Saturday, December 31, 2011

3rd Annual Polar Bear (Viking) SWIM plans

Date: January 1, 2012
Location: Bradford Beach
Swim Time: Noon
Advance Meeting Time: 11:30 Lake Park Bistro Parking Lot
Beach Arrival Time: 11:45
Beach Meeting Place: directly east of Bradford Beach House

Ahoy Mates....what say you?!?!? Arrr ya' in?

See ya' therrrr if ya darrrr! :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

End of Season?

Next Swim: 2012?? But feel free to suggest a place and time. (I will be in California the next two weeks.)

Last Swim: Saturday Oct 29 1PM
Water Temp: low 50s
Waves: Small
Water clarity: Murky
Crew: Diablo & Gumdrop

Two auspicious events on Saturday: a possibly season ending swim Saturday afternoon, and Capn's excellent Halloween party Saturday night. Here's a couple pictures from the swim, hopefully Cap'n or someone will post pictures from the party.

A large fish swimming at Klode south beach. I'm no expert, but I think it was a walleye.
Two unidentified large fish at south-south beach.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Odes to Kahuna

Next Swim: ???? Make a suggestion in the comments
Last Swim: Sunday 10/23
Water Temp: low 50's
Waves: Small chop:
Water Clarity: Murky
Crew: Gumdrop, Diablo, and me watching from the beach. It might have been wishful thinking, or maybe too much Killepitsch, but I could swear I saw a third swimmer between Diablo and Gumdrop. Was it the ghost of Kahuna?

I dedicate today's blog to our old buddy. Feel free to leave your own poem or story about our wooden friend.

We once had a Kru-Mate Kahuna,
Who swam by the light of Luna,
He turned in to a tree,
Washed up on Klode,
Hoist 'Pitsch to toast the old tuna!

There once was a swimmer from Shorewood,
In who's memory 'Pitsch one we should,
To our surprise,
He met his demise,
Washed up as Klode Beach driftwood!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Big Kahuna's Last Swim


Next Swim: Sunday 10/23, 1PM
Last Swims: Friday 10/21 6PM, Saturday 10/22 1PM
Waves: Choppy
Water Clarity: Murky
Water Temps: Low 50's
Friday Crew: Diablo & Gumdrop
Saturday Crew: Diablo, Gumdrop, Patriarch

If you've been following the blog you've read some mysterious comments from Kahuna about about swimmings trees and the nature of reality. Were these just the confused ramblings of a senile old man, or were they terrible premonitions of his destiny? Today at the beach we learned the awful truth. There, washed up by the storm, was a gigantic old log with a green cap and goggles. The chilling awful terrible truth hit us right between the eyes: here lies Kahuna.
Gumdrop sheds a tear for our old washed up buddy, as Diablo drinks a toast to his memory:
Please send your cash contributions to the Kahuna Memorial Fund %Patriarch, Shorewood WI


Monday, October 17, 2011

Challenging Ourselves

Next Swim: Tuesday 10/18 5:30PM?

Last Swim: Monday 10/17 5:30PM

Conditions:

Water Temp: 54.4
Air Temp: 52 & clear skies
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: good
Saturday Crew: Flipper, Jack Frost, Capt'n

An air temp just north of 50...a water temp just shy of 55...and no Diablo to egg us on to swim skin. A real no brainer for climbing into our wetsuits for a comfortable swim across a glass like lake surface....right? Rather than employ Diablo's egg related tactics to persuade the crew to swim skin Flipper chose instead to quote Emilio Estevez from Young Guns...."A man's got to challenge himself on a daily basis."

So that we did. Both flipper and I logged a somewhat leisurely skin swim up to Garage and back....stopping to swap jokes and stories at the Garage before returning. Jack Frost on the other hand continued to break in his thermal swim gear that I think is advertised to be good to minus 55 or something.

I'm not sure which felt colder today...the water or the air afterwards. I'm beginning to call the phenomenon "Fools Gold" where your reluctant to leave the comforts (?) of the "warmer" water because the air feels so cold.

The skin counter now leads the wetsuit counter 108 skins swim to 60 wetsuit swims. The consecutive day swim streak also now sits at 117. It appears that I may have conflicts for evening swims the rest of this week all the way through Sunday. Could the consecutive swim day streak be in jeopardy of ending?

Another Record

Next Swim: Monday 10/17 5:30PM

Last Swim: Sunday 10/16 4PM

Conditions:

Water Temp: 56.2
Air Temp: 57 (felt cooler with the wind chill) & Sunny
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: good
Saturday Crew: Diablo Gumdrop, Capt'n

The records for the Klode Kru seem to be pouring in these days. Water temps rebounded nicely Sunday to a very modest 56.2. (55.8 from Klode's southeast beach) This is typically a temperature the crew would climb into their wetsuits at. But with Diablo egging us on we all decided to give it whirl skin.

Unlike other skin swims at cooler water temps in August and September there were no thermoclines with warmer pockets of water to offer us reprieve from the cool water and what felt like cooler air temps. Once we got started our bodies surprisingly adjusted quite well to the water as we logged a leisurely swim journey from Klode's southeast beach up to Garage before returning to Klode's southeast bay and then debating whether to exit the warm(er) comforts of the Lake vs the relentless cool breeze waiting for us on the shore.

In terms of records, obviously this marks the latest in the year that the crew has swam skin but it also marks the coldest water temp that we've swam skin in. Of course this is until Diablo eggs us on again at our next swim...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The return of...

Next Swim: Sunday 10/16 4PM

Last Swims: Friday 10/14 9AM, Saturday 10/15 9AM

Saturday Conditions:

Water Temp: 52.1
Air Temp: 47 & Sunny
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: good
Saturday Crew: Diablo Jack Frost, Capt'n
Friday Crew: Diablo

Jack Frost has returned after being absent for the past several weeks. Coincidentally (?) so has the cold water. Not that we're skeptics or anything like that but Diablo and I thought it was a bit strange that the cold water returns and Jack Frost not only suddenly appears but also comes prepared with neoprene hat, socks AND 5mm gloves. Coincidence? ...hmmmm.

With the exception of the cooler water and air temps everything else was quite pleasant for this morning's swim. Plentiful sunshine, brilliant fall colors along the shoreline and a flat water surface. This morning's swim started at Klode's north beach as the remnants of Gumdrop's spa were still lingering along Klode's south beach. We made it up to Cedar Grove before deciding to return back.

Friday morning Diablo was the only crew member to show up for the group swim. Here's his report: "Well, here is 10/14 9AM swim: Chuck, Chucky, Chuck&Cheese and Diablo swam to Cedar from the North beach. We try to go from our usual spot but Gumdrop Spa still there with a members only sign. It was nice to feel the sun and see more than shadows. The bluff protected us from the west wind so we were able to log another skin swim. The water was a little bit clear, and the temp felt upper 50's. More swimming tomorrow, can hardly wait..."

With the Packer game at Noon on Sunday the plan is to swim following the game at 4pm. I will be present if I don't have a scheduling conflict with the TriWisconsin Board meeting.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Another Milestone Achieved

Next Swims: Friday 10/14 9AM, Saturday 10/15 9AM

Last Swims: Wednesday 10/12 5:30PM & Thursday 10/13 5:30PM

Conditions:

Water Temp: 58.2
Air Temp: cloudy, rain & upper 50's
Waves: glasslike with an occasional swell
Water Clarity: poor / saturated with sand near shore
Wednesday Crew: Diablo with special guest witness The Patriarch
Thursday Crew: The Patriarch, Gumdrop, Kahuna, Capt'n

Cloudy skies and light rain fell as we arrived on the Klode beach. Not a very pleasant day for a swim much less a skin swim. Yet the crew new full well what was at stake....a chance to enter the record books by logging the latest skin swim in the year. Not even sand saturated water near shore or a water temp of just 58 could deter them from walking the plank skin.

So walk the plank skin we did. For Gumdrop the mission was clear...swim quickly up to the Garage and get back to shore...don't stop, don't socialize along the way and don't pass 'GO', just get-er-done. While Kahuna's route was similar to Gumdrop's he was a lot more sociable...stopping with The Patriarch and I at the North Shore Down Spout and then again at Garage to remark how pleasant the water was. (...at least I think that's what his comments meant as I didn't hear him say 'Flahw' once.)

On the return journey The Patriarch and I were determined to find clear(er) water so we swam out deeper. While we were unsuccessful in finding clear water the clarity did improve...I think I could actually see my elbow below me. Despite the cloudy/sandy water conditions swimming across flat water is always a pleasant experience.

Swimming the next few days will be challenging for me due to scheduling conflicts with races and my cousin's wedding. Diablo has declared that he will be swimming at 9am Friday. I can only make 9am Saturday and Sunday is TBD. If you have a preferred swim time for this weekend, please post a comment.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Havest Moon Swim

Next Swim: Wednesday 10/12 5:30PM & Thursday 10/13 5:30PM

Last Swim: Tuesday 10/11 5:15PM

Conditions:

Water Temp: 61.2
Air Temp: mid 60's & mostly sunny with clouds on horizon
Waves: slight chop from south
Water Clarity: clear in spots
Crew: Diablo, Capt'n with a special report from Gumdrop

Hard to believe an entire summer went past without a single full moon swim by the Klode crew. Non-the-less, swimming skin as the great big orange harvest moon climbed over a thin line of clouds along the horizon was still a visual treat...albeit a tad bit less comfortable than it would have been in August.

Gumdrop was unable to join Diablo and I for our moonrise tour of the Klode bay but he did send us a special report of his voyage: "Logged a skin swim. Under the Blood moon I set my sights North to Cedar Groove from North beach(where there is no washed up spa facial material,er, I mean algae). Water was comfortably chilled."

