Thursday, November 29, 2012

Craziness and More Craziness

Next Swim: ??

Last Swim:  Wed 11/29 7PM under a bright full moon
Water Temp: 39
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew:  Gumdrop with Patriarch observing

The sun, the earth, the moon and Jupiter were in almost perfect alignment last night. If you listened closely (and perhaps with some herbal enchantment) you could hear the waves playing the chords of "Also Sprach Zarathustra".

The beach was quite lovely in the bright moon/Jupiter shine.  The cold inky darkness of the lake could have been deep space and Gumdrop plunged in.  Unlike Dave, he did not find enlightenment and rebirth, but I think he came pretty close to seeing Elvis in his 200 meter journey into oblivion and back.

Speaking of cold water craziness, if you have not yet seen this video that Gumdrop previously posted you should take a look:
Lorraine, if you are reading this, the video was shot in Vancouver, by any small chance do you know this woman?

Even more craziness, I came across this race in Sweden called Otillo where you swim from island to island across an archipelago, run across each island, and then swim to the next island, with 38 ins and outs for a total of 64K, 10K swimming 54K running.  The water temp is 16C (60F) and most competitors wear wetsuits/caps and running shoes throughout.  You can use whatever gear you can carry with you (paddles, fins, etc).  Check out the website (mostly in Swedish, but you get the idea). 


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Last Swim of the Season. Or not?

Next Swim:  Sunday 10/6 at 11AM,  note the Lakefront Marathon is being held Sunday morning and the course goes right by Klode, it may be difficult or impossible to get to the parking lot, so it might be necessary to park on a side street and walk there.

Last Swims:
Friday 6AM, Saturday 2PM
Water Temp: 56
Waves:  Gentle rollers
Water Clarity:  Poor Friday, Excellent Saturday
Friday Crew: Gundrop
Saturday Crew:  Cap'n, Gumdrop, Patriarch

I went to the beach today with the idea that this would be my last swim of the season.  The water is cold, the air is colder, the days are short.  It's been a great summer, the best swimming summer by a long shot.  From the beginning of July to the beginning of September we had warm water and outstanding swimming, and I swam more often and further than any previous summer. So time to quit while we're ahead, right?

Cap'n has other ideas.  He believes that because one of the crew proclaimed we will swim to Halloween, we are honor bound to complete that quest.  I tried to argue with him.  Just because some drunken crew member makes some crazy incoherent bluster does not mean we are honor bound to complete the task.  After all, even the crew member that made the quest admits it is a bad idea and is no longer himself committed to the goal.  Cap'n will have none of it.  "The crew must complete the quest" he shouted with a crazy gleam in his eye. "Rum for all and all for rum!"  That's why he's the Cap'n.  I tried to talk to him with wisdom and common sense (that's why I'm the Patriarch), but to no avail.

While Cap'n and me were arguing Gumdrop was muttering half-coherent ramblings about a season ending ceremony involving singing, hired escorts, and lots of Killepitsch.  That's why he's a Gumdrop.

Thursday, October 4, 2012 swim

Next Swim:  Friday 6am? & Saturday 10/6 2pm

Last Swims:
  • Monday 10/1 6AM & 5:30PM
  • Tuesday 10/2 6AM
  • Wednesday 10/3 6AM
  • Thursday 10/4 6AM & 5:30PM
Thursday 10/4 5:30PM report
  • Water Temp:  61.8
  • Air Temp:  64
  • Waves:  dead calm with occasional swell
  • Clarity:  clear further out
  • Crew:  Capt'n with special guest appearance by The Patriarch
Admittedly I showed up 10 minutes late and when I found a crew of zero waiting for me on the beach I figured that I'd just take a water temp reading and call it a night.  Much to surprise the water temp was 62, the lake surface was flat and the clarity was how could I say "no" to a skin swim???  Not I!  The Patriarch did though....but without his swim gear I'm sure he didn't want to get his hair wet.  :)  Nonetheless, it was great to see The Patriarch back on the beach!

Thursday 10/4 6AM report (from Showgirl)
  • Water Temp: High 50's
  • Air Temp: about 60?
  • Waves: like glass.
  • Clarity: zip.
  • Crew: Gumdrop, Showgirl, and some freaky fish that swam by Showgirl
Next swim: Thurs. 5:30 PM (tentative) Per Lorraine this is potentially the last swim of the season, but I really hope not!

Wednesday 10/3 5:30PM report (from Lorraine)
  • Water temp: high 50's
  • Air temp: 62
  • Waves: 1/2 - 1 foot rollers
  • Clarity: cloudy but clearer near mudslide
  • Crew: Showgirl, Diablo, Gumdrop, Lorraine and Dave
 Wednesday 10/3 6AM report (from Gumdrop)
  • Water Temp: High 50's
  • Air Temp: about 50.
  • Waves: noisy small rollers.
  • Clarity: a little stirred.
  • Crew: Gumdrop, Showgirl
  • Next swim: wed. 5:30 PM

Monday & Tuesday 6AM reports (from Gumdrop)
  • Water Temp: High 50's -60 
  • Air Temp: Monday about high 40's, Tuesday 50. 
  • Waves:Monday a littler chop Tuesday, flat.
  • Clarity: Monday shaken, not stirred Tuesday Clear.
  • Crew: Monday; Gumdrop, Showgirl Tuesday;Diablo,Gumdrop,Showgirl 
 Monday 10/1 5:30PM report (from Capt'n)
  • Water Temp: 59.6 (with pockets of colder water)
  • Air Temp: 68
  • Waves: flat.
  • Clarity: cloudy / clear in spots
  • Crew:Lorraine, Capt'n

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Gumdrop's Chocolate Salty Balls

Next Swim:  Monday 10/1 @ 5:30pm

Last Swim:  Sunday 9/30 @ 11am
Water Temp:  58.8
Air Temp:  65 & Sunny
Waves: rolling < 1ft
Clarity:  cloudy
Crew:  Diablo, Gumdrop, Buffy, Lorriane, Capt'n

Following our traditional post swim round of Pitsch today Gumdrop offered up a batch of his Chocolate Salty Balls.  Feeling a bit adventurous today I sampled one of Gumdrop's now famous creations.  "Interesting" is about the only way I can describe it. (I think they may actually be the secret that was used to get Mr. Ed to talk....)  Mixed with a round of Pitsch the combination turned out to be quite entertaining...thanks to Buffy's suggestive thoughts it was long after sampling Gumdrop's creations that visions of Buffy and AliKat rolling down the Klode park bluff to the beach began to float around in my head.  Shortly after this I began to sing a familiar grade school rhyme "AliKat and Buffy rolling down a hill...then they went SW-I-M-M-I-N-G...first came the Kru, then came the hill..."  Thank goodness Diablo was there to snap me out of it! 


Next Swim:  Sunday 9/30 11am

Last Swim:  Saturday 9/29 12pm
Water Temp:  60.8 (...but pockets of colder water just off the rock piles...)
Air Temp:  71 & Sunny
Waves:  Calm
Clarity:  clear until Mudslide...then cloudy
Crew:  Gumdrop, AliKat, Buffy, Neo, Dave, Kim, Lorraine, Capt'n

As the Klode Kru strolled down to the beach on Saturday phrases such as "Like oh, mah gahd...look at that water..." could be heard from one of the Klode Kru mates as she talked at a feverish pace on her cell phone.  Indeed, Buffy was right...the warm sun not only felt great on our backs it also made the water look very inviting this afternoon.

"Whoa!" was the puzzled exclamation made by Kru mate Neo as he walked the plank skin this afternoon.  (...the only Kru mate to complete today's adventure skin....)  Despite being greeted by pockets of colder water (mid-50's?) just outside of the Klode rock piles it was actually a pretty nice day for swim.  The sun actually made you feel a little uncomfortably warm in your wetsuit while standing on the beach...which in hindsight probably made the colder pockets of water feel like more of a shock than normal.

Note from the Surgeon General....going to loud rock concerts can adversely affect your hearing. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Getting back to normal

Next Swim:  Saturday 9/29 Noon

Last Swim:  Friday 9/28 5:30pm
Water Temp:  59.7
Air Temp:  64 & Sunny
Waves:  Calm
Clarity:  5ft visibility away from shore
Crew:  Gumdrop, Alikat, Sarah, Lorraine, Capt'n

The water temp continues to inch upwards back to the 60 degree mark.  (seasonal norm?)  Tomorrow's forecast calls for light winds and a high of 70!  Should be a great day for an early fall swim! 

Moving Forward

Next Swim:  Friday 5:30pm, Saturday noon?

Last Swims:  Thursday 6pm & Friday 6am

Thursday 6pm Report:

Water Temp:  56.4
Air Temp:  58 & cloudy
Waves:  1-2ft chop
Clarity:  stirred up
Crew:  Gumdrop, Capt'n with special guest appearance by The Patriarch

The water temp is definitely heading in the right direction.  Nearly forgot how much fun it can be rolling in the waves...I could feel my body rolling for the next few hours whenever I closed my eyes!  :)  I plan to be back at 5:30pm Friday.  Anyone else in?

Friday 6am report from Gumdrop:

Water Temp: High 50's -60
Air Temp: about high 40's
Waves: 1-2 foot playful rollers
Clarity: shaken, not stirred
Crew: Diablo,Gumdrop,Showgirl

Water is noticeably warmer a few yards off shore. Think we got our groove back.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Call to Arms...keeping the streak alive

Next Swims:  Thursday 9/27 6PM, Friday 9/26 6PM

Last Swim:  Wednesday 6/26 5:30PM
Water Temp:  upper 50's to 60
Waves:  1-2ft rollers
Clarity: no report
Crew:  Gumdrop, Geoffrey

Gumdrop and I are in for Thursday evening's 6PM swim.  Per Gumdrop's report from Wednesday we may have turned the corner with regards to getting back some warm(er) water.  We're almost to 100 days of consecutive swims!  Today will mark our 100th consecutive day.  Who's in for this evening's swim?

Swim time for Friday evening is flexible.  Please post a comment if you have a preferred swim time for Friday.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Who Will Keep the Streak Going?

