Sunday, October 31, 2010

Garage Closed for the Season?

Next Swim: 2011?

Last Swim: Saturday (10/30) 1PM
Water Temp: mid 40's
Water Clarity: cloudy
Waves: calm
Crew: Diablo, Capt'n

It appears as if the Lady of the Lake has closed the Garage for the season. It's also appearing less and less likely that Diablo and I will be seeing any swim suit clad women on the beach. Developments that have prompted Dr Diablo to sadly declare the unofficial end to the 2010 swim season. Of course the swim season can only be 'officially' closed by official proclamation by Professor Patriarch along with a celebratory round of Killepitsch. (...stay tuned on this developing event...)

The El Cap-i-tan Toe Test yesterday placed the water temp in the mid to upper 40's. Today was a completely different story. Keeping the toes in the water this morning for more than 10-15 seconds proved to be quite challenging. Upon checking the lake temps website upon writing this blog entry it appears the water temp is around 40. Could the water temp have dropped that much over night? Oh where-o-where is the Patriarch-o-meter???

From here on out for the remainder of 2010 it appears that it'll be nothing but viking swims for the Klode Kru. Stay tuned for more details...

PS. Congratulations to Sonofkahuna who led his Shorewood High School Cross Country team to the Division 2 State Cross Country Championship Saturday. Story and picture of Sonofkahuna appear in this morning's Milwaukee Journal Sentinal sports section.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Consecutive Day Streak Ends at 158

Next Swim: Saturday 1pm?

Last Swims: Sat 10/23, Sun 10/24, Mon 10/25, Tues 10/26, Wed 10/27, Fri 10/29
Water Temps: Sat-Tues low 50's, Wed upper 40's, Fri. mid-upper 40's
Waves: relatively calm (even on the really windy days!)
Water Clarity: Sat-Mon clear, Tues-Fri cloudy
Sat: Diablo, Capt'n
Sun: Diablo, Gumdrop, Capt'n
Mon: Diablo, Gumdrop, Capt'n
Tues: Diablo, Capt'n
Wed: Capt'n (Gumdrop & Beth at Bradford)
Thurs: Capt'n toe test only
Fri: Gumdrop, Capt'n

Well, all good things must come to an end, right? On Thursday evening the air was cold, the wind was colder, the skies were getting dark, the water temps had plummeted into the 40's and I was all set to take the plunge....but I just couldn't pull the trigger. Not sure why I couldn't...but then again I'm not sure why I would. We had reached 159 consecutive swim days (...actually, it was only 158 but when you're wimping out you'll convince yourself of just about anything....) but it just didn't feel right to reach milestone 160 solo....or perhaps that was just my excuse for wimping out. Sorry folks....that's all she wrote for that record.

So now it's on to extending our swim day count. I wasn't planning on swimming this evening but thanks to Gumdrop dragging my sorry butt out to the beach we're back in business....well, at least for now.

Sounds like Gumdrop is out for this weekend. I'll swim if anyone else is interested...1pm Saturday? Please comment if you're interested....would be nice to get an official water temp reading vs. the El Cap-i-tan Toe Test. (hint, hint....nudge, nudge...wink, wink....)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Full Moon Swim

Next Swim: Saturday 10/23, 1PM

Last Swim: Friday 10/22, 5:30PM
Water Temp: 54
Waves: a little choppy
Water Clarity: Stirred up sand
Crew: Blondie, Gumdrop, Beth, Diablo, Cap'n, Kahuna, Lane, David, Patriarch

A fantastic swim as the full moon rose over the lake. Lots of times the moonrise is obscured by fog or low clouds over the lake, but not last night. It's quite a site to see the moonbeams reflect at a low angle off the lake. Moonlight imparts a eerie translucence to the water, another unique experience that makes Lake Michigan swimming so enjoyable.

Five of us headed over to the Pizza Kitchen, the rest claimed to "have plans". Yeah right. Cap'n wins the prize for the lamest excuse, he said he needed to complete a status report. I can do it for him in one short sentence: Outstanding full moon swim.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rainbow Swim

Next Swims: Thursday Oct 21, 5:30
Full Moon Swim Friday 5:30, followed by pizza

Last Swim: Wednesday, Oct 20th, 5:30PM
Water Temp: 56
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Crystal Clear
Crew: Diablo, Patriarch

As we walked down the bluff to the beach we were treated to a gorgeous rainbow over the lake, made doubly beautiful by it's reflection in the water. For a couple minutes there were two rainbows and two reflections.

But after the rainbows came the storm. By the end of a short swim, it was dark, raining hard and the wind was howling. We hurried back up the bluff as quickly as we could.

