Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pirates Adventure

Next Swims: Mon Aug 1st 5:45AM & 6PM (we couldn't decide on morning or evening, so why not both?)

Last Swim: Sun 7/31 10AM to the shipwreck off Atwater beach
Water temp: 60 near shore, hot and cold spots offshore
Water Clarity: Excellent near shore, not so good at the shipwreck
Waves: calm
Crew: Kahuna, Sonnakahuna, Gumdrop, Mike, Ben, Patriarch

Atwater beach is closed for construction, and our plan was to sneak in from the south. But Sonnakahuna was incensed, "Pirates don't sneak to the beach, they storm", and so he led us on a frontal assault of the barricades, and we stormed the beach. From there it was out to the shipwreck to hunt for sunken treasure. The water clarity was moderate, no gold doubloons were sighted, but we did get some glimpses of the wreck, including a large metal cylindrical piece I had never seen before. From the pictures of the ship, I think it might have been the smokestack.

Other than the lack of clear water at the wreck it was a perfect day for a swim, nice and warm and sunny. Let's hope for more of the same tomorrow.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Shipwreck Swim Sunday July 30 at 10AM

Next Swim: We will swim out to the shipwreck off Atwater beach. However, the path/stairway to Atwater beach is closed for construction, so we need to take the scenic route to get there. Meet at the corner of Lake Drive and Menlo. We will walk down to the lake on the path through the Shorewood Nature Preserve, then walk along the beach to Atwater (it's not more than a quarter mile).

If you've never seen this shipwreck (the steamship Appomatox), it's well worth the trip.

Last Swim: Sat noon
Water Temp: 58 on the beach, but pockets of much warmer water
Waves: Calm when we started, but building to chop by the time we left
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Kahuna, Diablo, Cap'n, Crash, David, Mike, Sarah, Patriarch, and Phil was starting out just as we were leaving.

Even though the thermometer read only 59, it was such a hot sunny day that some of us decided to go swim. Like the last few days, there were some very spots and some very cold spots, so the hot sun felt really good when we finally got out.

Friday, July 29, 2011

1 for 2, 2 for 1

Next Swim: Saturday 7/30, Noon

Last Swim: Friday 7/29, 5:45 AM & 6PM
Water Temp: 53 (am) 59+ (pm)
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: clear (am), slightly cloudy (pm)
Crew (am): The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Slip-n-Slide, Blondie, Capt'n
Crew (pm): The Patriarch, Diablo, Crash, Phil, Walt, Walt's friend, Capt'n

At the Thursday evening swim there were two rumors buzzing around the crew. (1) Diablo was "in" for going out to the Pirates Pizza Kitchen following the swim & (2) Blondie was actually going to show up Friday morning. With a loud chuckle and his whiskers twitchin' The Patriarch remarked "if ya believe that I got a treasure map I'd like to sell ya". (...or at least I think it was something like that...)

Well, lo and behold, Diablo arrives and true to The Patriarch's prediction Diablo was not able to reach an accord with Mrs. Diablo to allow him to come out to the Pirates Pizza Kitchen.

Fast forward to this morning. The time is 6am and we're about to walk the plank...Blondie's nowhere to be seen. Now of course we know better than to doubt The Patriarch...after all, he introduced the crew to "love lube" and "Barbi the blow-up swimmer". But much to our amazement as we were walking the plank The Patriarch remarks 'Dar she blows!' wait, he didn't say that....that's what the crew proclaimed the day The Patriarch blew up Barbi....

...anyways, I you probably guessed Blondie did show up...albeit a little tardy but she did show up and even walked the plank too! The water this morning may have been cold but we all warmed up afterwards with breakfast at Stone Creek and stories from Slip-n-Slide about his Lake Placid Ironman adventure. The most noteworthy story being about Slip-n-Slides amazing bike ride and how Andy Schlek really can't hang with him with out his brother pulling him along. :)

We returned to the beach this evening for a Skin or Bust swim. The initial reading of 59 wasn't encouraging for our attempt to log swim #2 of today. But with his trademarked crazed one eye stare and his whiskers twitchin' The Patriarch grabbed Barbi and declared "let's get er done!" And so we did...logging a swim up to The Garage and back and then down to south south beach just because we could.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Breakers & Breakfast

Next Swim: Friday 7/29, 5:45 AM followed by breakfast

Last Swim: Thursday 7/28 6PM
Water Temp: 59
Waves: Small Rollers
Water Clarity: Poor, stirred up silt and sand
Crew: Kahuna, Sonnakahuna, Cap'n, Diablo, Diamond Dave, Patriarch

The NOAA map is driving me crazy. It shows warm surface water covering the entire lake, EXCEPT for a thin ribbon on the western shore. All it would take is a whiff of easterly wind, a soothing onshore current, the gentlest of waves to push that warm water towards us. Please, oh please oh Lady, smile on us.