Next Swims:  Wed 9/25 6AM??  6PM??,  Thursday??  The water is cold and we're down to the real hard core.  Who will walk the plank?   Bubba are you still planning to swim to Halloween (you didn't think we'd forget that you said that did you?)??

Last Swims:
Tue AM report from Diablo:
WTC (Water Too Cold)
Tuesday 6:00AM Report
Kru: Conejitos, Ganso, Diablo, Stupidone
Water Temp: Colder than yesterday but warmer than tomorrow
Air Temp: 53 by the Silver Spring M&I clock
Waves: None

Following the instructions from Amazing One this morning walking the plank took x-tra time; First you put your toes in the water; after the toes were numb then we walked until the water got to knee level. Once again, after the knees were numb we kept moving to reach the hips level... At this point Amazing One instructions went overboard and we ran, Kahuna style, screaming "Mierda, mierda, mierda" (translation Fluh, fluh, fluh).
We logged a swim to the water rain drain spout.
Amazingly after swimming the 53 air temp felt like tropical weather. 
Ganso stayed on the beach to watch the sunrise while the rest of the Kru went running away looking for new adventures and missing, but needed, body parts.
Conclusion: WTC

Tue PM: Gumdrop swam by himself, observed by Patriarch.  Gumdrop's toes say the water warmed to the mid-50s (big whoop).

Monday, September 24, 2012

heading in the right direction

Next Swim:  Tuesday 6AM?

Last Swims:  Monday 9/24 6AM & 6PM

6PM Report::
   Water Temp:  53.4
   Air Temp:  68 & Sunny
   Waves: none
   Clarity:  clear
   Crew:  Capt'n

6AM Report (from Gumdrop):
   Water Temp: high 40's-50/toe test
   Air Temp: about high 30's-40
   Waves: occasional gentle rollers Clarity: not bad
   Crew: Gumdrop,Showgirl

We logged a swim to garage today. Think I now know how to reach an equilibrium state of comfortably numb.

Keeping the streak alive

Next Swim:  6pm Monday 9/24

Last Swim:  1pm Sunday 9/23
Water Temp:  50.2
Air Temp:  58 & Sunny
Waves:  occasional gentle rollers < 1ft
Clarity:  Clear
Crew:  Gumdrop with special guest appearence by Capt'n

Gumdrop saved our consecutive days streak yesterday by logging a solo swim.  He did it skin at a water temp of 50.2 to boot!

The maps still indicate that there's plenty of warm water out there so I remain optimistic that it will return.  Perhaps for this evening's 6pm swim?  ...I plan to be permitting.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Harvest Full Moon Swim - Clearing up Confusion

Next Swim:  Sunday 9/22 - 1pm Klode

Last Swim:
Water Temp:  50.8
Air Temp: 56 & Sunny
Waves: none
Clarity:  clear
Crew:  Gumdrop, Jack with special guest appearances from Wonder Woman & Capt'n

There may be a little confusion regarding when the Harvest Full Moon Swim will be.  I've heard a few crew members mention that it's this Wednesday but according to my research it appears to be rising on Saturday 9/29 at 6:07pm with 99.0% illumination....reaching 100% full at 10:19pm.  The moon rise scheduled for 9/30 is listed as being 99.9% illumination.  (...9/29 is listed as the official Harvest Moon though.)

This is actually good news because it will give the warm(er) water time to come back.  According to the maps there still some 60ish water out there...its just not along our shore right now.  Gumdrop and Jack were real troopers today walking the plank in 50 degree water and logging a swim up to garage and back.  Sunday's forecast looks encouraging...even if the current water temp trend isn't.  :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Catching Up

Next Swims:  Saturday 9/22 @ 2PM, Sunday 9/23 @ 1PM?

Wednesday 9/19 6AM Report from Kahuna:
Crew: Gum Drop, Diablo, Brain, Show Girl, Kahuna
Water: Clear, gently rolling waves mostly 1-2 feet, with a couple of 3 footers thrown in now and then.
Water Temp.: 62
Air Temp.: 42
Sunrise: 9.5 of the Official Little Miss. Sunshine Sunrise Scale

A pleasant swim south to yellow kayak or storm drain and back

Thursday 9/20 6AM Report from Gumdrop:
Water temp: 55 F.
Air temp: 53 F.
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Murky
Crew: Brain,Diablo,Showgirl,Gumdrop

Diablo continues his fiery streak of skin swims. Some went to Garage and back, others a little further.

Friday 9/21 6AM Report from Gumdrop:
Water temp: 53 F.
Air temp: 40's F.
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: not bad
Crew: Diablo,Brain,Showgirl,Gumdrop,Nivens Mctwisp

Diablo continues his fiery streak of skin swims. Others ventured a little further and some to Mudslide. Mctwisp may not be coming out of his rabbit hole for awhile though (unless things warm up:)! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Disintegrating in the Waves

Next Swims:  Tue 9/18 6AM & 5:45PM, Wed 6AM
Neither Cap'n nor I can make a 6PM Wed swim, but Lorraine is looking for someone to join her, please comment if you can swim Wed evening.

Last Swims:  Mon 9/17 6AM & 5:45PM
Water temp: Mon AM 62, Mon PM 59
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Mon AM Crew:  Brain, Mr. Bunny, Squawky the Goose
Mon PM Crew:  Patriarch, Cap'n, Lorraine

As the days grow shorter and cooler and the water temp dips below sixty, fewer swimmers are showing up, and the ones that do are as mad as Queeg.  Brain imagines that the animals on the beach are cheering him on and Cap'n keeps imagining that he smells barbecue short ribs.  The Crew is falling apart, but I'm hopeful we can find enough swimmers holding on to their sanity long enough to complete one more full moon swim - the Harvest Moon will be next Wednesday September 29th.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tea Time

Next Swims:  Monday 6AM? & 5:45PM

Last Swims:  Saturday 9/15 1PM, Sunday 9/16 9AM
Water Temps:
   Saturday 1pm: 68+ (warmer away from shore)
   Sunday 9am:  65
Air Temps:
   Saturday 1pm:  76 & Sunny
   Sunday 9am:  64 & Sunny
   Saturday 1pm:  slight chop from south
   Sunday 9am:  Calm
Water Clarity:
   Saturday 1pm:  Crystal Clear
   Sunday 9am:  Clear
   Saturday 1pm:  Diablo, Nivens McTwisp, Ron, Capt'n
   Sunday 9am: The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Sir James, Lorraine, Kim, Capt'n

Some days I think we spend more time engrossed in conversations than we do swimming.  Some days I think the conversations are almost as interesting as the swim itself.  The swim conditions morning were quite pleasant...a glass like lake surface, a water temp warm enough for skin swimming and clear water....but for some reason I remember more about this morning's conversations than I do the swim.

There was the conversation about yesterday's "best swim ever" with only 1 crew member swimming skin and an air temp that was in the lower 50's.  (editors note...hardly what comes to my mind when I think of a "best ever" swim...).

And there was the conversation about why The Patriarch ditched the crew this moment we were greeting Diablo to the beach and the next moment there The Patriarch went swimming away as the entire crew stood puzzled as to why he didn't wait.  Comments of "why, why, why would he do that?" and "what the crap?" could be heard amongst an astonished crew.

And then there was the conversation about whether certain crew members look better in their wetsuit than without.  I won't name any of names that may have been spoken during this conversation but Sir James' name was not spoken even though he did wear his wetsuit this morning....which consequently led to a trash talking conversation about next year's Aquathon series.  (editors note....Bring it on Sir James!)

Oh, and none of us can forget Kim's conversation about how she had to rush off this morning for sex ed class....ahh, now that was certainly a classic conversation!  Oh, which reminds me...some things that are spoken on the beach are better left on the beach...which is probably where I should leave this conversation.  :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

One of Our Best Swims Ever

Next Swims:  Today Saturday 9/15 1PM, Tomorrow Sunday 9/16 9AM (both at Klode beach)

Last Swims:  Friday 9/14 6AM, Saturday 9/15 7:30AM at Atwater beach
Water Temps: 62 both Friday and Saturday (but warmer away from shore)
Waves:  Calm
Water Clarity:  Crystal Clear, perhaps the clearest I have ever seen in Lake Michigan
Fri AM Crew: Gumdrop, Diablo, Brain, Kahuna
Sat AM Crew: Kim, Alikat, Lorraine, Brain, Gumdrop, Kahuna, Patriarch

It turned out to be the perfect morning for a shipwreck swim.  The sun was warm and bright.  The water was crystal clear and calm.  The wreck of the steamship Appomattox was clearly visible.  I've been out there several times before but this was by far the best viewing conditions, the planks and crossbeams of the broken hull were laid out in checkerboard pattern as if on display.  Quite the sight!

While some of the others continued out to the weather buoy, I swam around the wreck trying to find the other pieces of the ship like the propeller that are supposedly out there somewhere.  The only thing I could find was a large piece of what looked like sheet metal that Kahuna speculated could have been the smokestack.  Nearby there was also a large circular metal object, perhaps a wheel or pulley for ropes.

Afterwards Gumdrop, Lorraine, Kahuna and me went for breakfast at City Market, where we dined al fresco and amused ourselves by torturing Cap'n with obnoxious text messages about the great swim he missed.

Saturday (9/15) 1pm Swim Planned from Klode

For those who missed this morning's 7:30am Shipwreck swim from Atwater Beach do not despair....1pm swim from Klode has been planned.  So far Diablo, Nivens McTwisp and I are in.  Today's weather forecast calls for plentiful sunshine and air temps in the mid 70's so it should be a delightful afternoon for a swim.

See you on the Beach!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Shipwreck Swim Saturday 7:30AM Atwater Beach

Next Swim:  Saturday 9/15 7:30 AM Atwater Beach.  Meet in the park that is at the intersection of Capitol Drive and Lake Drive.