But the cold rain couldn't extinguish reflections of rainbows.

Swim Streak in Danger of Ending at 150

Next Swim: Thursday, October 21st, 5:30PM

Last Swim: Tuesday, October 19th, 5:30PM
Water temp: 58ish
Waves: none
Water Clarity: crystal clear
Crew: Diablo, Capt'n

Danger, danger...our consecutive day swim streak is in danger of ending at 150. Unfortunately I am unable to swim this evening and it remains uncertain as to whether or not Diablo will be able to make it. Can anyone else swim this evening to keep the streak alive?

Both Diablo and I will be back at Klode Thursday evening to resume our daily swims. See you well as Friday for the Full Moon Swim! :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Professor Patriarch vs Dr. Diablo

Next Swim: Tuesday, October 19th, 5:30PM

Last Swim: Monday, October 18th, 5:30PM
Water temp: 58ish
Waves: not quite calm
Water Clarity: good
Crew: Diablo, Gumdrop, Capt'n

Minus the Patriarch-o-meter this evening we had to resort to El Cap-i-tans Toe test...which placed the water temp in the upper 50's to around 60. Without a doubt the water temp this evening was warmer than the air.

The big debate this evening...who's smarter. Professor Patriarch (...who's wisdom enlightened us yesterday on the fact that the Rockwall is closer when standing on Klode's north beach vs south beach...) or the self proclaimed doctor of love, Dr. Diablo (...who's brilliant insight this evening enlightened Gumdrop and I that if you wave at a very attractive woman while her back is turned and for some odd reason she does not wave back it's definitely an indication that she's attracted to the guy standing next to you.)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Why do they pick on me?

Next Swim: Monday, October 18th, 5:30PM
Upcoming: Full Moon Swim & Dinner Outing - Friday Oct 22nd

Last Swim: Sunday Oct 17th, 11:30 (Cap'n swam later)
Water temp: 56
Waves: Two Foot Rollers
Water Clarity: the waves stirred up the sand
Crew: Cap'n, Blondie, Diablo, Patriarch

How easily amused they are. I make an innocent comment like how the rock wall looks so much closer from the north end of the beach (which of course it is by a hundred meters). That's all it took for them to get all over me, with comments like "Master of the Obvious", the "Perceptive Patriarch", the "Lake Michigan Einstein".

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lake Farts

Next Swim: Sunday October 17th, 11:30AM

Last Swim: Saturday October 16th, 1PM
Water Temp: 58
Waves: small chop
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Perry, Blondie, Diablo, Cap'n, Patriarch

As they were getting out of the water, Cap'n and Diablo became fascinated by some bubbles coming up from the bottom in about a foot of water. They thought it was a lake monster or something, but I think she was just expressing her opinion of them.

P.S. Kahuna's comment on the last blog post is absolutely hilarious, especially if you know a bit about Capn's past running escapades in Florida. I'll let him explain (if he can).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pleasant October Conditions Continue

Next Swims: Friday Oct 15th, 6AM, Saturday Oct 16th 1PM

Last Swims: Wednesday & Thursday 6PM
Water Temp: Wed - 59 / Thurs - 59ish
Waves: Wed - 1ft / Thurs - like glass
Water Clarity: Wed - good / Thurs - crystal clear
Crew: Wed: The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Beth, Capt'n / Thurs: Diablo, Capt'n

Without the Patriarch-o-meter this evening Diablo and I had to resort to the 'El Capitan Toe Test' to measure the water temp. The change from yesterday. Conditions this evening were pristine...the water surface was a sheet of glass while the water itself was crystal clear.

Due to conflicts tomorrow evening Diablo and I have decided to swim in the morning. The Patriarch has mentioned that he can't swim Friday evening either. Any takers for a Friday AM swim?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Skin Swim on October 12th!

Next Swim: Wednesday Oct 13th, 5:45PM

Last Swim: Tuesday Oct 12th, 6PM
Water Temp: 61
Waves: small
Water Clarity: good
Crew: Kahuna, Cap'n, Crash, Diablo, Beth, Slip&Slide, Patriarch

Once again we reaffirmed the two most basic truths of swimming in Lake Michigan:
1) The lake is unpredictable. Whoda thunk it would be warming up in October, but the last few days have been consistently warmer than a month ago.
2) Cap'n and Diablo are crazy. I mean 61 is relatively warm for October, but that's still pretty cold. No matter, they decided wetsuits were unnecessary today.