Conditions are still ripe for us to set the record for the latest skin swim adventure. Current record stands at 10/12. If our current conditions persist we should be able to set a new record Thursday for the latest skin swim in a season.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Full Moon Swim This Evening

Next Swim: Tuesday 10/11 5:15PM

Last Swim: Monday 10/10 5:30PM

Monday's Conditions:

Water Temp: 60.4 (...a few degrees cooler away from shore)
Air Temp: upper 65 & Sunny
Waves: chop from south
Water Clarity: clear in spots
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Capt'n

According to this morning's paper tonight there will be a full moon. (...Gumdrop's comment yesterday indicates that it may have been last night....) Moonrise is listed as beginning at 5:46pm. My plan is to be in the water swimming (skin?) as the full moon rises. Anyone else interested?

If anyone is curious about the full moon schedule here's a website I just stumbled across: Moon Phases for Milwaukee

Monday, October 10, 2011

Century Skin Swim Mark Obtained

Next Swims: Monday 5:30PM

Last Swims: Saturday 10/8 1PM & Sunday 10/9 1PM

Saturday 10/8 1PM Conditions:
Water Temp: 60.8
Air Temp: upper 70's & Sunny
Waves: slight chop from south
Water Clarity: clear
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Riptide, Phil, Mike, Pete, Capt'n

Sunday 10/9 1PM Conditions:
Water Temp: 61.2
Air Temp: upper 70's & Sunny
Waves: slight chop from south
Water Clarity: crystal clear
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Crash, Capt'n

Wow...what an exceptional weekend for swimming! Cloudless skies and air temps comfortably in the upper 70's. Even the water warmed up a couple of degrees for us. About the only imperfection was a slight chop challenging our swim journey southward both days.

Saturday we logged our 100th skin swim of the year with Diablo, Kahuna, Riptide and I all logging an impressive skin swim down to the south sewer pipe and back. Despite the chop challenging us and several pockets of cooler water (upper 50s?) we weren't going to let a day like this slip away without swimming at least 30 minutes in the water.

The weather conditions Sunday were nearly dejavu from Saturday but the chop from the south felt a little more challenging to swim against....although that may have been because we choose to swim first northward from Klode's south beach with the current and then return against the waves. Typically the crew prefers to swim against the current at first rather than with it...but conventional wisdom Sunday was tossed aside with Kahuna campaigning heavily for a romantic journey northward to enjoy the vibrant fall colors along the north shore.

As was the case Saturday Diablo and I logged our swim voyage skin with entire crew celebrating our exceptional good fortune this year with a few rounds of Pitsch. The Pitsch counter now stands at 271 for the season. ...anyone see another milestone coming? :)

This morning only Diablo and I showed up for an AM swim. Not surprisingly it was pretty much pitch black when we arrived at Klode. As the sun continues to rise later every morning we traditionally end our am swims around this time of year. If anyone is interested in continuing the AM swims please post a comment.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Magic Tranquility of Morning at Klode

Weekend Swims: Saturday and Sunday 10/8 and 10/9, 1:00PM both days

Last Swim: Friday 10/7 AM
Water Temp: 57
Waves: gentle rollers
Water Clarity: Excellent, the bottom is clearly visible again
Crew: Gumdrop, Kahuna, Cap'n, Diablo, Ben, Flipper, Patriarch

We spoke in hushed tones as we gathered at the top of Klode bluff so as not to disturb the serenity of the predawn darkness. We listened quietly as the birds gently tweeted their morning melody of greeting to the faint crimson glow of sunrise over the lake, supported in quiet harmony by the gentle lapping of waves on the shore. Ah, the magical tranquility of Lake Michigan just before dawn.

Shattered! Destroyed! Annihilated! By the HONK!! HONK!! HONK!! BEEP!!! BEEP!!! of Kahuna's car alarm. Over and over. While Kahuna fumbled with his buttons the rest of us hustled down to the beach before the rudely roused citizens of Whitefish Bay could come after us with guns and pitchforks.

If Kahuna's car alarm wasn't enough to awaken us, the plunge into the clear cool water certainly did the trick. But it was very pleasant to have crystal clear water again. I love watching the bottom glide by, almost like flying. Once the sun came up the bluff came alive autumn color. It should be a great weekend for swimming. The prediction is for warm and sunny weather, maybe our last really good days for a while. Come on out one last time!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

3 down / 2 to go

Next Swims: Friday 10/7 6AM & Saturday 10/8 1PM & Sunday 10/9 1PM

Last Swims: Wednesday 10/5 5:30PM & Thursday 10/6 6AM & Thursday 10/6 5:30PM

Wednesday 10/5 PM Conditions:
Water Temp: upper 50's
Air Temp: 62 & Sunny
Waves: slight chop
Water Clarity: clear
Crew: Diablo, Kahuna with special guest appearance from The Patriarch

Thursday 10/6 AM Conditions:
Water Temp: 57.4
Air Temp: 50 & clear skies
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: clear
Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, Gumdrop, Capt'n

Thursday 10/6 PM Conditions:
Water Temp: 59.2
Air Temp: 64 & Sunny
Waves: slight chop
Water Clarity: cloudy
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Nick, AJ, Capt'n

A macho man would probably brag about swimming skin in 50 degree water and air temps that are even colder. A macho man may even debate with his fellow crew mates which of them is macho-er. Rather than follow in the footsteps of macho men Diablo and I have taken up a different debate.....who's dumb and dumber.

Sure we could very easily climb into our wetsuits and enjoy our swims all comfy cozy. But do we? No! But as to exact why we still go skin is still a lively debate that frequently pits dumb vs dumber.

Swimming skin these past few days hasn't been as glorious as we make it out to be on the beach...but when there are spectators (...especially M-Power and her crew...) we're getting pretty good at hamming it up. Truth be told though..I think we may actually spend more time contemplating walking the plank skin as The Patriarch spends getting out of his wetsuit and packing his bags prior to departing the beach....well, then again, maybe we don't spend that much time at it.

The skin counter currently reads 98...just 2 shy of the century mark. With 3 swims scheduled before the end of the weekend it looks likely that we'll set this historic mark this weekend. (note: no swim Friday evening as the Brewers play at 4pm...GO BREWERS!!!) The forecast for this weekend looks absolutely spectacular for a swim in the lake....come on out for a swim, or at least a round of Pitsch or two. :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

2 down / 5 to go

Next Swims: Wednesday 10/5 5:30PM & Thursday 10/6 6AM

Last Swims: Tuesday 10/ 5:30PM & Wednesday 10/5 6AM

Tuesday 10/4 PM Conditions:
Water Temp: 59
Air Temp: 62 & Sunny
Waves: very slight chop
Water Clarity: clearing
Crew: Kahuna, Capt'n

Wednesday 10/5 AM Conditions:
Water Temp: 57.6 (new Captino-meter!!)
Air Temp: 51 & clear skies
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: clear
Crew: Diablo, Gumdrop, Capt'n

Reaching the 100 skin swim milestone is starting to look like a distinct possibility. Skin swim #94 for the year occurred yesterday evening and featured Kahuna and I swimming skin southward into a slight chop with the half moon almost directly overhead. Skin swim #95 occurred this morning and featured Diablo and I swimming skin across a slightly ripped lake surface with a spectacular bright red horizon. Gumdrop also swim this morning but opted for the wetsuit to support a longer swim.

While swimming skin in water temps that are in the upper 50's may not sound like fun it actually isn't too bad once you get going. The most challenging part comes when its time to exit the water into air temps that have been cooler than the water. ...nothing a thick thirsty towel and a warm sweatshirt can't fix though. :)

For all you stat trackers out there....the skin count currently sits at 95 while the wetsuit count sits at 59. The latest recorded skin swim on the blog is October 12th. The latest recorded week day morning 6AM swim is 10/15.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Setting our sights on another milestone?

Next Swims: Tuesday 10/4 5:30PM & Wednesday 10/5 6AM

Last Swims: Monday 10/3 5:30PM & Tuesday 10/4 6AM

Monday 10/3 PM Conditions:
Water Temp: 57
Air Temp: 62 & Sunny
Waves: slight chop
Water Clarity: stirred-up
Crew: The Patriarch, Kahuna, Mike, Diablo, Gumdrop, Capt'n

Tuesday 10/4 AM Conditions:
Water Temp: 56
Air Temp: 47 & clear skies
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: clearing with visibility up to 5ft
Crew: Diablo, Gumdrop, Bubba, Capt'n

Last night was a big night for the crew. With the plank counter at 999 who would be our 1000th swimmer to walk the plank? The Patriarch made a valiant attempt to be number 1000 but eye witness reports indicate that despite the Patriarch being the first to begin walking the plank it appeared that he become distracted by Barbi as Kahuna dashed pass him and into the history books as our first ever 1000th swimmer to walk the plank.

To celebrate we hoisted a round of Pitsch immediately following our great lake adventure and then continued our festivities on over to Lisa's for pizza and several more rounds of grog.

With Diablo, Gumdrop and I logging skin swims last night and with Diablo and Bubba logging a skin swim this morning the official skin swim count is now at 93. Could 100 skin swims really be in reach? Before you pass judgement I should point out that these are no cheapie skin swims either. With an air temp of just 47 this morning Bubba and Diablo logged a skin swim up to Cedar Grove and back with Bubba extending the journey a little bit south of Klode's south beach for good measure.

Monday, October 3, 2011

999

Next Swims: Monday 10/3 5:30PM & Tuesday 10/4 6AM & 5:30PM

Last Swims: Saturday 10/1 1PM & Sunday 10/2 1PM & Monday 10/3

10/3 Conditions:
Water Temp: 57
Air Temp: 49 & clear skies
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: stirred-up
Crew: Diablo, Gumdrop, Bubba, Flipper, Capt'n

10/2 Conditions:
Water Temp: 57
Air Temp: 64 & sunny
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: stirred-up
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Capt'n

10/1 Conditions:
Water Temp: 58
Air Temp: 64 & Sunny
Waves: 2-3ft
Water Clarity: stirred-up
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Capt'n

One more swimmer to go until we reach 1000 on the plank counter!! If all goes according to plan we should set this historic mark with this evening's 5:30pm swim. Perhaps we'll go out and celebrate with a little pizza following today's PM swim? (If interested, please comment) At the very least well have some Pitsch on hand to toast the accomplishment.