Last Swims:  Wed 6PM, Thu 6AM,  I presume there was also a Fri AM swim, but I have no report
Water Temps:  Wed PM 64, Thu AM 61
Waves:  Heavy Chop
Water Clarity:  Good
Wed PM Crew:  Patriarch, Gumdrop, Lorraine
Thu AM Crew: Gumdrop, Brain, Diablo

Saturday morning we'll swim out to the shipwreck Appomattox. Here is some info on the wreck.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Still Good

Next Swims: Wednesday 9/12 6PM, Thursday 9/13 6AM & 6PM, Friday 9/14 6AM

Also Brain is suggesting a "shipwreck" swim from Atwater Beach at 8AM Saturday, which is a great idea, but I propose we move it to 7:30AM to allow more time for Al's Run participants (it starts at 10:30 downtown) - or move it back to 1:30PM.  Comments?

Last Swims:  Tue 9/11 6AM & 6PM, Wed 9/12 6AM
Water Temps: Tue AM ?, Tue PM 68, Wed AM 63
Waves:  Small chop Tuesday, calm Wed AM
Water Clarity:  Mixed, some places clear, some places not
Tue AM Crew:  I know Gumdrop, Showgirl, and Brain were there, not sure if there were others
Tue PM Crew: Patriarch, Cap'n, Gumdrop, Not Dave's Wife, AliKat, and a few more showed up at Lisa's for pizza afterwards
Wed AM Crew: Brain, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Kahuna, Scooby, Diablo

The days are getting a little shorter, the air and water a little cooler.  The season is slowing down, but there's still some good swimming to be had, get down to the beach while you still can!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pirates Pizza Night Tuesday!

Next Swims:  Tuesday 9/11 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim: Monday 9/10 6PM
Water Temp:  69 (measured by the new Patriarch-o-meter!)
Air Temp: 68 & Sunny
Waves: Rolling waves 1-2ft
Clarity:  Clearer off shore
Crew:  The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Lorraiine, Capt'n

Hear ye, Hear ye!  So shall it be known that the Klode Kru has spoken and the week day AM swims shall continue until at least Halloween.

Hear ye, Hear ye!!    So shall it also be known that by official decree of The Patriarch that Tuesday September 9th, 2012 has been officially declared as Pirates Pizza night!  The location will be Lisa's Pizza on Oakland.  Swim will commence at 6PM at Klode and Pizza at Lisa's will follow at approximately 7:15pm.  All are welcome and stories from Big Shoulders and Ironman are sure to flow as freely as the grog! 

A map to Lisa's Pizza can be found here:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Big Shoulders Report

Next Swim:  Monday 9/10 6PM
Note:  Diablo and I decided it's too cold and dark in the morning to continue weekday 6AM swims so we'll be swimming in the evenings instead.  If some of you want to continue morning swims let me know and I'll put it in the blog.

Last Swims:  Saturday 9/8 Big Shoulders at Ohio Street Beach in Chicago
Sunday:  1PM Klode

Water Temp:  Big Shoulders 72, Klode on Sunday 70
Waves:  Very rough and choppy for Big Shoulders, 2-3 feet with a strong northerly current on Sunday at Klode
Water Clarity: none
Big Shoulders Crew:  James, Jake, Brian, Kahuna, Patriarch
Sunday Klode Crew:  Diablo, Patriarch

Congratulations to James and Jake who both took first place in their age groups!  Also, our old friend Megan, who used to swim with us but now lives in Chicago was second woman overall and first in her age group.  These are all great accomplishments as there were many very good swimmers in the race.  With apologies to James, I would feel remiss if I didn't report the results of the annual Megan/James grudge match, which was once again won by Megan, but only by 40 seconds in a race that lasted just over an hour.  Next year, James!

Friday night the Chicago near shore marine forecast was predicting 6-9 foot waves with rip currents and waterspouts.  As so often happens with Lake Michigan predictions, it was completely wrong.  The waves were 1-2 feet at most, but it was very rough and choppy.  There must be something about beaches that are next to breakwalls that turns big waves into lots of smaller choppier waves.  As much as I've swum in big chop this year, this was worse and all during the race I was tasting  the breakfast which I had eaten three hours before.  Brian said the same thing.  Even so, we got 'er done.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Next Swim:  Sunday 1pm - check back Sunday morning for location
Update:  Sunday's swim will be at Klode at 1PM

Last Swims:
   Thursday 9/6 - 6PM
   Friday 9/7 - 6AM
Water Temp:
   Thurs PM - 71.6
   Fri AM - 67.2 (warmer offshore)
  Thurs PM  - gentle rollers < 1ft
   Fri  AM - Calm
Clarity: Clear
   Thurs PM - Kahuna, Wonder Woman, Ali-Kat, Sarah, Lorraine, Ele, Andy, Capt'n with special guest appearance by The Patriarch
   Friday AM - The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Speed, Gundrop, Showgirl, Geoffrey, Capt'n

It's time to cash in on our summer of swimming!!  Good Luck to all who are participating in the Big Shoulders and Ironman events this weekend.  Stay tuned for details on a date/time/location for a Pirates Pizza Night where our fellow Klode Kru mates will share their war stories.  {perhaps next Tuesday or Friday evening?}

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Good Luck to all Ironman and Big Shoulders Participants!

Next Swims:  Friday 9/7 6AM
No scheduled swim Saturday, as many will be in Chicago for Big Shoulders or Madison for Ironman
Sunday 9/9 1PM, Check back Sunday morning for swim location - if conditions are right we'll swim from Atwater Beach out to the wreck of the Appomattox.

Last Swims:  Wed 9/5 6AM & 6PM, Thu 9/6 6AM
Water Temps: Wed morning 68, Wed evening 69, Thursday morning 65
Waves:  Choppy on Wednesday, Flat calm on Thursday morning
Water Clarity: Excellent
Wed AM Crew: Gumdrop, Showgirl, Diablo, Cap'n, Patriarch
Wed PM Crew: Kahuna, James, Amazing, Matt, Patriarch
Thu AM Crew: Gumdrop, Showgirl, Scooby, Brain, Diablo, Patriarch

The big weekend is here!  Many of the crew will be participating in either Big Shoulders in Chicago on Saturday or Ironman in Madison on Sunday.  From a swimming perspective we couldn't be more ready, given all the great swimming we've done over the last two months and more.

Scooby posed the question:  Has anyone ever done both Big Shoulders and Ironman in the same year?  It would be very difficult both athletically and logistically, but crazier things have been accomplished. Anyone know the answer?

The current prediction for the for Big Shoulders is warm water and big waves, but keep in mind there was a similar forecast last year and the actual conditions were flat and cool (65) water.  So my suggestion would be to come prepared for anything.

Good luck to all!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Deceptively Cool?

Next Swims: Wed 9/5 6AM & 6PM, Thurs 9/6 6AM

Last Swims: Tue 9/4 6AM & 6PM
Water Temp: 66.1 (am), 70.7 (pm....but cooler away from shore)
Air Temp: 69 & partly cloudy (am), 76 & Sunny (pm)
Waves:  calm (am), slight chop (pm)
Water Clarity:  The further from shore the better
   am - The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Kahuna, Showgirl, Ali-Kat, Capt'n
   pm - The Patriarch, Sir James, Jack Frost, Scooby, Ali-Kat, Mr. Amazing, Linda, Lorraine, Eric, Ken, Capt'n

You ever wonder why some days the water just feels colder even though the temps haven't changed much?  For whatever reason today's temps of 67 & 70 didn't seem to provide the same comforting embrace it has all summer.  It's probably just subliminal....after all, The Patriarch did declare the end of summer in his last blog post...and the days are getting shorter...although perhaps I may have consumed a little too much grog at the Biergarden yesterday.  Ah, now that sure was a grand time we had at the Biergarden yesterday....

Of course I could throw in a theory or two...such as how warm humid air makes cooler water feel even colder....especially when the moon is still shining as the sun slowly rises from behind a bank of clouds....on a morning where you promised your crew mates a journey to see Scooby's treasure...even though the water was filled with sand and other floating particles which all resulted from heavy overnight rains....but instead of admitting to the slim possibility that you could even find the treasure chest much less see it you encouraged the crew to press on into the dark blue yonder....with you and yer crew mates clad in nothin' more than a swim suit and cap which left more to the imagination of yer fellow crew mates than it did to warm yer soul....wait...oh, darn!!! I'm out of rum....why am I always out of rum!?!?!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Ending the Summer in Fine Style

Next Swims: Tue 9/4 6AM & 6PM, Wed 9/5 6AM

Last Swim: Labor Day 9/3 Noon
Water Temp: 68
Waves:  Less than a foot
Water Clarity:  The further from shore the better
Crew: Cap'n, Crash, Lorraine, Amazing, Diablo, Karen, Jake, Jack, Patriarch, Bruce, Wonder Woman and her sidekick Wonder Girl, Kim, Cheryl, Ali-Kat, Ryan, Gumdrop, Slip&Slide, Lori

A fine summer day with (relatively) warmer water and (relatively) calmer seas made possible our first long swim in a while.  Some of us swam to the orange kayak.  Well actually the kayak "swam" to us near the mudslide.  But some made it as far three piers and the Amazing One tacked on another quarter mile at the end.

This being Labor Day and myself being a Gentleman of Leisure, I magnanimously toasted the working slobs that make up the rest of the group.  Work harder, and keep those pension checks coming!

Afterwards we headed to the Estabrook Beer Garden to celebrate a fine summer day and an excellent swimming summer.  Summer may be over but there's more great swimming ahead.

Anyone interested in car pooling to Big Shoulders on Saturday please let me know.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Biergarten Ho!

Next Swim: Labor Day, Sunday 9/3, High Noon, followed by the Estabrook Park Biergarten

Last Swim: Sun 9/2 1PM
Water Temp:  67 (for once Capt'n got it right when he predicted warmer water!)
Waves: 3-5 feet, with a very strong current, especially on the sand bar
Water Clarity: None
Crew: Cap'n, Mike, Gumdrop, Diablo, Lorraine, Kim, Patriarch

The waves didn't look all that big from shore, but they were powerful.  As I crossed the sandbar I got thrown sideways and off balance by one breaker and then knocked on my a** and body slammed into the sand by the wave right behind. Wow!