Slip&Slide told Cap'n who told me that Blondie was coming tomorrow morning. Yeah right, Elvis will be there too. Regardless, we're going for breakfast after tomorrow morning's adventure.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Good Workouts

Next Swims: Wed 7/27 6PM & Thurs 7/28 6PM

Last Swims: Tue 7/26 6PM & Wed 7/27 5:45AM

Tuesday PM Conditions:
Water Temp: 63
Waves: frequent 1-2ft rollers
Water Clarity: Stirred up near shore / crystal clear 50+ meters offshore
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Crash, Beth, Jeff, Capt'n

Wednesday AM Conditions:
Water Temp: 64
Waves: frequent 2-3ft rollers
Water Clarity: Stirred up
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Kahuna, SonofKahuna, Beth, Capt'n

There's probably fine line that distinguishes choppy conditions vs frequent waves but I'd classify the conditions for our past 2 swims to be more on the frequent rolling waves side of the line. Regardless of how you define the conditions they were certainly challenging enough to make for an exceptional workout....especially if you swam skin.

The waves are rolling in from the east and are building in size. Good news if you're looking to predict warm water temps as well as looking to get a good/fun workout in.

Weather permitting, The Patriarch & Diablo plan to return this evening at 6pm.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Throwing Stones

Next Swim: Tue 7/26 6PM

Last Swim: Monday 7/25 6PM
Water Temp: 64
Waves: Small Rollers
Water Clarity: Stirred up silt and sand
Crew: Cap'n, Crash, Gumdrop, Diablo, Kahuna, Patriarch, Diamond Dave, Jeff, Mike

With the Cap'n-o-meter recording low sixties water temp, some decided to swim skin but stay close to Klode in case we started getting too cold. So we went south to south-south beach, and north to garage. Some did less and some did more. Crash was the first one back and for some reason she started throwing stones in the water. I'm not sure who she was aiming at, but if I were Cap'n I'd be careful.

Another great swim, spoiled only by the ankle biting black flies that greeted us on our return to the beach. The water is slowly warming up, hopefully this trend will continue. The forecast is favorable, the wind is predicted to turn easterly which would bring in even warmer water.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

searching for warmer water

Next Swim: Monday 7/25 6PM

Last Swim: Sunday 7/24 1PM
Water Temp: 52 - 58 (warmer surface water)
Air Temp: 80 & Mostly Sunny
Waves: occasional 1ft waves rolling in from the east
Water Clarity: great
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Ele, E-run, Beth, David, Dave, Chris, Jill, Capt'n with special guest appearance from Crash

Upon arriving at the beach this afternoon rumor's were circulating that the water temp was 69. Expecting to greet the return of warm warm water we were a little disappointed with our warmest reading of 58 from the Klode shore. Convinced that the warm water was out there The Patriarch declared that he'd keep swimming toward Michigan until he found the rumored water's of paradise. Sadly, we concluded after swimming about 400 meters out from shore that the water was actually colder further out than warmer.

Even though the official water temp readings today may not look warmer than yesterday as a whole I'd say the water today felt warmer than yesterday. While there were certainly pockets of warm and cold water (...more cold than warm...) the top few inches of surface water consistently felt warm.

With the breeze continuing to blow easterly and with occasional waves still rolling in the promise of warmer water returning soon still remains. Optimistic of greater swimming fortunes arriving tomorrow we hoisted a round of Pitsch to warm our souls until then.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Roller Coaster Temps Continue

Next Swim: Sunday 7/24 1PM

Last Swim: Saturday 7/23 1PM
Water Temp: 52 - 62
Air Temp: 84 & Sunny
Waves: calm (slight current from south)
Water Clarity: great
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Crash, Jack Frost, Phil, Chris, Jill, Matt, Adrian, Capt'n

The initial water temps off of Klode's south beach were promising this afternoon....ranging from 60-62 depending on where you were standing. The Patriarch's reconnaissance mission earlier at Big Big though indicated that there might be some 56 degree water lurking in the bay. So we decided to measure the water temps off of Klode's southeast beach. The result....a reading of 52.

