetsuits. Robin chose to stick with hers though...

For those of you who have swam from Klode before you know how expansive the Klode bay is....there's plenty of space for swimmers, boaters, canoes...etc. to sprawl out. That's why today's swim was more than a bit of a surprise....

...Our swim today took us from Klode's southeast beach up 200 meters past the garage. I was swimming quite a ways from shore enjoying the clarity of the swim and occasionally checking to my left and right for The Patriarch and Robin when all of a sudden, WHAM!!! I hit something head-on....was it a boat? ...a canoe? ...a big fish? was a swimmer (Preston) who was swimming back to Klode.

What are the chances??? ...with all that space to swim that two swimmers would have a mid water collision? ...anyway...after the initial shock we both were very relieved to find out that neither one of us was Jaws....or a great big boat...and shared a few jokes before returning to our respective swims.

Tomorrow's swim is planned for noon from Klode. Hope to see you there!


Gambles paying off

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 65
Crew: The Patriarch, Gumdrop, Mike, Capt'n
Water Clarity: Outstanding!
Waves: choppy 1-2ft
Current: from the southeast
Next Swim: Saturday 1PM Klode

Pleasant conditions greeted us Friday evening. With storms forested our gamble not to swim in the morning paid off. The skies were sunny and the air temp pushed the 80 mark...a perfect day to be on the beach.

The Patriarch's official water temp gauge read 65. After several minutes of debate we decided to gamble again and walk the plank without our wetsuits. Looking to swim longer both Gumdrop and Mike opted to climb into their wetsuits. After a few minutes of swimming our no wetsuit gamble paid off. With the warm sun beating down on us and an offshore water temp most likely a few degrees warmer than the shoreline the water conditions turn out to be quite hospitable for a no wetsuit swim.

For The Patriarch and I, our journey took us from Klode's south east beach up to the garage and then back down to the beach south of Klode's south beach (aka South South Beach) before returning to Klode's south beach. Mike's journey lasted a little longer as I think he was training to someday tow a floating bar behind him by latching a tow rope and a buoy to his wetsuit. Gumdrop on the other was all business today swimming north 1 mile to 3 piers before returning.

Our next swims are planned for 1pm Saturday and noon on Sunday. The forecast looks superb!

Hope to see you on the beach!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wetsuit on / Wetsuit off

Beach: Klode
Water temp: (am) 63, (pm) 68
Waves: (am) rippled surface (pm) Choppy one footers
AM Crew: Nahi, Gumdrop, Liz, The Patriarch, Capt'n
PM Crew: The Patriarch, Capt'n
Water Clairity: (am) Clear, (pm) Cloudy
Next swim: Klode Friday 4:30pm

Ah, what a wonderful day of swimming... The morning conditions were nearly perfect. Sunny skies and crystal clear water greeted us as we arrived at Klode's south beach this morning. The only thing that was a little less than perfect was the water temp of 63....a bit too cool for anyone but Senor Loco to swim in without a wetsuit. For us, even with a wetsuit the water took a bit to get used to....and a bit less for anyone who was determined to keep up with Nahi. :)

Our AM swim adventure took us up to the rock pile and back from Klode's south east beach.

Determined to log a "no-wetsuit-or-bust" swim this afternoon The Patriarch and I returned to Klode's south beach this afternoon. We were treated to a very hospitable 68 degree water temp...more than adequate for us to log a no wetsuit adventure!

The water was warm, but the lake conditions were not as pleasant as this morning. Choppy 1ft waves were rolling in from the east which made the swim a bit more of a workout than a siesta. Close to shore the water was cloudy and the surface was lined with floating tree debris....but 50-100 meters off shore the water clarity improved considerably and the floating leaves were less frequent.

Our pm adventure took us from Klode's south east beach up to the garage before returning to the Klode beach area for a check of the lake depth approximately 200 meters from shore. Our 'unofficial' measurement today put the depth around 12 ft.