Everyone made it back safe, although Kim gave us some anxious moments when she drifted close in front of the rock pile on the way in.  We celebrated our survival with a toast to lost goggles.  I got mine knocked off yesterday, and Kim lost hers today.

The wind is predicted to die down, but remain onshore, so I'm hopeful for continued warm temps tomorrow with smaller waves (but of course my predictions are even worse than Cap'ns).  

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Next Swims:
  • Sunday 9/2 1pm
  • Monday TBD
Last Observation: Saturday 9/1 1PM
Water Temp: 59 (...but upper 60s-70 further out & up at Mudslide)
Air Temp:  68 & Mostly Cloudy
Waves: 1-3ft every 4 seconds
Water Clarity: sand filled near shore / clear 150+ meters out
Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo (skin), Gumdrop, Kahuna, Showgirl, Nivens McTwisp, Little Fish, Ryan (skin), Capt'n with special guest appearance from Ali-Kat and Lorraine

Greeting us today was a steady diet of 3ft waves crashing into the Klode rock piles.  The water was considerably warmer than yesterday but still shy of 60 along the shoreline.  In addition to being on the cool side the water was also saturated with sand.  Despite the less than perfect conditions the Klode Kru today was determined to get er done!

The swim up to Cedar Grove was cold and murky with occasional white capped sea serpents challenging your efforts to move forward.  Those of us who chose to continue our journey up to Mudslide were treated to an exceptional surprise....a wall of clear blue & warm water!  The sight was moment we were swimming in cold murky water and then in a blink of an eye we were suddenly surrounded by exceptionally clear blue warm water.  Even more remarkable was the fact that we could swim along this line of contrasting water conditions as if there was a magical barrier preventing the murky water from mixing with the warm pristine water.  Needless to say we chose to follow this line all the way back to Klode...opting to stay just a few strokes on the warm side.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Once in a Blue Moon

Next Swims:
  • Saturday 9/1 1PM
  • Sunday & Monday TBD
  • Next Blue Moon Swim July 31st 2015
Last Observation: Fri 8/31 6PM
Water Temp: 52.5
Air Temp:  72 & Partly Cloudy
Waves: gentle rollers < 1ft
Water Clarity: Cloudy near shore / Clear Offshore
Crew: The Patriarch, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Scooby, Ele, eRun, Dusterino, Mr. Amazing (skin), Ryan (skin), Steph, Cheryl, Kim, Patrick, Capt'n with special guest appearance from Sir James, Crash, Sarah and Matriarch

Despite the bone chilling water temp a record number of Klode Kru mates walked the plank for a swim at less than 55 degrees.  14 walked the plank, 8 made it to picnic table and 2 made it beyond.  A toast of Pitsch was raised in honor of Neal Armstrong and a round of Blue Moon was had by all following the swim.

The Patriarch and I remain optimistic that the water temps will rebound this weekend....there's still plenty of warm water in the lake according to the maps and the easterly winds are blowing in our favor.  Swim time Saturday....1 bell!

pictured: front row (left to right): Capt'n, Cheryl, Ele, Steph, eRun, Dusterino;  back row (left to right): Kim, The Patriarch, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Ryan, Scooby, Patrick, Mr. Amazing

Reason's to be Optimistic

Next Swims:

  • Blue Moon Swim: Friday 8/31 6:30PM, moonrise over the lake at 7:11PM, to be followed by a toast to Neil Armstrong with a round of shots of Killepitsch washed down by Blue Moon beer, followed by pizza or fish fry at a place yet to be determined, suggestions welcome
  • Saturday 9/1 Noon?  (Please comment if you have a preferred swim time.)
Last Observation: Fri 8/31 6AM
Water Temp: 49.4 Klode ...but 55.2 at Scooby's
Air Temp:  71 & Sunny
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Clear
Crew: Diablo (skin), Mr. Amazing (skin), Gumdrop, Showgirl with guest appearances by Kahuna, Scooby, Nivens McTwisp, Gigi & daughter, Capt'n

While the Lady of the Lake reminded us this morning that attempting to forecast the lake water temp is like trying to nail jello to a tree there are a few observations that bring hope that the water temp may improve for this evening's planned Blue Moon Swim....or at least encourage you to come out this evening regardless of the the water temp:

  • While the water temp at Klode this morning registered a bone chilling 49.4, less than 2 miles north of Klode the water temp was 5 degrees warmer at Scooby's Palatial Party Palace..
  • Winds today are forecasted to shift around to the east which has the potential to blow in the warmer water that's just offshore.
  • Today's forecast calls for air temps in the upper 80's & plentiful sunshine which on occasion has resulted in the surface water temp becoming considerably more hospitable...especially for those wearing a wetsuit.
  • Both The Patriarch & I will have our stash of Pitsch on hand for this evening's Blue Moon Swim.  If the water cools you down the Pitsch will most definitely warm you back up and help you forget how cold the water was.
  • Impress your friends, family, kids and grand kids with stories of how you walked the plank into bone chilling water temps under the Blue Moon which occurs just once every 2.7 years!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Not since June 24th...

Next Swims:
  • Fri 8/31 6AM
  • Blue Moon Swim: Friday 8/31 6:30PM, moonrise over the lake at 7:11PM, to be followed by a toast to Neil Armstrong with a round of shots of Killepitsch washed down by Blue Moon beer, followed by pizza or fish fry at a place yet to be determined, suggestions welcome
Last Observation: Thursday 8/30 6PM
Water Temp: 55.4
Waves: rolling < 1ft
Water Clarity: Good
Observers: Scooby, Matt, Lorraine, Capt'n

Not since June 24th have we recorded a temperature this cold.  The recent westerly winds appear to have momentarily taken their toll on the water temps.  10-15 degree swings within 24 hours in either direction are not uncommon so who knows what tomorrow will bring.  Good news is the maps show that there's still plenty of warm water out there.  With the forecast calling for more hot sunny days and an easterly wind Friday chances are good today's temperature plunge may be momentary.  ...bringing a wetsuit along tomorrow evening may be advisable though....

Once in a Blue Moon

Next Swims:  Thu 8/30 6PM, Fri 8/31 6AM
Blue Moon Swim: Friday 8/31 6:30PM, moonrise over the lake at 7:11PM, to be followed by a toast to Neil Armstrong with a round of shots of Killepitsch washed down by Blue Moon beer, followed by pizza or fish fry at a place yet to be determined, suggestions welcome

Last Swim: Thu 8/30 6AM
Water Temp: 62
Waves: small rollers
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew:  Gumdrop, Showgirl, Wonder Woman, Kahuna, Diablo, Cap'n, Patriarch, Slip&Slide, David

We swam out to the treasure chest.  We made no progress on raising and opening it, but we did make several improvements to Cap'ns most excellent Treasure Map, to be published here as soon as complete.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blue Moon Swim Friday

Next Swims:
   Wednesday (8/29) 6PM???   (no Capt'n)
   Thursday (8/30) 6AM & 6PM

Last Swims:  Tuesday 8/28 PM & Wednesday 6AM
Water Temp:
   Wed PM:  70+
   Thurs AM:  69.4
Air Temp:
   Wed PM:  78 & Sunny
   Thursday AM:  64 & Sunny
   Wed PM:  rolling < 1ft current from north
   Thurs AM:  Calm
Water Clarity: 
   Wed PM:  cloudy < 5ft visibility
   Thurs AM:  clear
   Wed PM:   Sir James, Jack Frost, Jeffery, John, Jason, Mike, JoAnn
   Thurs AM: Diablo, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Nivens McTwisp, Alk-Kat, Dash, Tony, Cheryl, Capt'n  with guest appearance by Gigi.

Blue Moon Swim Details:
   When: Friday 8/31
   Where:  Klode's Southeast Beach (our typical meeting place)
   Walk the Plank at:   6:30PM
   Moon Rise:  7:11PM
   Post Swim:  Klode Kru social with rounds of Pitsch and dinner to follow.  Lisa's Pizza?  Fish Fry?  Please post a comment if you have thoughts / preferences for post swim dinner location

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Raising Scooby's Treasure - Round #1

Next Swims:
   Tuesday (8/28) 6PM (no Capt'n)
   Wednesday (8/29) 6AM

Last Swim:  Tuesday 8/28 AM
Water Temp: 69.3
Air Temp: 66 & Sunny
Waves:  Calm
Water Clarity:  crystal clear
Crew: Diablo, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Sir James, Jake, Joe, Capt'n was a fine mornin' fer a swim. ...and an even better one fer goin' on a treasure hunt!  Now that me map to Scooby's treasure chest is complete findin' Scooby's treasure is easier than saying "yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum!"

The mighty challenge facin' the Klode Kru now is how to raise Scooby's treasure from its restin' place.  Scooby, Diablo and I attempted to move it with a thick steal pipe this morning....but the treasure chest won bending the thick steal as if it were a slinky.

We're determined to win this battle though....stay tuned.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Clear, Flat & Delightfully Warm

Next Swims:
   Tuesday (8/28) 6AM & 6PM
   Wednesday (8/29) 6AM

Last Swim:  Monday 8/27 PM
Water Temp: 70.4+ (pockets of even warmer water in spots)
Air Temp: 80 & Sunny
Waves:  Calm until 7pm then slight chop
Water Clarity:  crystal clear
Crew: Sir James, Scooby, Ali-Kat, Mr. Amazing, Slip-n-Slide, Bo, Lorraine, Lori, Missy, Ken, Matt, Matt, Mike, Mike, Karly, John, Jake, Capt'n

A crew of 18 enjoyed an exceptional evening of swimming.  Crystal clear, uncharacteristically flat (...for an evening swim...) and comfortably warm water with a few pockets warm enough to encourage those with wetsuits to contemplate ditching them.

The excitement is starting to build for the upcoming Blue Moon well as the expected return of The Patriarch tomorrow.  Stay tuned for more details about Friday's Blue Moon festivities....the full moon is scheduled to climb above the horizon at 7:11pm so projected time to walk the plank will be around 6:45pm.