We finished in the dark, a very bright Jupiter smiling (or maybe laughing?) at us.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Almost Big Enough to Surf

Next Swim: Tuesday 10/12, 6PM

Last Swim: Monday 6PM
Water temp: 61
Waves: "Almost big enough to surf", according to Perry
Water Clarity: Bad near shore, but clear further out
Crew: Perry, Diablo, Cap'n, Patriarch

With the shorter days and cooler drier air, you would think the lake would be cooling off. You would be wrong. It's was a pleasant 61 today, and we had great fun frolicking in big waves under the crescent moon. It was dark and windy when we finally quit, and the air much cooler than the water, so we shivered our way back up the bluff in the dark. Drinks, pizza, and dessert at the Pizza Kitchen warmed us up.

We'll swim again tomorrow at 6, be a little early if you can.

To Blondie's secretary: Boy do we feel sorry for you! How can you stand working for her? How come she is so mean, telling us she will swim with us and then not show up?? Is she that mean to you too?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pirates Pillage Al's and Panther Prowl, then Plunge

Next Swim: Monday 10/11, 6PM, and we'll go for dinner afterward

Last Swim: Sun 10/10/10, 11:30PM
Water Temp: 60
Waves: small rollers
Water Clarity: murky
Crew: Kahuna, Crash, Cap'n, Diablo, Patriarch

A fantastic weekend! Beautiful weather, bright fall colors. The Klode Pirates came ashore to pillage Al's Run Saturday and the Panther Prowl Sunday. Cap'n and Blondie came away with plunder at Al's, and Cap'n, Brad and me came away with plunder at the Prowl.

After both pillaging expeditions, we plunged into the lake to enjoy the fall colors on the bluff from out in the water. Does it get any better?

Now that I'm back, I have messages for some other absent members of the crew:
Gumdrop, don't worry, Cap'n and Diablo will behave now that I'm back.
Blondie, I was told you would swim if I would swim. Well........?????????
Everyone Else: The season is not yet over. The water has actually warmed up the last few days, plenty comfy if you have a wetsuit, maybe even a short skin swim would be possible. Maybe your last chance this year! Join us for a swim and pizza Monday evening at 6 (we'll try to be ready to swim at 6, it's already getting dark at that hour).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Patriarch Returns!

Next Swim: Sunday 11:30AM

Last Swims: Friday 6AM, Saturday 2PM
Water Temps: Friday - 53 / Saturday 57
Air Temp: Friday - 47 / Saturday 73
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: clear
Crew: Friday - Diablo, Capt'n / Saturday - The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Capt'n

The skies were clear Friday morning but the simple fact Friday morning was that New Moon = No Moon. As a result Diablo and I began our swim with a darker start than usual for our swim. The glowing red horizon though turned out to be adequate illumination for us to enjoy the clear water conditions.

The big mystery on Friday...who stole our bags! Upon returning from an extended swim down to south south beach Diablo and I were a bit miffed to find that our bags had been taken. With a cool are temp of 47 my immediate reaction was "oh, this is just great...47 freakin' degrees and no dry clothes...." But who would have done such a dastardly thing? Perhaps the local law enforcement or hazmat teams removed Diablo's bag due to the strange aroma permeating from it...and confiscated mine just in case it had been contaminated? Or perhaps it was souvenir seekers looking to grab the legendary gear of Diablo and Capt'n? it would turn out...the missing bags were the result of none other than.....the return of The Patriarch who hid himself behind the brush along the bluff just long enough to yell "ARRG!!!" and scare the bajeebus out of me as I searched for our gear.

Conditions today were absolutely stupendous! Unfortunately Kahuna could not enjoy an extended swim with the rest of us due to a previous commitment to frolic through an apple orchard. (editorial note...sure would suck to be Kahuna and have to cut a delightful day for a swim short on account of something like that...but then again...this way he didn't have to swim as long with The Patriarch and his powder puff pink cap.)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How late in the swim season is it?

Next Swims: Friday 6AM, Saturday 2PM

Last Swim: Thursday 6PM
Water Temp: 56.3
Air Temp: 67
Waves: Occasional 1ft
Water Clarity: clear
Crew: Diablo, Gumdrop, Kahuna, Capt'n

The air temp may have fallen a few degrees since yesterday but the water temp climbed a few in return....certainly a trade the Klode Kru will gladly take.

So here's today's debate...which of the following current indicators will give you the best idea of how late in the swim season it is?
a) The air temp
b) The water temp
c) The number of days since we last saw The Patriarch
d) The number of holes in Diablo's wetsuit
e) The number of holes in Kahuna's wetsuit
f) The fact that Gumdrop is now wearing a wetsuit

New Moon Swims

Next Swims: Thursday 6PM, Friday 6AM?