Speaking of accomplishment's...Diablo and Flipper displayed their true grit this morning swimming skin in 55-57 degree water and a crisp cool air temp of 49. As Bubba put it... "Diablo and Flipper are classic swimmers...reminiscent of when men were made of steel and boats were made of wood."

Speaking of skin swims...there's a little debate on what should qualify as an official "skin swim". Currently I've been measuring it by whether or not there are at least two swimmers going skin. Yesterday Diablo and I swam skin and on Saturday Diablo was the only brave soul to swim skin. As a result our plank counter has risen 2 over the last 3 swims up to 91 for the season. Be on the look out for a survey on the topic.

Friday, September 30, 2011

100 Consecutive Days!

Next Swims: Saturday 10/1 1PM & Sunday 10/2 1PM

Last Swims: Thursday 9/29 6PM & Friday 9/30 6AM

9/29 PM Conditions:
Water Temp: 58
Air Temp: 54 & Sunny / Breezy
Waves: rippled flat surface
Water Clarity: clear
Crew: The Patriarch, Capt'n

9/30 AM Conditions:
Water Temp: upper 50's
Air Temp: 52 & partly cloudy
Waves: monsterous frequent 4-6ft (2-3 seconds apart)
Water Clarity: stirred up
Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, Flipper, Capt'n with special guest witness The Patriarch

The Lady of the Lake really made us earn our 100th consecutive day of swimming. The big 30-50mph winds from Thursday evening kicked up some serious waves Friday morning. Frequent powerful waves measuring 4-6ft tall crested along the Klode sandbars just 50 meters from shore. Some would even sport some serious Hawaii-5-O action even further out.

As was the case Monday we decided to play it safe by swimming from Klode's north beach in about 3-4ft of water. Our initial attempts to swim 20 meters from shore were unsuccessful as the current moving north to south was just too swift to swim against. Attempting to swim just 10 feet from shore proved to be much more productive. Fortunately for us the sandbars just offshore really took the brunt of the force of the waves which allowed us to successfully swim over and under waves en route to the Garage and back.

Amazingly both Diablo and Flipper completed this morning's swim skin. Flipper even attempted to swim southward out by the sandbars. That exercise actually resulted in a one way ticket down to south south beach in a blink of an eye and a long cold walk back up to Klode's north beach on the muddy foot trails along the bluff. Another noteworthy item about this morning's swim was the absence of Bubba...."where are you man, you really missed a good one!"

To celebrate our 100th consecutive day of swimming the Crew enjoyed a tantalizing tasty breakfast at Solly's. I highly recommend their Cherry Pancakes! Continuing our celebration, The Patriarch and I returned to Klode this evening to marvel at the continued onslaught of huge waves and to raise a round of Pitsch in honor of the Lady of the Lake and are great adventures the past 100 days.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Solly's Breakfast Swim Friday 9/29

Next Swims: Thursday 9/29 6PM & Friday 9/30 6AM

Last Swims: Wednesday 9/28 6AM & 6PM and Thursday 9/29 6AM

9/28 AM Conditions:
Water Temp: 60ish
Air Temp: 54 & rain
Waves: 1-3ft chop
Water Clarity: too dark to tell
Crew: Diablo, Bubba, Ben, Capt'n

9/28 PM Conditions:
Water Temp: 60ish
Air Temp: 58 & partly cloudy
Waves: 1ft
Water Clarity: stirred-up
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna

9/29 AM Conditions:
Water Temp: 60ish
Air Temp: 52 & partly cloudy
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: cloudy
Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, Bubba, Flipper, Capt'n

To celebrate what should be our 100th consecutive day of swimming the crew plans to go out for a Solly's breakfast following Friday's AM swim. We are also very close to hitting 1000 on our plank counter. The count is currently at 981....just 19 more swimmers are needed to hit this historic total!

This morning's swim was a very pleasant change of pace for us this week. For the first time this week we weren't greeted by dark clouds, rain and choppy conditions. Instead this morning we were treated to a bright horizon, a glass like lake surface and a spectacular sunrise if you were willing to log a longer swim. The entire crew walked the plank and swam skin with the exception of Kahuna and I. After logging a journey up to Cedar Grove and back I ditched my wetsuit and continued my journey down to South-South beach accompanied by Bubba and Flipper. This was our 88th official skin swim of the year and may be the latest in the season that we've logged a skin swim.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Never a dull moment

Next Swims: Wednesday 9/28 6AM & 6PM

Last Swims: Tuesday 9/27 6AM & 6PM

AM Conditions:
Water Temp: 60ish
Air Temp: 54 & rain
Waves: 1-2ft chop
Water Clarity: too dark to tell
Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, Bubba, Capt'n

PM Conditions:
Water Temp: 59
Air Temp: 56 & cloudy with sprinkles
Waves: occasional 3-6ft
Water Clarity: stirred-up
Crew: The Patriarch, Mike, Capt'n with special guest appearance from Diablo

Similar to Monday morning we were greeted with dark skies and rain as we arrived at Klode. While the rain wasn't nearly has heavy and the winds weren't nearly as strong everything else appeared to be a repeat performance from Monday. Unlike Monday's am swim adventure, this time we ventured out for a southward swim down to south beach. The lack of day light and the choppy conditions made for a very interesting experience....one that I would liken to swimming with your eyes closed while others splash water at you and push your legs from one side to another. Still, we got er done...and to boot Bubba completed the voyage skin.

Conditions this evening were grey and dreary but we were pleased to find that The Patriarch has returned. To celebrate the occasion the Lady of the Lake threw a party for us...complete with 3-6ft waves that knocked The Patriarch on his ass! These waves were sneaky ones as they would pummel you by rolling in just a few seconds apart and then disappear for a few minutes before suddenly returning. To celebrate The Patriarch's return and this evenings frolic we threw down a round of Pitsch...ahh, what a great life we live!

Monday, September 26, 2011

What could it be?

Next Swims: Tuesday 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim: Monday 9/26 6PM

Water Temp: 61
Air Temp: 59 & mostly sunny
Waves: moderate chop
Water Clarity: stirred up
Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, Capt'n

From time to time the storms and big waves will leave behind treasures for us to find. Usually these treasures consist of rocks, sticks and seaweed but on occasion we stumble across an item or two worth keeping....or at least studying a bit. Just prior to today's adventure Kahuna came across what appears to be a strange fossil or bone remnant of a mutant like creature....quite a big one at that too! While were not certain what creature the bone belongs to we're pretty sure it's too old to be Gumdrop. ...but maybe, just maybe it will turnout to be valuable enough to allow us to build our own clubhouse...complete with lockers, showers, jacuzzi, sauna, hot tub and....mermaids!

Speaking of Kahuna he wanted me to pass along a party invite to everyone. Tomorrow evening (Tuesday September 27th) there's a Shorewood Bicycle Friendly Community Award Celebration party at the Three Lions Pub. (4515 Oakland Ave, Shorewood). Party starts at 8pm.

Completely Nuts

Next Swims: Monday 9/26 6PM & Tuesday 6AM

Last Swim: Monday 9/26 6AM

Water Temp: 60ish
Air Temp: 60 heavy rain and wind
Waves: 1-2ft (2 seconds apart)
Water Clarity: too dark to tell
Crew: Diablo, Bubba, Capt'n

This was probably one of those swims that's best to start off by saying "do not try this at home...and certainly not by yourself". Heavy rain, strong easterly winds at 20-30mph and dark clouds greeted us at Klode this morning. A steady diet of 1-2ft white caps rolled ashore every 2 seconds. With the thick clouds and the sunrise still several minutes away it was nearly impossible for us completely assess the water conditions this morning. Conventional wisdom dictated that it would probably be best to skip this morning's swim. But the crew was determined to make it happen.

To play it safe we swam close to shore from north beach approximately 20ft from shore and in about 3-4ft of water. The sandbars 50-75 meters from shore protected us nicely from full force of the waves and combining that with the straight easterly direction of the waves all but completely eliminated any current from running parallel to shore.

I'll admit, I definitely had my reservations prior to walking the plank this morning but as it would turnout Mother Nature's conditions this morning were by far less hospitable than the lady of the lake. We'll be back at 6pm this evening to try and pad our plank counter some more in our efforts to reach 1000 by this weekend. Anyone else in?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A little less luck...

Next Swims: Monday 9/26 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim: Sunday 9/25 1PM

Water Temp: 62
Air Temp: 58 & cloudy early then heavy rain
Waves: 4ft (2-6 seconds apart)
Water Clarity: mostly clear
Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, Bubba, Phil, Capt'n

Our luck from Saturday unfortunately didn't carry over to Sunday. The cloudy skies at the onset of our swim gave way to heavy rain by the time we exited the water. With a steady diet of big waves crashing along the sandbars the entire crew climbed into their wetsuits with the exception of Bubba. Could Bubba perhaps be campaigning for a new nickname?

The waves may have been big but they were more playful than intimidating. A few of them were spaced close enough together to remind you that they shouldn't be ignored but most of them gave you plenty of time to recover after rolling over/under you. Our adventure today took us south down to sewer pipe and back. None of us wore our watches but the journey back north certainly took a fraction of the time it took us to forge our way to the sewer pipe.