Suspicious Sighting Reported

Next Swims:
   Monday (8/27) @ 6PM
   Tuesday (8/28) 6AM & 6PM

Last Swims:  Sunday 8/26 12PM & Monday 8/27 6AM
Water Temp:
   Sunday:  67.2
   Monday AM: 63.3  (warm pockets away from shore)
Air Temp:
   Sunday:  72 & showers
   Monday AM: 68 & sunny
    Sunday:  rolling < 1ft
    Monday AM:  calm
Water Clarity:  crystal clear
   Sunday:Kahuna, Nivens McTwisp, Lorraine, Ali-Kat, Sarah, Capt'n
   Monday AM:  Diablo, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Kahuna, Dash, Wonder Woman, Dave, Matt, Capt'n

Upon arriving back to shore Sunday the Klode Kru was greeted by intensifying showers and a WFB Police car that was parked in front of the beach clubhouse found at the base of the bluff.  Rumor has it a search was underway for suspicious man with a scraggly white beard and a half crazed look in one eye.  Could it be they were looking for The Patriarch who went missing almost a week ago?  ...or could it be they were investigating the suspicious gym bag and trench coat Kahuna stashed under the clubhouse shelter prior to walking the plank?

The water this morning was the coolest its been since early July but the surface water (top foot of water) was certainly warmer than the 63 temp reading obtained just off of Klode's south beach rockpile.  With the weather forecast calling for plentiful sunshine and air temps in the 80's there's a good chance this evenings water temp will be closer to the 70's we've become accustomed to.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Possible Knucklehead Swim Sunday

Next Swims:
   Sun (8/26) @ Noon
   Monday (8/27) 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim:  Saturday 8/25 12PM
Water Temp: 70.7
Air Temp: 87 & Sunshine
Waves: moderately choppy
Water Clarity:  crystal clear
Crew: Crash, Dash, Cheryl, Lorraine, Nick, Capt'n

It was nice to see the 70+ water temps return today.  The bright sunshine filled sky and the crystal clear water conditions made for a very picturesque swim while a moderate chop resulting from southeasterly winds made you work a little in both directions while swimming.

My swim today included a stop at Scooby's Treasure Chest.  I now have pinpoint coordinates to complete a treasure map....stay tuned....

Tomorrow's weather forecast calls for a 50% chance of thunderstorms.  There are also rumors that Rev3 Dells Champion and Klode Kru mate Matt may also be joining us tomorrow.  Is it a mere coincidence that thunder & lightening are in the forecast?

Friday, August 24, 2012


Next Swims:
   Sat (8/25) @ 7AM (Diablo) & Noon (Capt'n)
   Sun (8/26) @ Noon

Last Swim:  Friday 8/24 6PM
Water Temp: 67.2
Air Temp: 80 & Sunshine
Waves: moderately choppy
Water Clarity:  clear
Crew: Slip-n-Slide, Riptide, Wonder Woman, Dash, Tom, Lori, Carrie, Christine, Geoffrey, Capt'n with guest appearance by "The Legendary" Larry

I don't think anyone saw this coming...despite a morning water temp of nearly 70 and day time highs in the mid to upper 80's the water temp actually lost 2 degrees today.  This is typical for early season swims or days following strong westerly winds but given that this was a late season swim during a relatively quiet weather pattern the cooler water temps this evening were a bit of a surprise to everyone.

Of course I'm certainly not complaining since we've obviously been spoiled rotten all summer...and when you also consider that this evenings cooler water was actually more in line with what we typically experience this time of year.

Good news is that there's still some days of summer left and the water temp maps indicate there's still plenty of warm water out there so chances are fairly good we'll see those 70's return....some day.

Weekend Opportunities

Next Swims: 
   Friday (8/24) @ 6PM
   Sat (8/25) @ 7AM (Diablo) & Noon (Capt'n)
   Sun (8/26) @ Noon

Last Swim:  Friday 8/24 6AM
Water Temp: 69.5
Waves: occasional <1ft br="br" swells="swells"> Water Clarity:  clear
Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Sir James, Nivens McTwisp, Ali-Kat, Jake, Joe, Pat, Bruce, Capt'n

Congratulations to the Klode Kru members who participated in the Milwaukee Aquathon Series Season Finale last night:  Matt, Larry, Riptide, Sir James, Jack Frost, Ali-Kat, Padre, Alewife & Mike, Kim,  Capt'n

Results will be available at:

Pleasant swim conditions are still here and with this weekend's forecast there's no reason to believe they won't persist.  Diablo will be swimming at 7am Saturday while I will be on the beach at noon following the Badgerland Striders Half Marathon. 

Speaking of weekend race are a few:

Sat. 8/25:  Adrenaline Triathlon - Random Lake

Saturday 8/25:  Badgerland Striders Half Marathon - Estrabrook park

Sunday 8/26:  Grafton Corn Roast 5K - Grafton High School

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Next Swims:  Thurs 8/23 6PM?  ( Capt'n or Patriarch), Friday 6AM

Last Swims:  Wed 8/22 6PM, Thursday 6AM
Wed PM Water Temp:  72.3 near shore warmer off shore
Thurs AM Water Temp: 69.6
Waves: PM - small roll, calm with occasional swell
Water Clarity:  exceptionally clear
Wed PM Crew: Sir James, Fine Wench, Wonder Woman, Dash, Ron
Thurs AM Crew: Diablo, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Dash, Dave, Capt'n

The swim conditions this summer have been so nice it has the Klode Kru doing cartwheels:

(pictured above:  The Fine Wench displays her excitement over the exceptional swim conditions at the Wed evening swim on 8/21 while Wonder Women prepares for her double back flip...)

Tonight is the last Aquathon of the season out at Lannon.  Race starts at 7:15 out at Menomonee Park.  Details can be found here:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Warm / Clear Water Sticking Around

Next Swims:  Wed 8/22 6PM?  ( Capt'n or Patriarch), Thursday 6AM

Last Swims:  Tue 8/21 6PM?  (not sure who all swam...comment if you did), Wed 6AM
Wed AM Water Temp: 69.4
Wed AM Air Temp: 61
Waves: none...glasslike
Water Clarity:  exceptionally clear
Tue PM Crew: ??? (...please comment if you swam...)
Wed AM Crew: Diablo, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Dash, Speedy, Scooby, Wonder Woman, Nivens McTwisp, Ryan, Capt'n

The air may be a little cooler in the morning these days but the water continues to be warm and welcoming.  The glasslike lake surface made the swim up to Orange Kayak seemingly effortless while the sunrise into a cloudless sky was absolutely spectacular.

The Patriarch and I are out of action for this evening's swim but I will stop by around 7:30 or so to record the official PM water temp which should be in the low 70's given today's forcasted high in the 80's.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Still Warm and Clear

Next Swims:  Tue 8/21 6PM?  ( I will not be there, but I think others will), Wed 6AM

Last Swims:  Mon 8/20 6PM, Tue 6AM
Water Temps: 70-72
Waves: Mon PM small rollers, Tue AM calm
Water Clarity:  Good Mon PM, Excellent Tue AM
Mon PM Crew:  There were 34 people at the open water clinic, some of whom I don't know.  Here is a list of the people I do know (and remember being there):  Sir James, Jessica (The "Fine Wench"), Diamond Dave, Kelly, Wonder Woman, Cap'n, Kahuna, Lorraine, Ron, Patriarch, Gumdrop, Mike & wife,  Dave & Not Dave's Wife, Alikat, Sarah, Bruce, John, Matt, Tony, Scooby on his jet ski (I'm sure I'm forgetting some people, sorry!) ...and Dash too!  :)
Tue AM Crew: Patriarch, Diablo, James, Jake, Brain, Gumdrop, Showgirl

Thanks to Jessica and James for an excellent open water clinic.  After the "formal" instruction a bunch of us did a mile swim to mudslide and back.

I am leaving for a week vacation in Glacier National Park and will be back in the water next Thursday. I leave the blog in Cap'n's capable (?) hands.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Perfect Day for Big Bay

Next Swims:  Mon 8/20 6AM & 6PM, Tue 8/21 6AM

Also:  The open water clinic Coach Jessica and 10 Mile National Champion James had planned for last weekend has been rescheduled for Monday night 8/20, 6PM - 7PM.  They will help you save  energy and maximize efficiency in open water swimming.  Topics include race preparation, start strategies, things to prepare for, turning at buoys, sighting technique, stroke technique.  Free!  Bring suit, towel, goggles, and optionally wetsuit.  Swim at your own risk.  

Last Swim:  Sunday 8/19 9AM
Water Temp: 69.6
Waves:  Calm for the trip to Big Bay, rising chop for those who returned.
Water Clarity: Crystal Clear
Crew: Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Capt'n, Alicat, Padre, Dash, Brain, Dave, Not Dave's Wife, Crash, Kim, Nick, Lorraine, Jack, Phil, Tony, Cheryl, Gigi, James, Jake, plus special thanks to Matriarch for providing shuttle service for gear and people between Klode and Big Bay

The swim gods blessed us with a near perfect day for our Big Bay swim.  A sunny day with warm clear calm water was all we could ask for.  We had twenty one people swim the 1.2 miles to Big Bay, about half swam back, the other half ran or were driven back.  14 of us celebrated a great swim by having brunch at North Star.

The cherry on this Sunday is that I can add my name to the list of people who have sighted the Treasure Chest.  Frankly, I always a bit skeptical about anything said by anyone in this group, especially when they make outrageous claims like seeing a treasure chest.  However we now have enough people who have claimed to see it that it can no longer be regarded as a tall tale, it's more of a hysterical phenomenon like alien abductions.  A considerable amount of discussion at brunch revolved around how to get it to shore and open it.  The discussion included explosives, shovels, winches, crowbars, and other unlikely strategies.  Capt'n is promising a treasure map to help others locate it, but roughly it's just south of the yellow kayak, about 20-30 feet from shore in waist deep water.      