As it would turn out there were pockets of warm and cold water out there....mostly cold though. (mid 50's) But with the hot sun beating down on the back of your wetsuit and an occasional pocket of warm water it was definitely tolerable.

The forecast this evening calls for winds to shift out of the east. A promising indicator that warmer water will again return tomorrow. least so says The Patriarch....and who would dare doubt someone who's introduced us to 'love lube' and 'Barbi the blow-up swimmer'???

Friday, July 22, 2011

From Viking to Skin in 24 hours!

Next Swim: Saturday 1PM

Last Swim: Friday 7/22 6PM
Water Temp: 62.5
Waves: 1ft light chop from SE
Water Clarity: Exceptional HD like quality
Crew: Diablo, Crash, Lane, Little Fish, Dave, Cheryl, Capt'n

Wow...what a drastic change in water temps! 24 hours ago it took an exceptional amount of fortitude to swim skin in bone chilling 48 degree water. Today swimming up to the Garage and back skin was no problemo.

Equally as exceptional this evening was the water clarity. It was one of those swims where you look over at the person swimming next to you and it's just like your watching one of those underwater Discovery HD shows on your big screen HDTV.

If the current water conditions persist, swimming to big bay (and back?) tomorrow should be a go. See ya' Saturday!

Warm Water Moving In?

Next Swim: Friday 7/22 6PM, Saturday 1PM

Last Swim: Friday 5:45AM
Water Temp: 50 near shore, much warmer offshore
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Diablo, Ben, Kahuna

The water near shore was very cold. Cold enough that Jeff and I declined to walk the plank. But it didn't stop Ben, Diablo and Kahuna. They claimed it was much warmer off shore. Either their brains were numb, or the very warm water that the maps show sitting just offshore is in fact moving in. The 6PM crew can let us know. I would like to try a swim to Big Bay on Saturday if conditions permit.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mid Summer Viking Swim

Next Swims: Friday 7/22 5:45AM and 6PM

Last Swim: Thursday 6PM
Water Temp: 48.8
Air Temp: 86
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Viking Crew: Diablo, Riptide, Capt'n with special guest appearances from The Patriarch, Crash, Steve, Gui, Don and Viking Dipper Jeff (aka Jack Frost)

Good news is that the water temp is heading in the right direction....1.5 degrees warmer than this morning! Bad news is that the majority of this evening's crew members still abandon ship.

Despite the cold water temps, 4 of us attempted to walk the plank this evening without wetsuits for a Viking swim along Klode's south beach....3 of us succeeded in completing the challenge. While technically there are no rules for what constitutes a Viking Swim...the general guidelines call for at least a 50 meter swim without a wetsuit in sub 50 degree water.

Tomorrow's weather forecast calls for winds from the east....perhaps the warm water will return tomorrow?

Hottest Air / Coldest Water Temps of the Season

Next Swims: Thursday (7/21) 6PM, Friday (7/22) 5:45AM & 6PM

Last Swims: Wednesday (7/20) 6PM, Thursday 5:45AM

Wednesday 6pm Conditions:
Water Temp: 65 (cooler away from shore)
Air Temp: 96
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Slip-n-Slide, Crash, Beth, David, Jeff, Mike and 2 others

Thursday 5:45am Conditions:
Water Temp: 47.3
Air Temp: 82
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: crystal clear
Thursday 5:45am Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Beth, David, Ben, Capt'n

The Lady of the Lake has always prided herself in being totally unpredictable. Despite 4 consecutive days of high temps in the 90's, yesterday's day time high being the warmest since 1995 and an overnight low in the 80's we were surprised this morning to find that the water temp reading a few feet off of the Klode's south shore measured just 52. After walking the plank an enduring a painfully cold swim up to the Garage and back we were shocked to experience even colder water. A later Captn-o-meter reading 15ft from shore revealed that the water temp was actually 47!

As depressing as this may sound you only need to read back a few blog entries to find that drastic water temperature swings this season are becoming common. On Monday 7/11 at 6pm the water temp read just 52. The next morning it was 63 and by Thursday it was 68. (....and that was without the benefit of exceptionally hot air temps!) On Wednesday 7/8 the water temp measured 56 and the next day it was 68.