To celebrate another successful lake adventure the entire crew hoisted a round of Pitsch...of course under the shelter of Klode Crew Club house that overlooks the beach so that our Pitsch would not become deluded by rain water. Many thanks to The Patriarch for sharing his last bottle of Pitsch with us before fleeing the state for the Poop-deck Grand Pappy convention.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A little bit of luck

Next Swims: Sunday 9/25 1PM

Last Swim: Saturday 9/24 1PM

Water Temp: 59 (...a few degrees warmer away from the beach...)
Air Temp: 56 & mostly cloudy
Waves: 1ft swells
Water Clarity: crystal clear
Crew: Diablo, Capt'n

As Diablo and I arrived at Klode this afternoon the dark clouds parted and the sun illuminated brilliant turquoise hued water that has rolled in. It was almost as if our 1pm swim was destined to be a pleasant one. All morning I had contemplated moving the swim start time up as the dark skies looked threatening. But lady luck was on our side and as fate would have it had we swam any earlier this morning we would have been doing so under cloudy skies instead of having the warm sun on our backs.

Conditions were still warm enough for us to log a skin swim. We're now at 86 for the year. The lake surface was by no mean choppy but frequent 1ft swells made the swim interesting as we passed over the sandbars. Oddly today, swimming southward against the swells of water felt easier than with them. No complaints though...every day in the lake swimming skin with the sun our backs this time of year is certainly a bonus. And to that point Diablo and I hoisted a round of Pitsch...and there's plenty more of it for everyone else who swims Sunday, compliments of The Patriarch!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lake Temps Bounce back....again!!

Next Swims: Saturday 9/24 1PM & Sunday 9/25 1PM

Last Swims: Friday 9/23 6AM & 6PM

AM Conditions:
Water Temp: 54 (...but warmer 25 meters from shore)
Air Temp: 49
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: crystal clear
Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, Bubba, Flipper (Bill), Capt'n

PM Conditions:
Water Temp: 61 (...but mid-60's away from the rock piles)
Air Temp: 60
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: crystal clear
Crew: Diablo, Capt'n

It's almost as if the numbingly cold water temps this year are but a mere aberration. In little more than 24 hours water temps have recovered from a low of 45 to the same point they were just a day earlier. Surprisingly, this marvel of nature has occurred every time the water temp has dipped below 50 degrees this summer.

To put an exclamation point today's return of warm water Diablo and I this evening comfortably logged a skin swim. This though, should not overshadow the performance of Flipper this morning who was the only brave crew member to walk the plank skin for our Garage and back voyage.

Interesting stats: Plank counter currently stands at 949....1000 for the year is a distinct possibility by next weekend. Consecutive day streak currently stands at 93 days....100 is a distinct possibility by next weekend. Skin Counter stands at 85...could 100 skin swims this year also be within reach? In prior years our wetsuit count by far out numbered our skin count. As of Wednesday the skin counter posted it's biggest lead ever at 84-49. Is it possible that the skin count finish the season ahead of wetsuit?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

One to Remember...

The bright horizon reflected brilliantly on a glass like lake surface as we strolled down the bluff en route to our traditional hangout on Klode's southeast beach. Thoughts of a repeat performance of yesterday's mudslide skin swim combined with visions of gliding effortlessly across a mirrored lake surface with a brilliant red sun creeping over the horizon danced around in our heads. Indeed, this swim would certainly be one to remember....

For those who haven't seen the comment posted by Kahuna regarding this morning's swim...here it is:

"Captain -- Make sure in today's blog entry you let everyone know that wonderful 75 degree water has returned, so that lots of folks are motivated to come down and help us break the records. I know the lengths to which pirates will go to break records, and I'm sure group members wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to experience what we experienced this morning. (Note, sorry for the typos, but I had to type this with a pen in my mouth, as I still have not yet regained full use of my fingers.)"

Yes indeed....as our fortunes would have it (...or lack there of...) this morning's water temp was an eye popper. At first I thought my lazer-o-meter was on the fritz....but it didn't take but a mere instant for my toes to confirm that the reading was correct. The official Bubba-o-meter reading this morning was....45.5!!! Ouch!!!

Still, the crew pressed on and walked the plank. After all, we couldn't let our consecutive day streak end now....could we? Diablo made it all the way to Garage in his sleeveless wetsuit while Kahuna nearly matched the same feat in his sleeveless. Bubba's shortie offered him little comfort but still he endured several minutes which most certainly felt like an eternity. Fortunately for yours truly...I recently became the proud owner of the world's warmest wetsuit, the DeSoto Water Rover. Outside of some numb fingers...I was as snug as a bug in a rug. ...don't get me wrong though...my finger tips did kinda hurt which really sucked. :(

So far this year the frigid water temps haven't lasted long...in fact not more than 24 hours. In looking at the water temp maps there still is plenty of warm water out there. The question is when will it return?

...for those interested in records...our record coldest swim was logged at 41 degrees on 12/5/09. At 45.5 this was our 3rd coldest swim on record.

Read all about it at: Swimmin' in December

Here's today's summary:

Next Swim: Friday 9/23 6AM

Last Swim: Thursday 9/22 6AM
Water Temps: 45.5
Air Temp: 54
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: crystal clear
Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, Bubba, Capt'n

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Significant Milestones in Reach

Next Swims: Thursday 9/22 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim: Wednesday 9/21 6AM
Water Temps: 59.5
Air Temp: 60
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: too dark to tell
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Bubba, Ben, Bill, Capt'n

There have been several conversations lately about when our consecutive day count will reach 100 and when we'll hit the 1000 swimmer mark on the plank counter. (...ok, I'll admit, I may have been the instigator for all these conversations...) Both certainly are noteworthy accomplishments.

While our consecutive day counter ("Streak") currently reads 88, I do believe it is an error. Looking back at the blog our streak of consecutive days started on June 23. Coincidentally that is exactly 13 weeks ago. Doing the math the "Streak" counter should read 91. As a result, I will make the correction on our official stats list.

Currently the "Plank" Counter reads 938. Adding up the crew members identified since we started swimming on 5/22 will take a little more time so for now I'm going to assume it's correct.

With all this in mind it would appear that we will log consecutive swim day 100 on Friday 9/30. If we can average 7 swimmers per day (...double dipper days do count for those hearty enough to attend both the morning and evening swims!) up until that point we will also reach a plank count of 1000 on the exact same day.....now wouldn't that be cool!?!?! Certainly cause for perhaps a few rounds of Pitsch or perhaps another Pirates Pizza Night? :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Boo Hoo

Next Swims: Tue 9/20 6PM, Wed 9/21 6AM

Last Swim: Tue 6AM
Water Temp: 62
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Patriarch, Diablo, Speed, Gumdrop, Kahuna

I be readin' the previous blog post by Cap'n. Never seen such a whiney bellyaching' drunken load of crap. He and Diablo be blamin' ME when their bottle runs dry, and it's all MY fault they didn't walk the plank last night. Pitiful, just pitiful.

Cap'n was too hung over, or more likely too ashamed, to show up this morning. Too bad, it was a great swim out to mudslide in calm clear water.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Crystal Clear, Calm, 64 and....

Next Swims: Tue 9/20 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim: Monday 6AM
Water Temps: Low Sixties
Air Temp: 60 & cloudy
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: too dark to tell
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Bubba, Bill, Capt'n

....no Killepitsch??? The mutinous sentiment of the crew was hard to ignore this evening as the crew's thirst to toast yesterday's 100th swim with a round or two of Pitsch went unquenched. It's no secret that The Patriarch be hoardin' his stash of Pitsch these days. Sure he be claimin' to be forgetful er somethin' like that....but dem words offer little comfort to a restless crew looking quell it's insatiable thirst for Pitsch.

What say ye....perhaps we should proclaim a new nickname fer The Patriarch...less he shape up a bit and share his stash of Pitsch he be promisin' the crew. If ye have any thoughts on a new name fer the forgetful one....please be postin' a comment with it.

Sadly the mutiny of the crew this evening forced the evening swim to be forgone all together. Without the Pitsch which had been promised...or the presence of The Patriarch for that matter who proclaimed this morning that he would be present for a skin-or-bust swim...all souls were lost before they ventured out to walk the plank.

This morning's swim was a different story. The crew was energized and walked the plank skin despite pitch black skies and a water temp that offered no additional comfort from the air temps. The waters were calm but clarity was difficult to tell without the sun to illuminate it. A thick layer of clouds would prevent the sun from shedding it's light on the crew this morning. Despite all this the crew still logged a mudslide and back voyage...which considering it was late September and a dark early morning voyage the accomplishment was quite amazing.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

One Hundred Swim Days

Next Swims: Mon 9/19 6AM, Tue 9/20 6AM
Maybe a Monday 6PM swim, if anyone is interested, if so please comment

Last Swims: Saturday 1:30PM, Sunday 11AM
Water Temps: Low Sixties
Waves: Saturday 2-3 feet very choppy, Sunday 2-4 feet rolling
Water Clarity: Somewhat cloudy
Saturday Crew: Cap'n, Gumdrop, Diablo, Patriarch, Marni & Marnmut
Sunday Crew: Cap'n, Gumdrop, Diablo, Patriarch, Ben, Mike

Today was our one hundredth day of swimming in 2011! This of course would have been an excellent reason to celebrate with a toast, however yours truly forgot to bring the Killepitsch. It's a shame too, because there's not much time left to drink. The world is ending soon according to a guy handing out brochures in the parking lot. I say swim and drink before the swimming ends or the world ends! And Killepitsch is the perfect end-of-the-world drink because it was named by two German soldiers who said in the bunker as allied bombs dropped all around, "Let's pitch one before they kill us".