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Big Bay Swim Sunday 8/19

Next Swim:  Sunday 9AM (Klode to Big Bay)  ...with Brunch to follow at North Star Bistro at 11am

Last Swim: Saturday (8/18) 11AM
Water Temp: 70.2 w/ pockets of cooler and warmer water
Air Temp:  73 with plentiful sunshine
Waves: slight chop from south but increasing
Water Clarity:  clear
Crew:  The Patriarch, Dash, Crash, Ali-Cat, Jason, Lorraine, Brian, Mike, Capt'n

Plans are set for Sunday's 9am Big Bay (and back?) swim.  Meet at 9am on Klode's southeast beach (...the location we typically 'walk the plank'...).  The Patriarch has graciously volunteered the services of The Matriarch to shuttle running shoes down to Big Bay for those interested in only swimming one way (1.2 miles).  If you are planning to run back be sure and bring along a pair of running shoes.  (...a bag for convenient transport of said shoes may not be a bad idea.)

A trial swim of the Big Bay and back course was completed by Brian this morning.  His round trip journey took him 64 minutes which was quite impressive when you consider the slight chop he swam into on his journey down to Big well as the fact that he biked to Klode from Wauwatosa this morning!

Also highlighting this morning's swim were two reported sightings of Scooby's Treasure Chest (...stay tuned for a treasure map...) as well as a round of Pitsch where we toasted our newest nicknamed Kru mate "Dash"!

PS.  For those unable to swim with us tomorrow but interested in joining us for brunch the address of the North Star Bistro is:  4518 N. Oakland Ave.  Please post a comment if you plan to join us so we can make a reservation.

Here's a link with a map/directions from Klode to the North Star Bistro:,+Whitefish+Bay,+WI&daddr=4518+North+Oakland+Avenue,+Milwaukee,+WI&hl=en&geocode=&abauth=502fee3dHpbCmq4PrriPMs0g8QkjEqSmAQs&aq=1&oq=klode&vps=2&jsv=428a&sll=43.098696,-87.887393&sspn=0.006737,0.016512&vpsrc=0&g=4518+North+Oakland+Avenue,+Milwaukee,+WI&mra=ls&num=10

Friday, August 17, 2012

70+ Streak Continues

Next Swims:  Sat 8/17 11:00AM, Sunday 9AM

Last Swim: Friday 6PM
Water Temp: 72.3
Waves: small rollers w/ slight chop
Water Clarity:  OK in some places, murky in others
Crew:  Gumdrop, Ali-Cat, Capt' advanced crew member Jack Frost

Our streak of swim days with a water temp above 70 continued this evening.  For the 31st consecutive day (...and 42 or 43...) we've logged a swim with the water temp on the plus side of 70. 

The plan for Sunday is to do a Big Bay (...and back?) swim.  Per G-Map Pedometer the distance from Klode to the Big Bay pier is 1.2 miles...of course that's if you swim a straight line:

Update on Sunday's plan:  The Matriarch has agreed to provide shuttle service for people and gear between Klode and Big Bay, so those swimmers choosing to do a one way swim will have their stuff at the other end, and have their choice to walk/jog/run back or be driven.

Of course shots of Pitsch will be hand as well as an ceremony to officially christen nicknames for new crew members followed by brunch at a location yet to be determined.

Weekend Plans

Next Swims:  Sat 8/17 11:00AM, Sunday 9AM
On Sunday we'll do a Big Bay swim, meaning you have the option to swim to Big Bay and back, or to swim one way and walk/run/bike back, we'll shuttle gear to the other end.  Big Bay is just over a mile if you swim straight across the Bay from the Klode south rock pile to the concrete pier at Big Bay, probably 1.2 if you follow the shore.

I propose we head for brunch somewhere afterwards, any suggestions on a good Sunday brunch location?

Last Swim: Friday 6AM
Water Temp: 68
Waves: small rollers
Water Clarity:  OK in some places, murky in others
Crew:  James, Jake, Pat, Jen, Dawn, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Dash, Diablo, Nivens McTwist, Brain, Cap'n, Patriarch

Today was our first water temperature reading below 70 in over 30 days.  Still, it was plenty comfortable until exiting the water into the cool dry morning air.  The first time I've done the "Lake Michigan Shiver" in quite a while.  The weekend forecast is for tons of sun and not much wind, perfect conditions to warm things back up.

Good luck tomorrow to Madison Open Water participants.  Hope to see you Sunday.

Speaking of Madison, James told us this morning that even though Lake Monona water temperatures have been in the 80's recently, they were expecting that it would cool down to 78 for the race.  By an amazing coincidence 78 is the temperature above which wetsuits would not be allowed.  All I can say is that Lake Michigan swimmers are a hardier bunch.

P.S.  Kahuna, Kahuna, where is Kahuna?  Has he turned into a tree?  Will he wash up at Klode?  

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Next Swims:  Fri 8/17 6AM   
(stay tuned for Weekend swim plans which will include a Big Bay and back swim)

Last Swim: Thu 8/16 6PM
Water Temp: 70.4
Waves: relatively calm
Water Clarity: clear in spots
Crew: The Patriarch, Sir James, Dash, Lorraine, Kim, Capt'n

Being one of the "Knuckleheads" who swam this morning I feel a pressing need to respond to the charge.  

Let's first start with a definition of what exactly is a "knucklehead"....

noun 1. knucklehead - a stupid person; these words are used to express a low opinion of someone's intelligence

So The Patriarch thinks of me and the crew of 4  others as stupid people?  Well, lets review the facts...
  • Did we swim this morning?  - Aye, we did!
  • Was there a storm approachin' when the Kru entered the water?  - Aye, that there was!
  • Did we contemplate not swimmin?  - Aye we did...but the Lady of the Lake was a callin!
  • Who's faster, Zeus or the Klode Kru?  - Zeus? Is that the nickname Matt is going by these days?  Heard he won the REV3....still don't think he's faster than Sir James though...I'm going with the Kru!  ...oh wait...Sir James thinks we're "Boneheads"...I need to think about this a little longer...
So were we stupid?  I'll let you decide but if you are curious about some facts about lightening and water here's a very interesting article:

It would appear that the conductivity of water isn't as much of a concern for swimmers during a storm as some may's the fact that you're the highest point in the water.  All points considered though, I think it still boils down to your perceived chance to win the lottery...which in my opinion this morning was...well, we did actually exit the water before the storm arrived....


Next Swims:  Thu 8/16 6PM, Fri 8/17 6AM
Also, tomorrow I will post times for the weekend swims, we'll pick the times that appear most favorable for calmer water so we can do long swims. Typically morning would be best, but not always.  We'll  include a swim to Big Bay (one or two way).

Last Swim: Thu 8/16 6AM
Water Temp: 70
Waves: half foot chop
Water Clarity: Good
Crew:  Five Knuckleheads that I will not name to save them from ridicule and embarrassment (although I doubt these knuckleheads feel an ounce of embarrassment)

I woke up early this morning and decided to run to the beach rather than drive.  But when I get within a mile of Klode I see lightening and hear thunder rapidly approaching from the west.  I figured that would be the end of the swim plan because only knuckleheads would swim in a thunderstorm.  So I turned back for home.

When I got home I decided to drive to the beach to see if anyone else had headed there and whether they might be interested in breakfast instead of swimming, because only knuckleheads would swim in a thunderstorm.  By the time I arrive at the beach, it's beginning to rain and lightening is filling the sky north and west accompanied by loud and long booms of thunder.

I see cars I recognize in the lot, but no people, so I figure they're still on the beach watching the frequent flashes hitting the lake to the north, an awesome sight.  It did not occur to me that anyone would be in the water because only knuckleheads would swim in a thunderstorm.

I walk down to the beach and am stunned to see piles of clothing on the beach, but no swimmers.  By this time the entire sky is flashing in every direction.  I look south and see them in the water off south-south beach!   These knuckleheads are swimming in a thunderstorm!  At least they had the sense to get out of the water and walk back rather than swim back.  By the time we got back to the parking lot it was pouring cats and dogs.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Why go to Madison when it's so nice here?

Next Swims: Thursday 8/16 6AM & 6PM

Last Swims: Wed 8/15 6AM & 6PM
Water Temp: 71
Waves:  Calm in the AM, one foot chop in the PM
Water Clarity: Excellent
AM Crew: Patriarch, Melanie, Nivens McTwist, Little Fish, Gumdrop, Diablo, Cap'n, Dash, Phil, Ali
PM Crew: Patriarch, Hernan, Kim, Dash, and late arrival Jack Frost

Saturday is the Madison Open Water Swim, one or two laps of the 1.2 mile Ironman swim course in Lake Monona.  Normally we'd consider doing it, but the conditions have been so great in Lake Michigan that Saturday we can do our own version of an ironman swim:  back and forth to Big Bay which is almost exactly 2.4.  Optionally go one way (1.2) and walk, run, or bike back.  Stay tuned for details.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

28 consecutive days...

Next Swims:
   Wed 8/15 6AM & 6PM
   Thurs 8/16 6AM

Last Swim:  Tue 8/14 6PM
Water Temps:  73.2
Air Temp: 76
Waves:  calm
Water Clarity: crystal clear
Crew: Sir James, Dash, Lorraine, Eric with special guest appearance by Capt'n

Today was the 28th consecutive day and 39th of 40 that we've recorded a water temp above 70.  An absolutely amazing stat especially when you consider that typically we have 10-15 scattered over the course of a Lake Michigan swim season...or at least that has been my experience over the last 6 years of swimming from Klode.

Cool Air but Warm Water

Next Swims:
   Tue 8/14 6PM? (no Patriarch, no Capt'n)
   Wed 8/15 6AM & 6PM

Last Swims:  Tue 8/14 6AM
Water Temps:  69.2
Air Temp: 61
Waves:  calm
Water Clarity: crystal clear
Crew: The Patriarch, Melanie, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Sir James, Jake, Pat, Brain, Jason, Ron, Tony, Capt'n

Despite the cooler air temp this morning the swim conditions were fantastic.  A glass like lake surface, crystal clear water, a cloudless sky and a brilliant big red sun climbing over the horizon greeted us upon our arrival.  The air temp made walking the plank a tad bit more challenging than normal but upon our return the bright sun made departing the warm waters less of a shock.