Of course those who have been swimming with us long enough know all too well that it seems every year we do go through a stretch of several weeks where water temps take plunge and then take weeks to recover. (ala 2 years ago where the Pirates Plunge was cancelled after water temps spent several weeks hovering around 50.)

Could this be the beginning of one of those long cold stretches or might this just be a momentary hiccup? While it's hard to say the one thing that's certain is that the warm water is out's just a matter of when it will return.

Without the benefit of an east wind to blow the warm water back over to us it's unlikely that the water in Klode's bay will warm up considerably before this evening's swim.....but....with a forecasted high today of 91 and plentiful sunshine it's entirely possible that the surface water may warm up nicely and provide for a pleasant swimming experience this evening. If you were contemplating swimming this evening I'd encourage you to still come out. If anything, we'll have some Killepitsch on hand to warm the spirits of the crew. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pop Quiz

Next Swims: Wed 7/20 6PM, Thu 7/21 5:45AM and 6PM

Last Swim: Wed 5:45AM
Water Temp: 66 at the shore, but pockets of warmer and cooler offshore
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Diablo, Cap'n, Kahuna, Patriarch, Mike, Ben, Steve, Sarah, Dave, Lane

OK gang it's time for a pop quiz (where is teacher Blondie when we need her?).
What would you rather do at 6PM tonight when the temperature is 100 degrees and the dew point in the 70s?
A: Run intervals on the track, or
B: Swim in cool refreshing Lake Michigan

For Cap'n and the TriWis team, the answer is apparently A. If that crew had any sense they'd forget about the track tonight and join us on the beach. Come to your senses, guys. Can't you hear the call of the Lady of the Lake?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

18 degrees warmer in 24 hours

Next Swim: Wed 7/20 5:45AM

Last Swim: Tue 6PM
Water Temp: 73
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Diablo, Patriarch

Clear, calm, and warm. A combination that happens only once or twice a season. What a great swim!

Onshore Winds Bring in Warm Water - 6PM swim today

I just stopped by Klode on my way home from an errand. The water temp is 74 and it's crystal clear. Got to enjoy it while we can. Let's meet at Klode at 6PM tonight (Tuesday).

Note to Beth & Gumdrop: you proposed Big Bay, which normally would be a great idea, but Lake Drive is closed between Hampton and Silver Spring, and Big Bay is difficult to get to, and even more difficult to leave.

Swallowed Whole

Next Swim: Wed 7/20 5:45 AM

Last Swims: Monday 6PM, Tuesday 5:45AM
Water Temp: Monday Evening 55, Tuesday Morning 60
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: Very Clear
Monday Evening Crew: Diablo, Crash, Mike, Patriarch
Tuesday Morning Crew: Ben, David, Mike, Cap'n, Diablo, Patriarch

The fog swallowed us whole. With the lake dead calm and visibility less than one hundred meters the world was reduced to just us and the lake. Had the fog thickened a bit more we wouldn't be able see the shore. We'd just be swimming forever in a featureless lake, nothing to see and no sounds but the Capn's evil laugh.

Speaking of swimming forever with no sight of land, check this out:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Double Dip Day

Next Swims: Monday 7/18 6PM, Tuesday 5:45AM

Last Swim: Monday 7/18 5:45AM
Water Temp: 63
Waves: <1ft rollers from south
Water Clarity: Clearing Up, bottom visible most of the time
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Ben, Steve, Capt'n with special guest appearance from Angela

Today was our 5th skin swim in the last 7 days....truth be told, for those who swam skin this morning with a water temp of 63 today could have easily been our 7th skin swim day in a row. Judging from this weeks weather forecast our pleasant swim conditions should continue through the weekend and into next week. Perhaps by Sunday we'll have the entire crew swimming skin? :)

With the current pushing up from the south again today we swam southward. Kahuna, Ben and Steve made it down to Staircase and back. Patriarch, Diablo and I made it down to the south beach rock pile before turning back due to Diablo's time constraints. In all likelihood the water & weather conditions should be exceptional for another dip in the lake this evening. Unfortunately I most likely won't be able to make it (...unless we get some rain today....) but The Patriarch and Diablo are rumored to be in for the swim.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cooler by the Lake

Next Swim: Monday 7/18 5:45AM

Last Swim: Sunday 7/17 1PM
Water Temp: 68
Waves: Very Choppy
Water Clarity: Clearing Up, bottom visible most of the time
Crew: Kahuna, Phil, James, Matt, Diablo, Riptide, Patriarch

As you might expect on a sweltering day, the beach was packed with sunbathers, kids, dogs, boats, jetskis (ugh!), and swimmers. We swam south to avoid all the water traffic, and had a pleasant skin swim to "staircase" and back, a mile or so round trip. The heavy choppy waves moving north made for a challenging swim out and a fast rocky ride back. It was great way to cool off on a hot day. See you in the morning.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Good One, Ben!