Last Swim: Wednesday 6PM
Water Temp: 54.5
Air Temp: 72!
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: clear
Crew: Diablo, Gumdrop, Beth, Capt'n

We've done a Full Moon why not a New Moon Swim? With the sun rising later and setting earlier every day we're starting to see more of the moon than the sun these days....except of course when there's a new moon. Technically we swam Wednesday evening without seeing the Moon but officially October 7th is the New Moon.

Conditions Wednesday evening were delightful. Calm, clear water and an evening air temp of 72. In fact, the conditions were so enjoyable Wednesday that upon entering the water Diablo,
Gumdrop and I nare had a chance to say "Arrg!" before Beth had embarked on the journey northward.

Thanks to Diablo's internal global positioning system we swam diagonally out from Klode's south beach to the Garage ending up approximately 200+ meters from shore by the time we arrived at the Garage. We contemplated swimming up to Cedar Grove but we got so caught up exchanging our favorite Patriarch stories that we lost track of time and had to head back due to darkness. the way...where-o-where is The Patriarch???

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Temps on the rise!

Next Swim: Wednesday 6PM

Last Swim: Tuesday 6PM
Water Temp: 55.3
Air Temp: 63
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: clear
Crew: Diablo, Capt'n

Indeed it was a very pleasant evening for a swim today. Calm winds, air temps in the 60's and a water temp on the plus side of 55...up 4 degrees since Monday morning. With tomorrow's forecasted high of 70 we're optimistic that the conditions for our next swim will be even better. Anyone interested in joining in on the fun? :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tuesday Evening Swim Planned

Next Swim: Tuesday 6PM

Last Swim: Monday 6AM
Water Temp: 51
Air Temp: 37
Waves: Occasional 1ft swells
Water Clarity: saturated with sand
Crew: Diablo, Capt'n

The swim week got off to a frosty start this morning. Clear skies, stars, crescent moon, a vibrant red horizon....and the sight of your breath. Ah, the epitome of the perfect autumn morning....for a swim. Well, not really. The conditions Monday morning may have been a bit extreme for a dip in the lake but the forecast for later in the week promises to be a bit more hospitable.

The plan for Tuesday is to swim at 6 in the evening rather the morning. With the forecast calling for the high on Tuesday to be 30 degrees warmer than in the morning its hard to pull the trigger on another AM swim. Perhaps Wednesday or Thursday we'll return to enjoy the visual morning treats of the season.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Swim day 134 - Continuing Waves

Next Swim: Monday 6AM

Last Swims: Sunday 11AM
Water Temp: 51.5
Waves: frequent 1-3ft
Water Clarity: saturated with sand
Crew: Diablo, Blondie, Capt'n

Rolling 1ft waves continued to wash ashore Sunday morning. Not nearly as intense as the waves from Saturday but enough to make for a very entertaining swim. Blondie decided to stroll down from the water station at the 17 mile mark of the lakefront marathon to join us.

To complete our tour of the Klode beaches this year we decided to walk the plank today at Klode's northeast beach...the water off of the southeast beach coincidentally was saturated with seaweeds that were washing ashore.

Our swim this afternoon was quite a bit easier than yesterdays....although occasionally the Lady of the Lake would roll a 3ft+ wave at us to keep us sufficiently entertained.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Swim day 133 - Biggest Waves of the Year!

Next Swims: Sunday 11AM

Last Swims: Friday 6AM & Saturday 2PM
Water Temp: 53 both days
Waves: Friday calm / Saturday 3-5ft
Water Clarity: Friday crystal clear / Saturday saturated with sand
Crew: Diablo, Capt'n

It was as if the Lady of the Lake knew we had arrived and that we were attempting to break our record of 132 swim days set last year. The winds all morning had been brisk from the NNW but upon arriving at Klode the parking lot flag indicated that they had shifted to be from the NNE.

Greeting us today were strong winds and frequent 3-5 foot waves that thundered to shore and washed all the way up to the base of the bluff. No doubt, if we were going to continue our streak and set the record today we would be in for a challenge.

Due to the frequency and direction of the waves we swam from Klode's north beach...the first such time we've done that this year. The entire setting today was reminiscent of the adventure The Patriarch and I had a couple of years ago when we charged into the big waves from Klode's north beach only to be knocked immediately on our butts by the playful surf.

Our swim from Klode's north beach to the Garage took approximately 10 minutes. The combination of frequent waves and a strong current made for a slow struggle northward. Swimming 5 additional minutes northward took us only half way to Cedar Grove from the Garage. Coming back was a complete different story though. What took us 15 minutes in one direction lasted what felt like mere seconds in the other....oh what fun!!

Interestingly, upon returning to the parking lot following our outstanding adventure the Klode parking lot flag momentarily went limp...and then did an about face to indicate that the winds had returned to blowing from the NNW.