Both The Patriarch and I will be out of action for this evening's swim.  I will still try to get down to the beach around 7pm to record an official water temp.  ( we can hopefully continue our streak of consecutive days with a 70+ degree water temp reading...)  Please post a comment if you swim this evening along with any other crew mates you encounter.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Klode Kru Plunders Rev 3

Next Swims: Tue 8/14 6AM & 6PM, Wed 8/15 6AM

Last Swims:  Mon 8/13 6AM & 6PM
Water Temps:  71.6
Waves:  calm (slight current from south for PM swim)
Water Clarity: clearing (...especially further out...)
Mon AM Crew: The Patriarch, Melanie, Diablo, Ron, Tony, Gumdrop, Showgirl 
Mon PM Crew: Sir James, Nick, John, Matt, Mike, Dan, Gail, Hernan, Capt'n

Congrats to the Klode Kru mates (Matt, Larry, Nivens, Little Fish, Smart Ass, Alewife & Mike, Brian, Capt'n) who participated in the Rev3 Olympic and Half Ironman triathlons over the weekend.  Matt Behnke (...nickname still forthcoming...) dominated the Olympic event placing 1st overall and Larry (the Legend) Lanza placed 3rd overall while the McTwisp family (SmartAss, Little Fish and Nivens) placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively in their age divisions for the Olympic event!!

Complete results can be found at:

Great news....the calm, clear water has returned!  Gone (buried) are the toe stubbing rocks that dared crew mates to walk the plank southward from Klode's southeast shore.  The sandbar patterns have also changed....I'm looking forward to discovering what additional house keeping the Lady of the Lake did last weekend.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Next Swims: Mon 8/13 6AM & 6PM, Tue 8/14 6AM & 6PM

Last Swims:  Fri 6PM, Sat 11AM, Sun 1:30PM
Water Temps:  still 70 and above
Waves:  Huge Friday evening, still pretty big Sat, calm Sunday
Water Clarity: None, the big waves and currents have really stirred things up
Fri PM Crew: Wonder Woman, James, Showgirl, Cap'n, Gumdrop, Mike
Sat Crew: James, Jessica, Ryan, Jason, Jack, Rolf, Lorraine, Showgirl, Patriarch, Dave, Not Dave's Wife, Gumdrop
Sun Crew:  Crash, Lorraine, David, Hernon, Lee, Jake, James, Patriarch, Diablo, Jack Frost, Melanie, and arriving late Ele & Friend
(I might have forgotten some people, sorry - please leave a comment so I can correct the list

The Lake is a lady of many moods, and we saw them all this weekend.  Furious, angry, playful, serene, calm.  Friday night the waves were as big and powerful as I have ever seen them (on Lake Michigan anyway, Superior and the ocean are different matters).  The waves and currents were so powerful that no one could make it back to the starting point, all had to exit the water and walk back.

Saturday things were a bit less crazy, but still rough enough that Jessica and James cancelled their open water clinic.  So we just went for a swim, but most did not make it far, but it was fun playing in the waves, except for Not Daves Wife who had an encounter with rock, thank heaven she is OK.

Sunday things had completely calmed down, and we were back to easy gliding on a smooth sea.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Biggest Waves of the Season

Next Swims:  On Saturday 8/11 from 11:00-12:30 Jessica and James will conduct an informal open water swim clinic.  Or if you don't want to do the clinic, just come and swim.

Tonight Friday 8/10 I will be at the beach at 6PM to check on conditions, but may not swim if it's too rough.

Sunday 8/12: 1:30PM

Last Swims: Thu 8/9 6AM & 6PM, Fri 8/10 6AM
Water Temp: 70
Waves:  Thursday 1-2 foot choppy, Fri AM 6 foot monsters with a strong current
Water Clarity:  None, water full of slit, sand, and algae
Thu AM Crew: Jake, Joe, James, Pat, Matt, David, Ali, Nivens McTwist, Smartass, Little Fish, Cap'n, Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Wonder Woman, Scooby, Brain, Gumdrop, Showgirl
Thu PM Crew: Patriarch, Cap'n, Hernan, Loraine
Fri AM Crew: James, Jake, Capn, Gumdrop, Ryan, Brain, Diablo

No peaceful sunrise this morning.  No easy gliding on smooth water.   Instead: Angry sky, angry water.  Awesome, powerful and scary.  Waves breaking 100 meters out and more.  Whitecaps to the horizon.  A huge current pushing south.  Whatever your swim plan was, forget it.  You could only do what the Lake let you do.  Some tried to swim north, but it was a hopeless treadmill going nowhere.  It was too much for me. I watched from shore as the others got pushed, tossed, slapped, and put through the spin cycle.

I am hoping the lake calms down enough to allow me a 6PM swim, I'd hate to end my streak of 30 plus days.

P.S.  Anyone have a baby stroller or jogger they could lend us for a couple days (Sun-Wed)?  My almost two year old granddaughter will be visiting.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Next Swims:  Thursday 8/9 6AM & 6PM, Fri 8/10 6AM
Sat 8/11, open water clinic with James and Jessica 11:00-12:30

Last Swims: Tue 6PM, Wed 6AM & 6PM
Water Temp: mid-70s
Waves: 1-2 ft, choppy and rough with a pretty good current
Water Clarity:  Gunky near shore, much better away from shore
Tue PM Crew: Ele, Jason, Kahuna, Patriarch
Wed AM Crew: Brain, Diablo, Cap'n, Patriarch, Wonder Woman, Gumdrop, Showgirl, James, Ali
Wed PM Crew: Wonder Woman, Lorraine, Patriarch

I arrived at the beach Wednesday evening, my mood matching the gray drizzly sky.  I was still tired from the morning battle in rough seas followed by a run.  To be honest I really didn't feel like battling those waves again.  I didn't think anyone would show up on this dreary evening and I was about to slink away but then Wonder Woman appeared on her bike followed by newcomer Lorraine.  Into the mumbo jumbo we went.  It was a short swim, only to garage and back.  But as always it was exhilarating and I was glad we did it.

We'll do it again Thursday and Friday and the forecast is interesting to say the least.  In addition to a prediction of thunderstorms and high waves, there is something I've never seen before in the forecast: a possibility of waterspouts.  Waterspouts?  What the heck are they?  I'm not sure, but I have visions of being swept up in some black vortex and deposited on a beach in Munchkinland.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Scooby Vindicated: Treasure Chest Found!

Next Swims:  Tue 8/7 6PM, Wed 8/8 6AM & 6PM

Also: On Saturday James and Coach Jessica will conduct an open water clinic from 11:00 - 12:30.  This is an informal clinic: no registration, no fee, no responsibility on their part, swim at your own risk.

Also coming soon: we are close to zeroing in on a date for Scooby's party at his house on Beach Drive.   Last year's party was the highlight of the season, you don't want to miss it.

That's not all:  I am looking for a favorable day to do a shipwreck swim to the wreck of the steamship Appomattox off Atwater Beach.  This might be a last minute impromptu swim, keep your eyes on the blog.

Last Swim: Tue 8/7 6AM
Water Temp: 70+
Waves: Almost Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew:  It was bring your family to Klode day - Nivens McTwist brought his daughters Little Fish and Smart Ass, Ron brought his sons Jeremy and Ilian(sp?), and Coach Jessica brought her mom Denise, also swimming were Joe, Jake, James, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Diablo, Wonder Woman, Crash, David, Brain, Scooby, Patriarch - that's 20 swimmers total, which I believe is the record for a weekday swim

Have you been watching the Olympics and seen the commercial where Ryan Lochte swims the Atlantic to get to London?  He says, "it wasn't luck that got me to London, I swam there".  I was thinking of that as I was swimming this morning.  For me swimming across Whitefish Bay is just as epic as swimming to the Olympics, except unlike Ryan I have no talent, I'm just lucky.  Lucky to be swimming under a gorgeous crimson sunrise in clear calm warm water with great group of friends.

Everyone that's been making fun of Scooby (which is pretty much everyone) since he claimed to see a "treasure chest" must now apologize. Several swimmers confirmed it.  It's very close to the shore, just north of the yellow kayak that is on the rocks just before the Silver Spring "drain pipe".  But the next question is:  what's in it?  It's much too heavy and buried in sand to lift out.  Wonder Woman suggested dynamite.  Any other ideas?  I'll bet James and Flipper will figure it out.  One's an ex Navy diver and the other an ex Navy seal.  They taught you how to blow things up underwater, right?

Monday, August 6, 2012

My Stinky, Stinky Friend

Next Swims:  Tuesday 8/7 6AM & 6PM, Wed 8/8 6AM

Last Swims: Sunday 8/5 9AM, Monday 8/6 6AM & 6PM
Water Temps: 71.1 - 76.3+
Waves:  calm for AM swims, slight chop PM swim
Water Clarity:  Outstanding for all swims!
Sunday Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Padre, Wonder Woman, David, Ryan, Ron, Kim, Capt'n
Monday AM Crew: Diablo, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Sir James, Ron, Ali, Capt'n
Monday PM Crew: The Patriarch, Wonder Woman, Crash, Dave, Not Dave's Wife, John, Matt, Capt'n

For those who haven't become accustomed to it, encountering it can be a bit unsettling.  No, I'm not referring to Gumdrop's speedo collection or witnessing The Patriarch and his love lube.  I like to refer to it with one of my favorite phrases...."say hello to my stinky, stinky friend!"  Yes, I''m referring to the green algae that will typically line 2 of Klode's 4 beaches this time of year.  The green slime will typically stretch out 5-10 feet from shore, remain between the rock piles and become a little pungent after a few days of fermentation under the hot summer sun.

Where it comes from and where it goes has always been a mystery...but I like to think of it as the way the lake gets back us for the "stinky, stinky friends" we can be sometimes be to the lake...especially for those who like to employ those alternative propulsion and wetsuit warming options.  :(

With the incredibly warm air and water temps this summer one would think it would be a banner year for my "stinky, stinky friend" to hanging around the Klode beach...but it hasn't.  We have seen the algae accumulate along a few of Klode's beaches from time to time this summer but when it has been around it hasn't been nearly as aromatic as in past years.  Even more mysterious recently was the sudden disappearance of the algae from Klode's shores Sunday morning...and the subsequent pleasant arrival of some exceptionally clear water.