Next swims: Sunday 7/17 1PM, Monday 7/18 5:45PM

Last Swims: Thursday & Friday 6PM, Saturday 1PM
Water Temps: 67-68
Waves: Calm to Choppy
Water Clarity: Murky, stirred up silt and sand
Thursday PM Crew: eRun, Dave, Chris
Friday PM Crew: Slip& Slide, Lane & his daughter Abbey, Jody, Mike, Diamond Dave, Cap'n, Crash, Patriarch,
Saturday Crew: Cap'n, Crash, Diablo, Patriarch, David, Phil, Ben

Our newbie Ben said "now that the water's warmed it, it should stay warm the rest of the summer". Ha Ha. Good one, Ben. But it's nice while it lasts. Hot and sticky weather is predicted to last all week. The beach will be a great place to be. Come join us!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Upcoming Events

Next Swims: Friday 6PM, Saturday & Sunday 1PM

Last Swim: Thursday 5:45AM
Water Temp: 63
Waves: Small Chop
Water Clarity: Poor - Stirred up sand and silt, also some "gunk" near shore
Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, Patriarch, Cap'n, David, Ben, Steve

This is a good time to make you aware of some upcoming swim events.

Tonight is the third of five aquathons at Lannon Quarry:

On August 13th there is a Lake swim on the "other side":
I'm thinking of taking the Lake Express Ferry over to Muskegon on Friday night, bike to Holland (25-30 miles on back roads along the lake), get a motel. On Saturday do the swim and return, or stay a day and bike/swim along the lake. If anyone is interested, let me know.

August 21st is the Pirate's Plunge (we did this last year, it was great):

September 10th is Big Shoulders in Chicago. The premier Lake Michigan swim event.

Also we are trying to arrange two informal events, a cookout at my house, and a swim party at Steve's (he lives on the lake north of Klode). Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Water temps bounce back!

Next Swims: Thu 5:45AM

Last Swims: Tuesday (7/12) 6PM & Wednesday (7/13) 5:45AM
Tuesday Conditions:
Water Temp : 62.6+ (warmer offshore)
Waves: rippled lake surface
Water Clarity: great
Crew: Diablo, Crash, Beth, Lane, Mr. Amazing, Jeff, Capt'n with special guest appearance from Steve F.

Wednesday Conditions:
Water Temp : 63.3
Waves: frequent 2-3ft & building
Water Clarity: great offshore
Crew: Diablo, Gumdrop, Beth, Steve F., Ben, first timer Mike, Capt'n

As quickly as the warm water left it has now returned! Also returning this morning were some good sized waves which made for a challenging swim but were fun to navigate.

Given the frigid water temps the past few days the crew pretty much treated the pleasant water temp reading from the beach as if it were fools gold. Depending on where the reading was taken from the temps ranged from 62-65. Certainly there would be some left over cold water pockets right? (....not too mention Jeff was here and mumblings have been heard recently that Jeff = cold water.) we all decided to climb into our wetsuits.....except of course for Mr. Amazing who's doesn't even raise an eyebrow when contemplating swimming long in 52 degree water. As it would turnout the water was actually warmer offshore and not colder. Of course we all knew it would be warm....we just wanted to wear our wetsuits so we could swim long....up to the marooned orange kayack and back to be exact. (approximately 1.5 miles)

On Wednesday we knew the pleasant water temp reading was as good as most of us (Gumdrop, Diablo, Ben, first timer Mike and myself) all swam skin. The waves were challenging at times but fun to roll around in. Wednesday's journey took us up to Cedar grove and back....which lasted as long as a typical rockwall and back journey does most days.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Amazing John from Las Vegas

Next Swims: Tue 6pm, Wed & Thu 5:45AM

Last Swim: Mon 6PM
Water Temp: 52! (but it was a few degrees warmer, not much, away from shore)
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Gumdrop, Diablo, Patriarch, David, Jeff, Slip&Slide and two of his friends, and The Amazing John from Las Vegas

John swam in 52 degree water without a wetsuit like it was nothing. I kept thinking he would pay a heavy price for his boldness, but he wasn't even shivering afterwards. Gumdrop didn't wear a wetsuit either, but even he had to turn at Garage while John kept going. Wow!