With all the rum & beer consumption that sure to occur at this evening's Bastille run it's very unlikely that The Patriarch and I will be able to saunter out for an AM swim on Friday. As a result we are planning on swimming Friday evening around 4:30ish.

Upcoming Swims:
Friday: 4:30pm Klode
Saturday: 1pm? Klode
Sunday: noon? Klode

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Smells Good, Feels Good

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 62
Waves: Choppy one footers
Crew: Cap'n, Gumdrop, Mike, Sandie, Patriarch
Water Clairity: Clear
Next swim: Klode Thursday 6AM (or a little earlier, Brian needs to get to work)
If it warms up further, we may do an afternoon or evening swim today, stay tuned

I drove into the Klode parking lot expecting a repeat of yesterday's shiverfest. But Cap'n claimed he could tell the lake was warmer by the smell. I ignored him, thinking it was rum talking. But damn it, he was right. Ten degrees warmer than yesterday. That's why he's the Cap'n.

We swam from the south end of the beach to "rockpile" and back, about a mile and a quarter. The choppiness made for extra effort, everyone was complaining about tired arms and shoulders. (People think we're tough guys for swimming in the lake every day, but mostly we whine a lot.)

Usually it's the Cap'n who offers up crackpot theories, but I have one of my own today. I noticed yesterday that I've dropped seven pounds. And even though I'm eating like a pig, I'm ravenously hungry all the time. Swimming in a pool doesn't do that to me, so my theory is that swimming in cold water burns mega calories and kicks up the metabolism. I'm thinking of writing a book, "Freezing Your Butt Off, The Patriarch's Lake Michigan Weight Loss Plan".

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Casey Cold

Beach: Klode
Water temp: Casey Cold (54ish?)
Crew: The Patriarch, Gumdrop, Linda, Capt'n
Water Clarity: Outstanding!
Waves: none
Next Swim: Wednesday 6AM Klode

Still invigorated from yesterday's wetsuit optional swim we arrived at Klode's south beach this morning under sunny skies and an expectation that we'd be welcomed by the Lady of the Lake with the warm(er) water temps experienced yesterday.

We dipped our feet and the water tingled our toes. Cold? Yes! ...but The Patriarch's thermometer read wait, wait 0.... Unfortunately The Patriarch's science would not guide us this morning...instead, we had to rely solely on our instincts and the "toe test" to decide whether or not to swim.

As Gumdrop was in a hury this morning he scampered into the water first and began swimming Tarzan style across the Klode bay. An interesting display to witness, but none of us on shore really tumbled that Gumdrop's unique swimming style this morning was due to the cool water temps.

Determined to find Gumdrop we swam out from Klode's south beach towards the rockpile. The water was cold and a challenge to adjust to but we continued our northward journey until we nearly reached the rockpile...still no sign of Gumdrop. With frozen hands and toes (even with aqua socks!) we returned to Klode's south beach to find Gumdrop had come and gone...a relief that the penguins believed to be inhabiting the Klode bay this morning had not taken him hostage.

According to the map it appears the lake temps have already began their rebound. The sunshine and easterly winds are expected to make the upcoming swims a lot more hospitable.

Current plans are to return Wednesday morning at 6am...although if the map looks favorable we may return again this evening at 7pm. :)


Monday, July 6, 2009

Proof Positive of the Rock Pile Theory?

Beach: Klode
Water temp: 65 (59 by the south rock pile)
Crew: Patriarch, Gumdrop (Brian), Capt'n
Water Clarity: Outstanding!
Waves: 1ft
Current: from the north
Next Swim: Tuesday 6AM Klode

The initial temperature reading off of Klode's south beach was a bit surprising. Despite the plentiful sunshine today and air temps in the 80's the thermometer read 59.

It's been a long standing theory of mine that the huge pile of boulders separating Klode's south beach from the southeast beach preserve the cooler beach water temps by acting like giant ice cubes. In an effort to prove/disprove this theory we opted for a second opinion by dipping the thermometer in the water off of Klode's southeast beach. The result, an astonishing 65!