Friday, September 16, 2011

Man-ing Up

Next Swims: Saturday 9/17 1:30PM & Sunday 9/18 11AM

Last Swims: Thursday 9/15 6AM & Friday 6AM

Thursday 6AM Conditions:
Water Temps: 61 (per Bubba-o-Meter) but much warmer 25 meters from shore
Air Temp: 41 & clear
Waves: 2-3ft (3-4 seconds apart)
Water Clarity: stirred up
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Bubba, Capt'n

Firday AM Conditions:
Water Temp: 64 (per Bubba-o-Meter)
Air Temp: 40 & clear
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: clear
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Bubba, Bill, Capt'n

The frequent sizable waves and cold air temps Thursday morning drove the entire crew with the exception of Bubba to climb into their wetsuits. Friday was a different story. The air may have been just as crisp Friday morning as they were on Thursday but the entire crew with the exception of The Patriarch chose to walk the plank skin.

Truth be told though, yours truly also walked the plank initially clad in a wetsuit.....but after a quick journey up to Cedar Grove and back I decided to man-up and ditch the wetsuit for a Garage and back skin swim tour of the Klode bay. (...of course the jeers from M-Power's fitness group on the bluff as The Patriarch and I entered the water clad in wetsuits next to everyone else who was skin had nothing to do with my decision to man-up.)

Remarkably the near shore water remains on the cool side (60ish) while the water just outside of the Klode rock piles and beyond are comfortably in the mid-upper 60's. Strange...but very accommodating for those venturing out for a skin swim.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Full Moon AM Swims

Next Swims: Wed 6PM & Thurs. 6AM

Last Swims: Tuesday 9/13 6PM and Wed 6AM

Tuesday PM Conditions:
Water Temps: Estimated low to mid sixties
Waves: 2ft
Water Clarity: stirred up
Crew: Diablo, Ellie, Beth

Wednesday AM Conditions:
Water Temp: 64 (per Bubba-o-Meter)
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: cloudy blue
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Bubba, Ben, Beth, Capt'n

  • Seeing more of the moon during swims than the sun....an interesting change of pace.
  • Experiencing cooler air temps while walking the plank skin...a game of dare and double dog dare.
  • Feeling the warm lake water welcome you once you get going...a momentary consolation prize because you need to keep swimming to remain warm.
  • Seeing the sun rise while your swimming across the glass like lake surface....absolutely spectacular!
Indeed it has been more challenging to resist the temptation to climb into your wetsuit when the air temps are hovering around 50. Despite the cooler air temps the water remains warm enough to support a comfortable skin swim. Most of the AM crew this week has made it up Cedar Grove while other have continued their journey up to mudslide before returning. The water temps haven't been motivating the crew to turn back as much as time constraints and thoughts of how unpleasant the cold sand and air will feel once you depart the Lady of the Lake's warm embrace.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How Long Can We Keep Going?

Next Swims: Tue 9/13 6PM, Wed 9/14 6AM

Last Swims: Mon 6AM & 6PM and Tue 6AM
Water Temps: Estimated low to mid sixties
Waves: Small Ripples
Water Clarity: Excellent
Mon AM Crew: Ben, Steve, Kahuna, Diablo, Speed
Mon PM Crew: Mike, James, Diablo, Gumdrop, Cap'n, Patriarch, with onshore visits from Kahuna, Bodin, and Jeff & Claudia & their much too cute little baby Cal
Tue AM Crew: Bill, Speed, Kahuna, Diablo, Cap'n, Patriarch

Everyone has returned from their weekend adventures and so we are back to our regular routine of morning and evening swims. Some have asked how long the swim season will go, and the answer is: as long as the Lady allows. Which of course is totally unpredictable. Every swim could be our last, which is part of makes every swim special.

But in past years some of our best swimming has been in early autumn so it's much too early to think about quitting. Besides, the Killepitsch Plank Counter (the number of individual swimmers who have "walked the plank" into the lake) is closing in on 1,000, and we can't stop until we reach it. We've never kept count before, but we've had far more swimmers in the water this year than any previous year, so we've already set a record, but it would be nice to hit quadruple digits.

One thing that helps: After two stormy rough weeks the Lake has returned to clear and calm. Which also tends to allow surface water warming. Maybe.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Big Shoulders Report

Next Swim: Monday 6PM

Last Swim: Big Shoulders, Ohio Street Beach Chicago
Water Temp: 64-65
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Cloudy
Crew: Diablo, James, Megan, Melanie, Patriarch, and 748 others

Congratulations to Megan (1:01, first woman! and fourth overall!) and James (1:05 first in age group and 22nd overall).

It was a near perfect day for the iconic Big Shoulders swim. The water was a bit but a warm sun quickly took care of the post race chill. It's quite a sight to see all those swimmers in the water right next to huge skyscrapers.

This morning I went out for a run, and as I sometimes do, I ended at Big Bay so I could cool down in the water. I walked down the path to the water where a lady was playing with her two dogs, when suddenly one dog runs up and bites my foot. Hard! Luckily my shoe protected me enough that the skin didn't break. Anyhow,the water is still pretty warm (high sixties?), so it should be a good swim at 6PM.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Good Luck to All Ironman and Big Shoulder Participants

Next Swims: Due to the big events this weekend we aren't scheduling any swims at Klode, but if you're not participating in Big Shoulders or Ironman, and want to swim in the lake this weekend, make a comment on this blog post and I'm sure others will be interested.

Last Swim: Friday 9/9 6AM
Water Temp: mid to high sixties
Waves: 2 footers, really choppy, and big currents
Water Clarity: Cloudy
Crew: Diablo, Speed, Ben, Chris, Bill

I didn't swim today to rest up for Big Shoulders tomorrow, but I went down to the beach to watch the others. It was another day of fighting waves and currents. Sunrise over the lake was spectacular this morning, but it only lasted a minute before the sun ducked behind the clouds. Hopefully Chris captured it with his camera and will post it in a comment.

Next week we'll be scheduling an outing after an evening swim to tell stories about Ironman and Big Shoulders.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Swimming Treadmill

Next Swims: Thursday 9/8 6PM, Friday 9/9 6AM
Saturday: Big Shoulders! Sunday: Ironman Wisconsin!
Good luck to all participating in these events.

Last swims: Wed 6PM, Thu 6AM
Water Temp: Like yesterday 61 on shore, but unlike yesterday not much warmer further out
Waves: 2-3 rollers with a huge current pushing south
Water Clarity: Cloudy
Wed PM Crew: James, AJ, Nick
Thu AM Crew: Cap'n, Diablo, Speed, Kahuna, James, Bill, Patriarch

For a description of Wednesday night's swim see James's comments on the previous blog entry.

I headed almost straight out to get away from the shore gunk and to search for warmer water and then gradually angled north. But after swimming for quite a while I looked up to see that I was not making any progress northward, and not much outward either. The current pushing against us was huge. On the way back I had the opposite problem, being pushed south and in much quicker than I realized. Quite a ride! All the elements of a roller coaster, a lot of fun and a little scary too. The waves and current are predicted to keep building all day so if you come a 6PM be prepared to do battle. And be safe!

Megan if you're reading this, I just want you to know my money is on you to beat James at Big Shoulders. James my friend, you have my apologies but I fear you made a major mistake by with all the trash talk after beating Megan by 13 seconds at the Madison Open Water Swim. Now you have to deal with Typhoon Megan.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

We Never Learn

Next Swim: Thursday Sept 8th, 6AM
Some of us have big events coming this weekend (e.g. Ironman, Big Shoulders) so we are cutting back a bit. We're not scheduling a Wed 6PM swim. But if you really want to swim Wed evening put a comment out there and maybe others will come.

Last Swim: Wednesday 9/7 6AM
Water Temp: Once again, there was cold murky water at the beach, but much warmer clearer water (maybe high sixties or even 70) just a short way out (can someone explain that to me?).
Waves: 1-2 feet, with an occasional set of breaking 3 footers, just to keep you on your toes, or on your butt, as it were.
Water Clarity: Pretty good away from the shore gunk
Crew: Diablo, Speed, Cap'n, Ben, Chris, Patriarch

It was very cool and windy on the beach, so Cap'n and me donned wetsuits, not so much because we were concerned about cold water, but freezing in the air after getting out of the water. But the water was so warm that by the time we made it to sewer pipe, we were feeling guilty so we returned to shore to doff our wetsuits and head back into the fray. And, naturally we froze our butts off when we got out. We never learn.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fun in the Waves

Next Swims: Tuesday 9/6 6PM, Wednesday 9/7 6AM

Last Swim: Tuesday 6AM
Water Temp: 61 on shore, but much warmer (70 at least just a short way out)
Waves: 2-3 feet, with an occasional 4 footer, mostly rolling
Water Clarity: Not so much
Crew: Chris, Bill, Speed, Diablo, Cap'n, Patriarch

The waves and current have calmed down a bit since yesterday. Today the waves were fun-big, not scary-big like yesterday. Even so, swimming north was still challenging. The swim to "garage" seemed to take forever. Some of us a did a shorter swim, others kept going.

It's that time of year when the water is often much warmer than the dry cool air, and getting out of the water is sometimes the harder than getting in. The trick is to exit the water and get into dry clothes as quickly as possible. (Patriarch's nugget of hard-earned wisdom for the day).

Monday, September 5, 2011

Surf's up!!

Next Swims: Tuesday, 9/6 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim: Monday, Labor Day Noon Swim
Water Temp: low 60's near shore, low 70's outside of the sand bars
Air Temp: 62, Sunny & breezy
Waves: frequent 3-5ft (5-6 seconds apart)
Water Clarity: Stirred up
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Mike the Newly Wed, Mike, Ben, Mystic (Michelle), Marni, Capt'n

A strong northeast breeze resulted in very playful 2-4 foot waves this afternoon. A strong current pushing from north to south made entering the water tricky but if you were savvy enough to navigate the crashing waves along the sandbars the swimming conditions outside of the sandbars were actually quite pleasant.