Next Swims: Mon 7/11 6PM - Tue 7/12 6PM - Wed 7/13 5:45AM - Thu 7/14 5:45AM

Lightening bolts crashing into Whitefish Bay illuminated Capn's furrowed brow, reflected a glint of fear in the Capn's eye. Even lunatics have their limits. So this morning's swim was rescheduled for 6PM tonight.

But any hope that he had sobered up was dashed by his stark raving mad tirade about his plan to do both the Aquathon and Bastille run Thursday evening. Whatever.

Tuesday and Wednesday I will be in Door County, hopefully swimming in the warm waters of Green Bay. So it will be up to the rest of you to keep Cap'n sober and out of the brig while I'm gone.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Is she just messin' with us?

Next Swims: Klode Monday 6/11, 5:45AM, Tuesday 6PM, Wednesday 5:45AM

Last Swim: Sunday 6/10, 1PM Klode
Water Temp: 56.3
Air Temp: 88 & partly cloudy
Waves: One foot chop
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, SonofKahuna, Riptide, Chris, John (JJ3), Kobinsky, Steve, Brad, Capt'n with special guest appearances from Crash, Sara, Andy and Mrs. Andy-to-be

So there we were....a hearty sized crew of 13 buzzing with excitement to walk the plank on a delightful day for a dip. ...and then the first shock....the trusty Captn-o-meter reads just 60.2. Several toe tests from crew members confirm the somewhat disappointing news that the water temps had dropped from the delightful temps we've enjoyed these past 3 days. A couple crew members defect but the rest press onward to the plank.

Then we voyage out a bit from the Klode shore....what we thought was 60 degree water felt more like the low 50's. ...another crew member defects leaving us with 10 hearty soles. The remaining crew members press onward to log a 'drain pipe' and back swim....but I'll admit it took quite sometime after today's swim for my soles to thaw out.

Some day's I think the Lady of the Lake is just messin' with us. After 3 days of water temps in the mid-upper 60's and a sticky air temp today in upper 80's it would seem logical that the water temp would remain at least in the 60's right? WRONG! After recording an initial temp of 60.2 the Captn-o-meter read 56.3 following our swim. (...and it felt colder during the swim!) Did the water temp really drop that quickly....or perhaps is the Lady of the Lake just messin' with us?

Luckily we came prepared today with our favorite post cold water swim elixir....Killepitsch. After just one round we were rip roarin' ready to log another voyage....but we'll save that for tomorrow. :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Where O Where is Slip&Slide?

Next Swim: Sunday 6/10, 1PM Klode

Last Swim: Sat 6/9, 1PM
Water Temp: 67
Waves: One foot chop
Water Clairity: Excellent
Crew: Cap'n, Crash, Diablo, Kahuna, Brad, Sara, Diamond Dave, Phil, Andy, Mike and his wife Brenda, who will hereafter be known as Alewife. And (although we didn't actually talk to him) Slip& Slide

I tried out my new"SafeSwimmer" flotation device, much to the amusement of Cap'n and Diablo. (Click on "eStore", then "SafeSwimmer"). It worked great! You don't even know it's there, it doesn't impede (or help) swimming. And I feel a little safer with it on. I recommend it.

It was a great day for skin swim for Cap'n, Diablo and me (the rest wore wetsuits) , but it was major work pushing into heavy chop on our way south, and we didn't think it wise to go all the way to Big Bay with 67 degree water and heavy chop, so we turned back at "drain pipe". The return trip was much faster with the waves at our back. The hero of the day was Kahuna, who made it all the way to Big Bay in his wetsuit, and ran back to Klode. I hope I can one up him tomorrow by doing it without the wetsuit.

When we returned to the beach there was an extra bag, which Cap'n believed to be Slip&Slide's, who must have arrived after we were already in the water. No one had seen him, and we spent considerable time scanning the water to try to see him, which is very difficult with all the whitecaps. We figured he was OK, but we never leave without accounting for everyone. Eventually we were happy to see a swimmer with a green cap and wetsuit very far from shore returning to Klode.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Big Swim Big Bay Weekend

Next Swims: Sat & Sun 1PM
Conditions look favorable for a Big Bay swim (between 1.1 and 1.5 miles from Klode one way depending on where you start and end, and whether you cut straight across the bay or follow the shore)
You can go one way or both.