While this doesn't actually prove the theory of the giant rock ice cubes it does give the eternal optimist reason to believe that warmer water may actually be just a few steps well as lead to another theory about underwater springs feeding the lake. (...but I'll save that theory for another day.)

While water temps in the 59-65 range may have been a bit on the cool side, the sunny skies and Caribbean like water color made it impossible for us to resist the temptation to walk the plank this afternoon minus our wetsuits. Our skin tingled from the cool water temps at first but after a few minutes of swimming, the mesmerizing lake conditions quickly took our minds off feeling cold.

The lake surface was rippled and the water clarity was superb. Schools of minnows could be seen swimming below us on occasion. sign though, of the beautiful lake perch that swam up to say hello yesterday. Our journey took us from Klode's south beach up to the garage. The return trip seemed a bit quicker...which may have been due to a noticeable current from the north...

...but my theory contends that our expedient return to Klode was actually the result of The Patriarch and I's desire to plunder Brian's stash of delectable gumdrops that he had not so skillfully concealed from us upon our arrival on the beach. Famished from today's most excellent adventure, the gumdrops really hit the spot....and I do hear by decree that Brian shall be henceforth be known as "Gumdrop"! least, that is, until I think of a cooler nickname... :)


Sunday, July 5, 2009


Beach: Klode
Water temp: 54
Crew: Capt'n, Lindsey, Sandie, Brian, Patriarch
Water Clarity: Very clear
Next Swim: Monday 4:30PM Klode

The lake was bewitching this morning, a beautiful summer day, sun shimmering on clear navy blue water.  Despite sewage dumping, storm runoff, invasive species, and various shoreline "improvement" projects, the lake is still drop dead gorgeous, and despite the general impression that it's an open sewer, the water is very clear and clean (at least it was this morning).  It makes me think all is not lost.

And maybe one of these days it will warm up.  The water is colder than a witch's you-know-what.  Getting in was very difficult, but after a couple minutes of flailing as hard as we could to generate heat, it was tolerable enough in our wetsuits.  I recorded the water temperature at the shore at 54, but there were pockets of water that felt much warmer and much cooler.  Hopefully the sun will win this battle.  

When we arrived at "rockpile" we were greeted by a lady in a kayak.  She invited us to her house on Beach Drive for a hot drink.  "Anything we want", she said.  This was of course very tempting.  But wait.......  could she be the ghost of the infamous Witch of Beach Drive?  Luring us to certain doom?  

We turned back, not because we were afraid of the witch but because it would have required another mile of swimming in the cold water. Really, honestly, we were afraid of the cold water, not the cold heart of the witch (or her you-know-what).  Really!

In any case, the forecast for the next few days looks very promising, very warm and sunny.  

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Temps down but rebounding

Beach: Big Bay
Water Temp: (am) 51, (pm) 55ish
Waves: none
Crew: Senor Loco (James), Capt'n,
Water Clarity: Clear
Next Swim: Sunday 10AM Klode

The Patriarch's 10am water temp report: A woeful 51....and too cold to log a swim adventure. Could our goal of logging a swim every day for the month of July be in jeopardy...on only the 4th day of the month?

Fortunately the sun peaked out a bit this afternoon and the breeze blew gently from the east....just enough to raise the water temps to nearly yesterdays temps. As usual James took the plunge from Big Bay this afternoon in nothing but a speedo, swim cap and goggles. Not being as senor on the loco scale I walked the plank clad in a wetsuit...

Despite the cool water temps the conditions were, as usual, picturesque. The water clarity was crystal clear, the lake bottom at Big Bay was an unblemished bed of rippled sand and occasionally a minnow would swim up and say 'hello'.

This afternoon's adventure lasted approximately 20 minutes and went from Big Bay south towards flatrock. With the elevated lake levels this summer flatrock is not as visible as it was last summer. Judging from the familiar shoreline I would approximate that Senor Loco and I were about 50-100 meters from flatrock when we turned around.