Many who walked the plank this afternoon did not journey far from our launch point at Klode's north beach. Only Mystic was daring enough to join the Captn's crew for a journey up to Rock Wall and back. (Truth be told...I had thought I was all alone on my journey northward until I caught a glimpse of mysterious swimmer slipping through the waves out a little deeper than I....it was at that point that I realized that this swimmer must be known as the 'mystic one...or Mystic') The 1/2 mile journey northward took nearly 30 minutes in the rolling but playful surf. The 1/2 mile journey southward took only a fraction of that (10?).

Upon returning the remaining crew members hoisted a round of Pitsch to celebrate the Captn's Birthday. Many thanks to all who have wished me well on my special day.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Swimming downhill

Next Swim:Monday, Labor Day Noon Swim

Last Swim: Sunday 9/4 Noon
Water Temp: Top inch mid 60's, below that maybe 60
Air Temp: 67 & Mostly Cloudy
Waves: Calm with slight current from north
Water Clarity: Exceptional
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Sir James, Crash, Lil' Sista, Slip-n-Slide, Nick, AJ, Mathew, Capt'n

Many thanks to The Patriarch and Mrs. Patriarch for hosting an exceptional cookout at their place following this afternoon's swim!! The food was superb and the rounds of Pitsch were perfect for warming the souls of those who danced a little too long with the Lady of the Lake.

Just like there are day's where you feel like you're swimming uphill against the current in both directions there are days where you feel as if you're swimming downhill with the current in both directions. Today was one of those rare days where it felt effortless to swim in both directions.

Now of course this is just my perception on today's swim. Other crew members may not recall it the same way...choosing instead to recall the cool breeze from the north or the sun that would occasionally peak out from behind the clouds to remind us what a difference in comfort it makes when the sun is shining. Or perhaps they may recall the pungent smell along Klode's southeast beach or the noticeably colder water temps inside the southeast rock piles. (...which by the way I think The Patriarch is passing a petition around to have those things nuked...)

Regardless of how the crew felt about today's water conditions I still found them pleasant enough to swim skin up to Mudslide and back...the crystal clear water and occasional warm pockets (...coincidentally mostly nearby The Patriarch....) were more than enough for me to complete today's journey. The others...besides Sir James that is....I think may have been tapering. :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sunday After-Swim Cookout at Patriarch's

Next Swim: Sunday 9/4 Noon, followed by a cookout, see details below
Also: Monday, Labor Day Noon Swim

Last Swim: Saturday 9/3 Noon
Water Temp: Top four inches 70, below that 60 maybe
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Very Good
Crew: Cap'n, Crash, Diablo, Kahuna, Speed, Mike, Eric, Patriarch

All are welcome to stop by my house after Sunday's swim, 4433 N Woodburn, Shorewood. Bring your friends and family too. The menu will be brats, burgers, and corn on the cob. Refreshments will include beer, diet soda, LaCroix, and of course Killepitsch.

What to bring: you don't really need to bring anything, but I may not have enough chairs, so if you have a portable lawn chair please bring it. Wine if you want it. Desert stuff might be nice.

Also, to be sure I have enough food, it would be helpful to let me know you're coming by posting a comment, or calling or emailing or smoke signal. Thanks.

Friday, September 2, 2011

In Search of Warm Water

Next Swims: Friday 9/2 6PM
Holiday Weekend Swims: Saturday, Sunday, and Labor Day at noon
Monday's swim may possibly be followed by a cookout at my place - stay tuned.

Last Swims: Thursday 9/1 6PM followed by pizza at Lisa's
Friday 5:45AM
Water Temp: 71 Thursday evening, 65 near shore Friday morning, but closer to 60 away from shore
Waves: Very choppy Thursday evening, small rollers Friday morning
Water Clarity: Not bad away from shore
Thursday Evening Crew: Cap'n, Crash, Diablo, Kahuna, Slip&Slide, Diamond Dave, McCoy, Patriarch, Jeff, AJ, Nick, Mike, Mike, Chris, Dave, and You Can Call Me Anything But Not Dave's Wife
Friday Morning Crew: Brent, Joel, Ben, Karen, Kim, Speed, Cap'n, Diablo, Patriarch, Kahuna and his friend Bodin

This morning was another example of how quickly the Lake can change. The pleasant 71 degree water from last night was replaced by water that was about ten degrees colder. A couple swimmers headed deep to find the warmer water that sometimes lingers out there, but without success. The NOAA maps show much warmer water out there, keep swimming guys. It will be interesting to see if the warmer water returns tonight, it's supposed to be hot and humid today which should help.

Last night's pizza party at Lisa's was a smashing success. We christened a new swim name, McCoy, and we immediately appointed her Social Director. She did a fantastic job of keeping the pizza coming and beer flowing.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pleasant Reprieve...

Next Swims: Thursday 9/1 6PM (Pirates Pizza Swim), Friday 9/2 5:45AM & 6PM

Last Swims: Wednesday 8/31 6PM, Thursday 9/1 5:45AM

Wednesday PM Conditions (as reported by Spidey):
Water Temp: 66ish
Waves: some waves coming in from the south
Water Clarity: poor
Crew: Diamond Dave, Beth, Nick, Spidey

Thursday AM Conditions:
Water Temp: 65.5 (new Captn-o-lazer reading!)
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: cloudy
Crew: Diablo, Bubba Speed, Beth, Matt, Scooby, Capt'n

The lake surface was a virtual sheet of glass this morning. A very pleasant reprieve from the waves and choppy conditions that have been encountered recently. This morning's big discussions centered around theories of underwater springs by the Klode rock piles and whether chic's really dig the nickname 'Scooby'. (Perhaps we have to post a survey on this one....)

Don't forget...tonight is "Pirates Pizza Night". We will be heading out for pizza following this evening's swim. The location will be determined by the winner of our blog pole....Lisa's or California Pizza Kitchen. Don't forget to vote if you haven't done so already. From the buzz that's circulating amongst the crew we should have a really good turnout for pizza this evening. I'll post a blog entry around 5pm with our pizza location for those who can't make the swim but would like to join us for pizza.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Slapped Around

Next Swims: Wednesday 8/31 6PM, Thursday 9/1 5:45 & 6PM

Last Swim: Wednesday 8/31 5:45AM
Water Temp: High Sixties
Waves: choppy 1-3ft waves and building
Water Clarity: cloudy
Crew: Diablo, Gumdrop, Kahuna, SonofKahuna, Bubba Speed, Beth, Ben, Joel, Brent, Mike, Capt'n

Gusty winds from the southeast made for challenging swim conditions this morning. Waves were more frequent (4-5 seconds apart) and sizable than the choppy conditions that we've been experiencing in the evenings. As a result, while the white caps weren't as frequently seen as with our evening swims the steady diet of 1-3ft waves and occasional 4ft wave did a pretty good job of slapping you around at times.

Despite challenging water conditions and a grey dimly lit sky the crew didn't bat an eye when approaching the water. 11 crew members in total walked the plank with Mike and his floating bar joining in on the adventure a little later than most.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pirate's Pizza Night Thursday

Next Swims: Wednesday 8/31 5:45 & 6PM, Thursday 9/1 5:45 & 6PM

Last Swim: Tuesday 8/30 6:00PM
Water Temp: High Sixties
Waves: Very choppy Monday
Water Clarity: mostly clear
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Nick, Capt'n

Plans are in the works to grab pizza following Thursday's 6pm swim. Two locations are currently under consideration by the Committee. Lisa's on Oakland or the California Pizza Kitchen (aka Pirate's Pizza Kitchen). Diablo is rumored to actually be officially "IN" for this event. If you have a preference between these two locations please vote so that the Committee can take it into consideration.

Choppy evening swim conditions appear to be the "in" thing these days. The conditions are not only great in terms of a workout but also a great test of your patience. At times you pretty much feel as if you're just flailing your arms, kicking your legs and hoping the result is forward progress. Also, if you're not good at hydrating while swimming these conditions provide an excellent opportunity to force the issue....or motivation to learn how to breath on both sides. :)

Something New Every Day

Next Swims: Tuesday 8/30 6:00PM, Wednesday 8/31 5:45 (yes Speed, there is a 31st day in August!)

Last Swims: Monday 6PM, Tuesday 5:45AM
Water Temp: High Sixties
Waves: Very choppy Monday evening, calm Tuesday morning
Water Clarity: Zero visibility Monday evening, clear as could be Tuesday morning
Mon Evening Crew: Patriarch, Cap'n, Crash, Gumdrop, Matt, Tim, Mike
Tue Morning Crew: Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Steve, Speed, Kelly, Matt, Coach Jess!

You never know what you might find on the beach. Last night there was a guy who looked a lot like Mike, but with a lot less hair. (As is often the case, when a man does something out of character there is a woman to blame.)

This morning I was very pleasantly surprised to have Coach Jess join us. At least I think it was her, I'm never awake when I arrive and the cold water numbs brain afterwards, so I'm never thinking clearly. Anyhow if was an hallucination, it was a good one.

Another surprise was the clear calm water. After several days of fighting choppy murky water, it seemed so easy and pleasant to be gliding effortlessly over the clearly visible bottom. And once again, we were treated to a spectacular sunrise as we coasted north along the coast.

Note to James: Mike said there would be some Shorewood swimmers attempting a Big Bay to Beach Drive swim today at noon (that's 5K, more or less).

Monday, August 29, 2011

One forgotten....all remembered

Next Swims: Monday 6PM & Tuesday 5:45AM & 6PM

Last Swim: Monday 8/29 5:45AM
Water Temp: 66 with pockets of 70ish
Waves: rippled surface with an occasional 1ft roller
Clarity: clearer offshore
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Sir James, Bubba Speed, Ben, Scooby (Steve), Kelly, Tony, Lane, Marni, Capt'n plus one more swimmer

Despite a chilly air temp in the low 50's this morning we may have had a record sized AM crew on hand. 13 swimmers in total walked the plank....all of whose name I remember except for one. (Sorry...if anyone remembers the name of the crew member who's not listed above please comment.)