Last Swim: Fri 7/8 6PM
Water Temp: 65
Waves: small
Water Clarity: Very Clear
Crew: Cap'n, Crash, Diablo, eRun, Jeff, Anna, Patriarch

Another fine skin swim through clear clean water (with the occasional clump of algae floating by). Followed by pizza and dessert at the Pirate's Kitchen

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dip & Dine Friday

Next Swims: Friday 7/8 @ 6PM, Saturday @1pm, Sunday @1pm

Last swims: Wednesday 7/6 6AM, Thursday 7/7 6PM
Water Temp: 56 Wednesday, 68 Thursday!
Air Temp: 72 & Sunny
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: Crystal Clear
Crew Wednesday: The Patriarch, Lane, Tim, Ben, Capt'n
Crew Thursday: The Patriarch, Diablo, Crash, Riptide, Beth, Dave, Steph, Mike, Capt'n

The water conditions this evening were exceptional! The Captn-o-meter read 68 but the toe test felt more like 70+. ...bath water like compared to the last few days! :)

Plans are being made to head out to the Pirates Pizza Kitchen (aka California Pizza Kitchen) following Friday's evening swim. There are even rumors of some Pitsch being on hand to celebrate the pleasant summer swim conditions. ....there are also rumors circulating that The Patriarch may be hosting a cookout following Sunday's swim.

Stay tuned....or better yet, come on out to the swims and find out first hand!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Persistance Pays off again

Next Swims: Klode Wednesday 7/6 @ 6AM, Thursday 7/7 @ 6PM

Last swim: Tuesday 7/5 6PM
Water Temp: 55-60 but much colder right off of south beach
Air Temp: 82 & Sunny
Waves: 1ft rollers from southeast
Water Clarity: Crystal Clear
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Beth, Chris, Steph, Steph, Capt'n with guest appearances from Padre and Jeff

The Patriarch-o-meter was all over the place this evening reading anywhere between 55 to 59. We all walked the plank off of Klode's south beach and instantly found ourselves in water that was probably closer to 50. Both Jeff and Padre decided to pull the plug at that point but the rest of us persisted onward.

Our persistence paid off. The frigid water around the Klode bay was more the exception than the norm this evening. For the rest of us our journey took us northward up to around the mudslide and back. The swim out was relatively easy but the rolling waves made the swim back a lot more work.

Monday, July 4, 2011

3 swims on the 4th

Next Swim: Klode Tuesday 7/5 6PM

Last swims: Monday 7/4 (Big Bay) 10AM, 1PM & 3:30PM
Water Temp (3:30PM): 63.4
Air Temp: 82 & Sunny
Waves: slight current from south
Water Clarity: Clear with spotty clumps of floating weeds
10AM Crew: The Patriarch, Melanie
1PM Crew: Diablo, Gumdrop, Brad, Phil with Special Guest Sarah
3:30PM Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, SonofKahuna, Kobinsky, Capt'n

The Patriarch's toe test at 10am indicated a skinable water temp in the mid 60's. So what did The Patriarch do? He logged a swim skin.

At this time it is unclear what Diablo's & Gumdrop's toe tests read at 1pm but initial reports are that nobody swam skin. their defense though nobody was aware of The Patriarch's official proclamation that today was 'skin day'.

The official Captn-o-meter water temp reading at 3:30pm was 63.4. Nice enough for Diablo and I to log a skin swim but the offshore water was most likely closer to 60 than 65. We logged our swim southward into a very slight current. Our journey took us to a hidden little beach that reminded me of Pirate's Cove that's just about to the southern point that's viewable from Big Bay & Klode. The water conditions were very pleasant although the clumps of floating seaweeds close to shore were a bit annoying at times. On our return journey, swimming 50 meters or more offshore was sufficient to avoid these annoyances.