Tomorrow's swim is planned for 10am from Klode. My pre-swim forecast puts conditions similar to Friday's. (mid-to-upper 50's) ....but then again, you never know...the Lady of the Lake has proven to be a difficult one to predict. :)


Friday, July 3, 2009

Just a tad warmer...

Beach: Klode
Water Temp: 56
Waves: none - slightly rippled surface
The Crew: The Patriarch, Brian, James, Lindsey, Mathew, Robin, Brenda, Capt'n
Water Clarity: Clear
Next Swim: Saturday 10AM Big Bay & 3PM Big Bay

The official reading on The Patriarch's thermometer read 56.9 a few feet from shore but that didn't deter the season's biggest group yet from walking the plank. also didn't deter James from swimming 15 minutes WITHOUT a wetsuit!

For the rest of us though...the wetsuit and multiple swim caps were a necessity. This morning's adventure took us from Klode's south beach north up to the rock pile (wall) before turning around. The water clarity was 200 meters from shore you could still see the sandy lake bottom as if it were just a few feet underneath you.

Traditionally, Klode's beach is closed on the 4th as they stage fireworks along the shore. As a result Saturday's swim is planned for Big Bay Beach which is about 1 mile south of Klode. The Patriarch will be swimming at 10am and I will be swimmin' at 3pm. (Doing the Firecracker 4 at 8am and New Berlin National Dash at noon.)

There is also talk to doing a point to point swim from Klode Sunday at 10am....bring yer runnin' shoes and join us. :)

Hope to see you on the beach!


Upcoming Swims:

Saturday from Big Bay @ 10am
Saturday from Big Bay @ 3pm
Sunday from Klode @ 10am

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Double Certification at 55

Beach: Klode
Water Temp: 55
Waves: slightly rippled surface
Current: none
Crew: Patriarch, Brian, Capt'n,
Water Clarity: Cloudy at South Beach, Clear at North Beach
Next Swim: Friday 10AM Klode

This morning's swim was essentially a carbon copy of last night minus the rolling 1ft waves. The water was a picture perfect turquoise blue but at 55 degrees there wasn't much of a temptation to sight see while swimming.

Our swim this morning took us from Klode's south beach to south-south beach and then up to Klode's north beach before deciding to retire for the morning. As was the case yesterday, the water off of south beach sported the Caribbean like blue hue but was mysteriously a bit cloudy while the water to the north was crystal clear.

The weather forecast looks very promising the next few days and the Klode Crew expects a nice warm-up for the near shore water temps. Our next planned swim will be Friday morning. (10am...unless someone would like to propose a different time) Although if the water warms into the 60's this afternoon it's entirely possible you may see another post here this evening. :)

See you on the beach!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Double Dog Dare

Beach: Klode
Water Temp: 55
Waves: One Foot Rollers
Crew:  Cap'n, Patriarch, Brian
Water Clarity:  Clear 
Next Swim: Thursday 6AM Klode

The Capt'n and me headed down to the beach on this cool and cloudy afternoon, we measured the water temp at 55, and decided to be sensible for a change and try again tomorrow.

But as we started heading up off the beach, we met Brian coming down who said, "You guys aren't wimping out, are you?".  Capt'n's eyes narrowed.  My whiskers started twitching.  Scrawny ignorant punk didn't know who he was talking to.  But Brian didn't stop there.  "If you guys don't swim with me I'm going straight to the pool and telling all the masters that you guys are wimps, posers, and fakes."

That was too much!  In no time we were "walking the plank" into the frigid water.  It was hard to keep my face in the water for the first minute, and by the second minute my hands were numb.  And the rollers added a little spice of nausea to the mix.  But after a few minutes we actually started to warm up (or maybe our brains went numb too).  We managed half a mile before staggering out.

Happy Birthday Robin!  Come and join us!  It will be warmer soon, I promise.

Trying again at 4pm

According to the colored lake temps map it appears the lake temps are making a slow recovery. The Patriarch and I are optimistic that the water temps have rebounded to the mid to upper 50's?

Wishful thinking? We'll find out at 4pm!