Water conditions this morning weren't nearly as playful has yesterday's but they were certainly a lot more like the glasslike conditions we've grown accustomed to in the past. Still we were treated to a spectacular sun rise over occasional swells of water as we made our swim journey northward past Garage. Occasional pockets of warm water tempted you to swim longer and helped to take your mind off of the air temp that was at least 10 degrees cooler. Water clarity was good although it's always challenging to judge just how clear the water is without the sun overhead. Still, there were a few pockets where you could catch a glimpse of the sandy lake bottom 8+ feet below and outside of a few instances you could always see your hands below you.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Swimming & Puppies

Next Swims: Monday 5:45AM & 6PM

Last Swim: Sunday 8/28 noon
Water Temp mid/upper 60's near shore, 70ish offshore
Waves: playful building 1-3ft (5-10 seconds apart)
Clarity: clearer 200ft from shore
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Sir James, Kelly, Tony, Marni, Capt'n

Weather conditions this afternoon were similar to Saturday...breezy northeast winds, plentiful sunshine and a seascape littered with whitecaps. What wasn't the same was our location or swim conditions. Klode's beach lies perfectly positioned at the center of a bay while Steve's is closer to the northern point. A long trail of sand filled water could be seen reaching out towards the middle of the bay from the point nearest yesterday's swim location. By comparison, the shoreline at Klode had a smattering of whitecaps cresting over the sandbars and a very narrow stretch of sand filled water just inside the sandbars.

Today was one of those swims that I'd liken to having a puppy. They always want attention and if you attempt to ignore them they effort to gain your attention by frequently tugging and pulling at you. Likewise, with today's swim the Lady of the Lake would seemingly tug at your arms or occasionally pull the water out from under your hand so your stroke would whiff through the air.

Swimming straight took an extraordinary amount of concentration and navigational savvy. But if you were looking for some fun, you were definitely in the right place. The occasional 3ft waves made for ideal launch pads if you enjoy catapulting into the air like a whale. Or if body surfing is your thing, the sandbars along Klode's north beach provided frequent cresting Hawaii-five-O waves that would pick-up your feet and launch you towards shore.

Most of the crew this afternoon swam skin. As was the case yesterday, the sand filled water near shore was considerably cooler then the turquoise water outside of the sandbars. The near shore water today though, was approximately 10 degrees warmer then yesterday. Noticeably absent today was the strong northerly current. A pleasant reprieve from yesterday's workout.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Celebration!

Next Swims: Sunday 8/28 noon, Monday 5:45AM

Last Swim: Saturday noon at Steve's
Water: Cold and gunky near shore, much warmer and clearer out 200 meters
Waves: 1-2 foot, big current pushing north to south
Crew (as best as I can remember, correct me if I'm wrong): Gwen!, Steve, Cap'n, Diablo, Kahuna, Crash, Patriarch, Dave, Cheryl, Eric, Eric, Matt, Kim, Jessica, James, Nick, Tony, Karen, Larry, Kimberly, Ryan, and the Amazing 12 year old Philly

Lots to celebrate today. First we congratulate Jeff and Claudia on the birth of their son Calvin. I'm sure we'll see Cal in the water soon.

Also, we toasted Gwen on her triumphant return to the states after conquering the European triathlon world and earning her spot on the US Olympic team. This was the first of many toasts hoisted on Steve's deck.

Mostly we celebrated a great day on a great lake with a great party on Steve's deck. The food was fantastic (thanks Steve's Eye Candy). And the mimosas, screwdrivers, bloodies, and of course Killepitsch flowed freely.

Records were set: numbers of swimmers in the water (22) and number of shots of Killepitsch consumed (actually we lost count - imagine that! - but we think somewhere around 36).

Thanks, Steve for hosting this fantastic party!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Skin is Still In / Directions to Steve's

Next Swim: Saturday noon at Steve's

Last Swim: Friday 8/26 6PM
Water Temp 69
Waves: rolling chop from south
Clarity: cloudy
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Sir James, Slip-n-Slide, Diamond Dave, David, Mike, Mike, Tim, Kelly, Capt'n

Steve Place:
7152 N Beach Drive, Fox Point

The Plan:
Steve has an outdoor shower and hot tub for us to enjoy after the swim. The plan is to swim at noon, followed by a post swim pancake brunch. Of course there will be plenty of Pitsch on hand. Feel free to bring a food/drink item to share if you'd like....Sir James is rumored to be bringing left over brownies.

Directions to Steve's: Beach Drive is accessed from Lake Drive at about 7700 North. Take Beach Drive east (towards the Lake). It will go down a steep hill. At the bottom of the hill the road splits, stay right. The road will turn right at the lake. It will continue along the lake for a short distance, then it will turn inland. (You will be passing the infamous "witch's house"). There will be signs saying "dead end turn around" or something like that, but keep going until you get to Steve's at 7152 on the left.

Friday PM Swim summary: Another good sized crew walked the plank this evening into a rolling surf from the south. Oddly, even though the waves were pushing in from the south the current felt like it was going in the opposite direction. The oddity was confirmed by Sir James who said his swim out against the waves was quicker than his return. Warm water conditions persisted and swimming skin remained comfortable.

Skin is Back In!!!

Next Swims: Friday 6PM and Saturday noon at Steve's (see 8/24 blog entry: )

Last Swims: Thursday 8/25 5:45AM & Friday 8/26 5:45AM

Friday's conditions:
Water Temp Official Patriarch reading 65 but much warmer away from Klode (70ish!!!)
Waves: calm
Clarity: clear in spots
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, SonofKahuna, Bubba Speed, Beth, Ben, Matt, Steve, Chris, Capt'n

Thursday's conditions:
Water Temp 48!!! (...but reports of warmer water 200 meters from shore)
Waves: calm
Clarity: clear
Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, Bubba Speed, Beth, Capt'n with guest appearances from The Patriarch, Sir James & Ben

Wow....what a difference 24 hours can make this year! In prior years, when the water temps took the plunge it would days if not weeks for them to bounce back. This year there have been several occasions where the temps have taken an unexpected plunge only to bounce back nicely in 24 hours.

The resiliency of the crew yesterday was nothing short of amazing. Despite a numbing water temp of just 48 several crew members walked the plank and logged a swim up to the Garage and back....in sleeveless wetsuits.

Today was a completely different story. We comfortably swam skin up to mudslide and back. The calm, warm and sometimes crystal clear water made for an almost effortless journey.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Party Saturday at Steve's

Next Swims: Thursday 8/25 5:45AM
Thursday at 7:15 PM is the last of the Aquathon series in Menomonee Park
Friday 5:45AM, and Saturday noon at Steve's (see below)

Last Swim: Wed 5:45 AM
Water Temp 51!!! (Yikes, we lost 20 degrees in the last 24 hours!)
Waves: calm
Crew: Cap'n, Diablo, Ben, Beth, Kahuna, Speed, Steve, James, Patriarch

The lady showed her cruel side this morning, turning the cold shoulder and then some. It was too cold for two of us to even make the attempt, but everyone else at least gave it a shot (in wetsuits). Never fear, there is still plenty of good swimming left, all we need is a wind shift to warm things up again.

Let's hope that happens before Saturday because Steve has invited the Klode Crew and the Schroeder masters to his house on Beach Drive Saturday from noon to three. The plan is to swim at noon, followed by a post swim pancake brunch. Stayed tuned for more details and do your best warm water chant.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

...It's not anymore....

Next Swim: Wednesday 8/24 5:45AM

Last Swim: Tuesday 8/23 6PM
Water Temp: <64 (mostly colder)
Waves: rolling waves from the south
Water Clarity: cloudy
Crew: The Patriarch, Sir James, Beth, Tim, Dave, Capt'n

"It'll be what it is until it's not anymore....and then it'll be something else."
Those were The Patriarch's great words of wisdom that were spoken as we strolled down to the beach this evening. They were in reference to the great stretch of water temps we've been having. Much to our chagrin, the water temps this evening have taken an unexpected plunge.

The best reading The Patriarch could find along the Klode shore with his trusty lazer-o-meter was 64. So they we were.....the skies were cloudy, the water was cloudy and our mood quickly turned gloomy once our toes hit the water. Echoing in my head were Diablo's great words of wisdom: "What the crap?!?!"

Swimming southward into the rolling surf it was evident that the reading of 64 was more the exception than the norm. For the most part the water felt like it was 60ish at best with pockets of water in the upper 50's.

So if you're wondering, "how could this happen? Where's the warm water?" Here are two theories for you:

Theory #1: "Jess' Jinx" - As fate unfortunately would have it, The Fine Wench this afternoon forecasted exceptionally nice water this weekend. The Patriarch has frequently advised against this practice (...at least without an acceptable sacrifice...) lest the Lady of the Lake enact her icy wrath on you. Could it be that without an acceptable sacrifice that we're doomed to have icy cold water through the weekend?

Theory #2: "Thor's Hammer has upset the Lady of the Lake's tropical sand globe" Yes indeed, Thor's hammer as struck and resulted in a great quake along the eastern seaboard. Could it be that this act has shaken the Lady of the Lake's tropical sand globe?

Only time will tell. But all theories aside, the weather forecast looks great the next few days with plentiful sunshine and air temps pushing 90 tomorrow. Our consecutive day skin swim count currently sits at 23. Will it continue?

