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 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 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 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 finger tips did kinda hurt which really sucked. :(

So far this year the frigid water temps haven't lasted 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 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 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 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 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.