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


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


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


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. ( 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


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


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.