Patriarch MIA

Next Swims: Tuesday 8/22 6:00PM & Wednesday 8/23 5:45AM

Last Swim: Tuesday 8/22 5:45AM
Water Temp: 70ish
Waves: calm with occasional roller
Water Clarity: excellent
Crew: Diablo, Bubba Speed, Sir James, Kahuna, Steve, David, Chris, Capt'n with a special guest appearance by Steve's eye candy (Sorry, for some reason I can't remember your name)

Ok all you stats lovers....I've crunched a few numbers and determined that as it turns out our 100th swim of the season yesterday was one day earlier this year than last year. Our 100th swim in 2010 occurred on 8/23 whereas this year it occurred on 8/22. Coincidentally, this year's swim swim season started on 5/22....one day earlier than last year. Of course all this is purely coincidental as last year we didn't miss a single day until we had amassed a steak of 158 straight days of swimming. This year we've had to rely on a nice stretch of double dipper days to catch up. :)

This morning's swim...as they usually are....was unique. Unexpectedly, The Patriarch was MIA...and so was Barbi. Also missing was M-Power and the typical camps of women who enthusiastically greet us in the morning. To help ease the void left by these noteworthy absences Steve added a little spice to the crew this morning by bringing along some very spirited eye candy. I'm sure the crew was thinking this....but I'm probably the only person who won't get in trouble for saying this: "Thanks Steve...You da' man!!" :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Swimming Grudge Match of the Century

Next Swims: Tuesday 8/22 5:45AM & 6:00PM

Last Swim: Monday 6PM
Water Temp: 69
Waves: Very Choppy
Water Clarity: Terrible
Crew: Diamond Dave, Cap'n, Kahuna, Diablo, Patriarch, Beth, Brittany, Ben, Mike, Jeff, Lane

Great swimming in a Great Lake. This has been one of the best strings of good Lake Michigan swimming ever. We've had some great turnouts too. Our outing Sunday was so successful that we're working on another special outing this coming weekend, stay tuned.

James, it was fantastic that you beat Megan in the Madison Open Water Swim (by 13 seconds in 2.4 miles). However, I think you made a major strategic blunder by gloating about it. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. I love you James, but I have to believe Megan is going to do whatever it takes, fair or unfair, to exact revenge at Big Shoulders. This could be the swimming grudge match of the century. I bet a bottle of bubbly on Megan. Any takers?

Century Swim

Next Swims: Monday 8/22 6PM, Tuesday 8/23 5:45AM

Last Swim: Monday 8/22 5:45 AM
Water Temp: 69
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Bubba Speed, Matt, Chris, Capt'n

This morning's swim marked the 100th time the crew has walked the plank since our first official swim on May 22nd. For those keeping track at home this was our 77th day of swimming in the lake out of a possible 93. By comparison last year we started swimming on May 23rd and today would have been day 92...in a row.

I don't have the exact stats available at the moment....but despite the discrepancy in the number of days swum between this year and last year I'm pretty sure our total swim count for this year may be only a swim or two behind last year's count. (Stay tuned for the official swim count comparison) ....by the way....yesterday's Pitsch poured count of 23 was not a record. A record of 29 were poured last year when "Padre" officially earned his nickname. ...another interesting stat this morning is that our official "plank" counter now reads 666 for the year. (Note to Padre....please put in a good word for us so our exceptional swim fortunes may continue!)

Our streak of consecutive skin swim days was extended to 22 this morning. A crimson sun rose slowly over the horizon of a nearly glass like lake surface and combined with water temps hovering around 70 to make for an exceptional swim.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Diamond Dave's Dive at World's End

Next Swim: Monday 5:45AM & 6PM

Last Swim: Sunday 1PM
Water Temp: 70+
Waves: slight chop
Water Clarity: Very good
1st wave crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Gumdrop, Jack Frost, Phil, Kelly, Tony, Nick, Bruce?
2nd wave crew: Sir James, The Fine Wench, Bubba Ben, Matt, Ben, Melodee, Kobinsky, Capt'n
3rd wave crew: Diamond Dave, Sir James, Ben, Melodee, Bubba Ben, Capt'n
With Special Guest Appearance from Jack Frost's very pregnant wife Claudia and her friend Monique

Avast ye crew mates....It certainly was an exceptional day to walk Diamond Dave's plank!! Klode's vibrant turquoise blue waters shown brilliantly under the bright sun filled skies. The winds were light and the air temp was hovering around 80. The waters inside of Klode's bay were slightly rippled and the water temp for the most part was comfortably in the low 70's. (...there may have been a few pockets of water in the upper 60's closer to shore but those were more than offset by a few pockets that felt closer to 80!)

A record sized crew was on hand for today's unique Klode crew adventure. 19 in total. On tap for today's crew....a one way boat ticket aboard Diamond Dave's Klode Klipper to the end of the world! (...or as some may know it...the outer edge of the Klode bay.)

As the Klode Klipper could only accommodate 10 we drew straws to determine who would be the first to walk the plank at the outer limits of the Klode bay. 10 brave souls then made a short swim to board the Klipper before being whisked away and shown the plank approximately 1 mile straight east of the Klode shore. After a brief escort of the 1st wave crew the Klode Klipper then returned to collect the 2nd wave of rambunctious crew mates.

To ensure that Diamond Dave too was allowed to walk the plank at World's End a 3rd tour set out with Kelly assuming the reigns of the Klode Klipper.

I'm happy to report that all crew mates successfully landed safely on the Klode shore....with a few sharing harrowing tales such as outwitting The Kracken, wrestling bull sharks and even being allegedly tempted by mermaids. Accomplishments and exceptional adventures made only possible through the generosity of Diamond Dave! To celebrate today's momentous adventure 23 shots of Pitsch were thrown down....a record!....all in honor Diamond Dave and the Klode Klipper!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Crazy Capn's Klode Crew Killepitsch Cruise & Crawl

Next Swim: Sunday 8/21 1:00PM
We're making up for the cancellation of the Pirates Plunge with our own event. Diamond Dave will meet us at Klode with his boat. We'll wade to his boat, climb aboard, go out a ways, walk the plank, and swim back. For safety we'll all stick together, or maybe break into two groups.

Last Swims: Friday 8/19 6PM, Saturday 1PM
Water Temp: 70 both days
Waves: Very choppy both days
Water Clarity: Very good away from shore
Friday evening crew: Kahuna, Secondsonnakuhuna, Diablo, Sarah, Ben, Cap'n, Patriarch
Saturday afternoon crew: Cap'n, Diablo, Kahuna, Patriarch, with visit from Jeff, his very pregnant wife Claudia and her friend Monique

It's a shame the Pirate's Plunge was cancelled, but Diamond Dave has come to the rescue by offering to host our own version of the plunge on his boat. The weather is predicted to be sunny and warm with low winds and should make for a great swim day.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ben Needs a Swim Name

Next Swims: Friday 8/19 6PM, Saturday 8/20 Noon
Sunday: Stay tuned, we're working on a couple of ideas for a special swim to take the place of the cancelled Pirates Plunge

Last Swim: Friday 5:45 AM
Water Temp: 67
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: James, Kelly, Kahuna, Ben, Chris, Steve, Cap'n, Diablo, Patriarch

Another gorgeous sunrise. We were inspired to do something different. Instead of our usual out and back along the shore we decided to do a "square". We swam straight out into the rising sun for quite a way (hard to say how far, it's difficult to judge distance out there). Then we paralleled the shore until we were straight out from garage, then straight in to garage, then back to the beach.

A fine swim followed by a fine breakfast at Solly's (the Door County Cherry pancakes are my recommendation). Over our eggs and bacon and taters and cakes we came to the conclusion that it's high time to christen Ben with a swim name. Since he failed to offer one himself, we offered a few of our own, based on his southern roots. So far "Bubba", "Jethro", and "Cracker" are the top contenders. We are open to other suggestions. Ben, you may want to put in your two cents.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Crash Saves the Swim

Next Swims: Friday 8/19 5:45AM (Solly's Breakfast Swim!) & 6PM

Last Swim: Thursday 6PM
Water Temp: 70ish (Capt'n-o-meter still on the fritz)
Waves: Chop from the south
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, Diamond Dave, Jack Frost, Tim, Kelly, Chris & Jill & 6yr old daughter, Capt'n with special guest appearances from The Patriarch, Gui & Crash

Indeed, it was an exceptional evening for a swim. Sunny skies, warm air & water temps and a very enthusiastic crew. But there was a problem....despite The Patriarch and I having a considerable stash of Killepitsch at home, neither of us brought a bottle to the beach. What were we going to do? Who would break the unfortunate news to the crew? Surely there would be dissension in the ranks!

In times of crisis great leaders leap to action....and that's what The Patriarch did. With a crazed look in his one eye and his whiskers twitching The Patriarch whipped out his cell phone and called the Calvary....aka Crash. In a mere blink of an eye...or the time it took Diablo and I to swim to sewer pipe and back...Crash was standin' there on the beach with an ice cold bottle of the finest brew of Pitsch. The crew was delighted and the swim was saved....all thanks to Crash!

BREAKING NEWS! Kahuna and The Patriarch have officially decreed that Friday's morning swim is officially a "Solly's Breakfast" Swim. Everyone is invited to join them at Solly's for an exceptionally tasty home cooked breakfast at Solly's following the morning swim.

On The Fritz

Next Swims: Thursday 8/18 6PM, Friday 8/19 5:45AM

Last Swims: Wednesday 6PM, Thursday 5:45AM
Water Temp: high 60's (not sure, thermometer on the fritz)
Waves: Choppy Wed evening, small rollers Thursday morning
Water Clarity: Good in most spots, some areas of murkiness
Wed evening crew: Jeff, Diablo, Mike, Tim, Patriarch, and Steve on his jet ski
Thu morning crew: Ben, James, Chris, Diablo, Cap'n, Patriarch

We've been swimming twice a day for a couple weeks now, and the crew is fraying a bit around the edges. Arms and shoulders are tired and sore. Too much time is spent gabbing on the beach, trying to delay walking the plank and plunging into cool water. The jokes are stale and lame. Our water thermometers need batteries. Even the beach is starting to smell from washed up rotting algae.

All of which is quickly forgotten when the sun rises in a crimson sky, sparkling the waves and illuminating the bottom. Some people watch sunrise from the top of the bluff, some from the beach, but I think the best vantage point is in the water.