Traditionally the Klode beach is open the morning following Fireworks but it can be a bit trashed. As a result, the plan is to resume our Klode swims at 6pm Tuesday evening.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Big Crew + Long Swim Sunday

Next Swim: Big Bay Monday 7/4 1PM & 3:30PM

Last swim: Sunday 7/3 1PM
Water Temp: 60
Air Temp: 75 & Sunny
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: Crystal Clear
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Kahuna, Crash, eRun, Ellie, Riptide, Melanie, Dave, Nick, Preston, Matt, Capt'n

Wow, what an exceptional day it was to swim from Klode! Plentiful sunshine, comfortably warm air temps and crystal clear & calm water conditions. Unlike yesterday the water at Klode measured consistently between 60-62 degrees.

I don't think anyone was fooled though. Yesterday's frigid pockets of water were still out there so we all resisted the temptation to swim skin. Fortunately, due to the sunny warm conditions the cold water was really only prevalent to your finger tips or your toes if you stood up in the water. The surface water today was at least a comfortable 60+ and the only time you really noticed cold pockets of water were when you swam behind someone who was kicking up a lot of water.

Today was not only the largest crew of the year but it was also our longest journey. 14 crew members walked the plank and all 14 made it up to the end of the rock wall (1.4 miles round trip). From that point 10 continued up to 3 piers before heading back to Klode (1.8 miles round trip). To celebrate our exceptional adventure this afternoon 9 shots of Pitsch were hoisted to the wind. Salute!

Tomorrow's swim will take place at 1pm from Big Bay. Traditionally the Klode beach is closed on the 4th as they stage the Whitefish Bay Fireworks on the Beach. As I will be running the Firecracker 4 and New Berlin National Dash races tomorrow I will not be able to make it to Big Bay until 3:30pm. Diablo and quite possibly The Patriarch are planning to walk the plank at 1pm.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Persistance Pays Off

Next Swims: Sunday at 1pm (at Klode if beach is open...otherwise Big Bay), Monday 3:30pm (most likely at Big Bay as Klode's beach is traditionally closed for the fireworks)

Last swims: Friday 7/1 4:30PM, Saturday 7/2 1PM

Friday's Conditions:
Water Temp: 60 near shore but much cooler (55?) 10 meters from shore
Air Temp: 88 & very windy
Waves: choppy from the south
Water Clarity: Crystal Clear
Crew: Diablo, Crash, David, John, Capt'n with second shift crew of eRun, Chris, Dave with guest swim appearance by Jeff & John(?)

Saturday's Conditions:
Water Temp: 49 at Klode's south beach but 63 at Klode's north beach. Water everywhere else was some between those two.
Water Temp Saturday Racine's North Beach: 57.1
Air Temp: 87
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: Crystal Clear
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Sir James, Melanie, Capt'n with guest swim appearance by Jeff & John(?) and special guest appearance by Crash, Lil' Sista and the clan

Ah, it was the tale of 2 swims. On Friday the water was deceptively cold. Despite measuring 60.7 the water just a few meters offshore was noticeably colder. Judging by my finger tips which never warmed up I'd guess the water temp offshore was most likely south of 55 than around the 60 measured from shore. Despite the deceptively cold water and choppy waves pushing up from the south, the second shift crew still logged a swim down to the south sewer pipe and back.

On Saturday the water was deceptively warm. Despite a numbing temp of just 49 from Klode's south beach that threatened to chase away some of today's crew....the water actually turned out to be quite pleasant. Warm air temps combined with plentiful sunshine and calm water made the surface water quite tolerable....although the frigid water always seemed to be biting at your finger tips with each stroke. Noteworthy about today's swim was that while we all made the voyage up to rock wall and back Gumdrop did it minus his wetsuit today. Perhaps tomorrow I too will swim skin....

Friday, July 1, 2011

Double Dipper Day - Part 1

Next Swims: Klode Friday 7/1 4:30PM, Klode Saturday at 1pm, Sunday at 1pm (at Klode if beach is open...otherwise Big Bay)
Last swim: Friday 7/1 6AM
Water Temp: 60
Air Temp: 75
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: Crystal Clear
Crew: The Patriarch, Kahuna, SonofKahuna, Lane, Steve, Capt'n

Ahhh.....there's nothing like the promise of warmer water and then stark reminder never to try and forecast the Lake Michigan water temp. With an overnight low and morning temp in the mid 70's it was hard to resist the temptation to dream of swimming in warm crystal clear water.

While the Patriarch & Captino meters struggled this morning to climb above 59.9 the water continued it's trend of being exceptionally clear. With today's forecasted high to be in the low 90's the temptation to dream of warm crystal clear water is nearly impossible to resist. As a result today will be a double dipper day for me!