What ever the reason it certainly has been the best year ever for swimming in the Lake....crystal clear water, consistently comfortable warm water and only a few brief instances where I've said hello to my "stinky, stinky friend."

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Breakfast with Wonder Woman Sunday

Next Swim: Sunday 8/4 9AM, followed by breakfast at Lauren's (who henceforth will be known as Wonder Woman)  Wonder Woman lives near the Alterra in Shorewood exact directions will be given on the beach.  Also, swims Monday at 6AM and 6PM

Last Swims: Fri 8/3 6PM, Sat 8/4 noon
Water Temp: 78
Waves:  Choppy and Rough
Water Clarity:  Poor, all stirred up
Fri PM Crew: Matt, Crash, Cap'n, Slip-n-Slide, and lady with Slip-n-Slide
Sat Crew: Rob, Wonder Woman, Joann, Mike, another Mike, Ron, Patriarch, Kahuna, Diablo, Eric, Larry, Dave, Capt'n

A rough day in the water, but nowhere near as rough as the day Gwen had in London, flat tire and all.  That didn't stop us from drinking a toast to her after our swim.  She's still our hero!


Friday, August 3, 2012

The Search Continues / Good Luck Gwen!!!

Next Swims:  Friday 8/3 @ 6PM  & Saturday 8/4 @ Noon

Last Swims: Thursday 8/2 @ 6PM & Friday 8/3 @ 6AM
Water Temps:  Continued Awesomeness, 73.2+
   Friday AM - calm
Water Clarity:
   Friday AM - crystal Clear
   Thursday PM - The Patriarch with trusty companion Barbi
   Friday AM - The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Brain, Scooby, Nivens McTwisp, Lauren, Josh, Capt'n with special guest appearance by Gumdrop

The conditions for our Friday AM swim were perfect for continuing our quest to find Scooby's treasure....crystal clear water and comfortably warm water and air temps.  With a crew of 9 including Scooby himself leading the way we were all giddy with anticipation of how we'd split the treasure once we found it.  Sadly though, we all returned empty handed with nothing but a few harrowing stories of freakish clouds of sand that would suddenly and mysteriously cloud the waters as well as a giant man eating lake trout that appeared out of nowhere and then suddenly vanished. Not to be deterred the crew vowed to return again in search of Scooby's treasure.

Congratulations to the Klode Kru mates who participated in Thursday evening's Aquathon at Menomonee Park:  Matt, Riptide, Sir James, Dave & Not Dave's Wife, Ali, Sarah, Padre, Mike & Alewife and of course Capt'n.

Results from the Aquathon can be found here:

Last but not of luck to Klode Kru mate Gwen Jorgensen (!) who will be competing in the Olympic Triathlon at 3am Milwaukee time tonight.  The live broadcast can be found on NBC Sports Network  (...which is Channel 1323 on Time Warner Cable)  We look forward to swimming with you again at Klode!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Strange Sightings Follow Full Moon

Next Swims:  Thursday 8/2 @ 6PM? & Friday 8/3 @ 6AM

Last Swims: 8/1 Full Moon Swim @ 7:30PM  & Thursday (8/2) @ 6AM
Water Temps:  Continued Awesome, 72.6+
   Wed PM - slight chop from south
   Thursday AM - calm
Water Clarity:
   Wed PM murky near shore, clear further out
   Thursday AM - crystal Clear

Full Moon Crew The Patriarch, Gumdrop, Kahuna, Showgirl, Sir James, Jack Frost, Scooby, Diamond Dave, Crash, Riptide, David, Ali, Sandra, Nick, Ryan, Capt'n plus 3 more P3 swimmers (...sorry, can't remember your names) with post swim appearance by soon to be crew mates Buddy & Audra

Thursday AM Crew:  Diablo, Brain, Capt'n and a sighting of The Patriarch?

The Swim conditions were absolutely perfect this morning.  Both water & air temps were in the low 70's, the water was calm with crystal clear clarity and a bright full sun climbed into a cloudless sky as we began our swim.

Given the exceptional water clarity this morning the crew decided to embark on a little search for Scooby's Treasure.  Unfortunately we had no luck in finding it.  Multiple crew members this morning however,did report a strange sighting of The Patriarch as they were approaching the Klode beach.  About 100 meters from shore The Patriarch appeared to be standing along the shoreline to greet us as we returned from our treasure hunt.  After putting our heads back in the water to finish our swim home The Patriarch vanished....never to be seen again.  Was he ever really there?  In the 60 seconds it took the Crew to swim the last 100 meters could The Patriarch really have traversed from beach to bluff?  ....or were we just having a bad swim dream?

The full moon swim Wednesday evening was a blast!  Despite a nagging slight chop from the south and the full moon rise being fashionably late a great time was had by all....complete with howls at the moon, multiple rounds of Pitsch, full moon swimmers and Lisa's pizza.  Stay tuned for pictures....

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tonight: Howl at the Full Moon & Eat Pizza

Next Swim: Howl at the Full Moon Swim tonight 8/1, be on the beach and ready to swim at 7:30, the full moon rises over the lake at 7:41PM.  The National Weather Service predicts clear skies so it should be good.  Having aroused our animal spirits by howling at the full moon, we will return to the beach for a shot of Pitsch, then go to Lisa's for beer and pizza.

There will be swims Thu 8/2 at 6AM & 6PM.  There will also be a swim Friday morning at 6AM.  Not sure about 6PM (I can't make it, but maybe others will?)  Tomorrow I will post the swim times for the weekend.

Last Swims: Mon 6PM, Tue 6AM & 6PM, Wed 6AM
Water Temps:  Awesome, 70s plus
Waves:  Mon & Tue very rough and choppy, Wed gentle rollers
Water Clarity:  Gunky right on the beach, murky near shore, clear further out
Mon PM Crew: Patriarch, James, Christie, Mike, Matt, Dave, Cap'n
Tue AM Crew: Steve, Lauren, Ali, Brain, Patriarch, Diablo, Showgirl, Gumdrop, David
Tue PM Crew: eRun, Stacy, Eli, Kahuna, with guest appearance by Jack Frost & Cal
Wed AM Crew: Steve, Lauren, Ryan, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Brain, Diablo, Cap'n, Patriarch

Much to report.  First of all, congratulations to James, the new age 50+ National Champion (and third overall) in the ten mile(!) open water swim held this past weekend in Lake Minnetonka Minnesota.  His time was 3:53, If I did the math right, that's about a 1:20 per hundred yard pace.  For ten miles!  Holy Cow!

Does anyone know for sure how to watch Gwen live Saturday morning? The women's tri starts at 3AM our time.  I've found couple websites that say it will be broadcast live on NBC, but I'm not sure that's correct because the WTMJ schedule doesn't show it.  Maybe it's on cable or on a web stream?  On the NBC Olympic site it seems to say you need the "right" cable or web provider.

If we only had a brain department:  Gumdrop showed up today with a boot to protect his foot which has been diagnosed with a stress fracture.  Between him and Cap'n we ALMOST have enough working parts to put together one whole man.

After yesterday morning's swim Steve reported sighting a Treasure Chest near shore about 150 yards north of the Silver Spring drain pipe only 15 feet from shore.  This news was of course greeted with howls of derision and ridicule, but since I'm hoping Steve will host a party at his beach house I believe his every word without question.  We wanted to look for it this morning but the water on the shore was too murky.

July ends with a bang.  We already have logged over 500 individual swims, and in a testament to how warm the water has been, the skin count exceeds the wetsuit count 267 to 252 respectively.  Wow!  Without doubt this has been the best July ever.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Howl at the Full Moon Swim Wednesday Evening

Next Swims:  Mon 7/30 6PM, Tue 7/31 6AM & 6PM, Wed 8/1 6AM
Wed 8/1: Howl at the Moon Swim, be on the beach and ready to swim at 7:30PM
Full moon rises over the lake at 7:41PM.
I could be persuaded to go Lisa's for pizza afterwards

Last Swims: Sun 7/29 1:30PM, Mon 6AM
Water Temps: low 70s
Waves: Sunday afternoon 1 foot very choppy, Monday morning flat calm
Water Clarity:  Stirred up Sunday, Crystal Clear Monday
Sun Crew: Diamond Dave, David, Ryan, Brian, Nick, Ali, Kim, Nivens McTwist, Mrs. McTwist, and their two Twisters (aka Little Fish and Smartass), Gumdrop, Kahuna, Diablo, Patriarch
Mon AM Crew: Gumdrop, Showgirl, Brain, Steve, Lauren, Patriarch, Cap'n, plus a mystery swimmer way out deep who I would bet is Eric

After several days of very choppy and challenging water, this morning was warm, clear, and calm.  Swimming seemed completely effortless. Cap'n and me cruised the 3/4 mile to flat rock in no time and the trip back was just as quick and easy.  A beautiful sunrise over the lake added to the ambiance.

The amazing streak of warm water continues.  We are only seven swims short of 500 individual swims for the season.  I'll have to go back and check, but I'm quite sure we've never come anywhere close to that by the end of July.  Also, because of the warm water we have many more skin swims than usual and soon we'll have more skin swims than wetsuit swims.  Currently the skin count is 243 and the wetsuit count is 248.  Normally August would be the best month for swimming in Lake Michigan, but it's hard to see how August could beat this incredible July.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Comfortably Playful

Next Swims: Sunday 7/28 @ 1:30PM, Monday 7/29 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim: Fri 6PM & Sat 9AM
Water Temp: 72-74+
Waves: heavy chop / 1-3ft white caps Friday PM, moderate rolling chop Sat AM.
Water Clarity: Stirred up near shore, clearing off shore
PM Crew: The Patriarch, Kahuna, Jeff, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Lauren, Capt'n (plus one more...sorry, can't remember his name) with special guest appearance from Crash
AM Crew:  The Patriarch, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Flipper, Padre, Jack Frost, John, Dave, Not Dave's Wife, Jeff, Bruce, Capt'n, with special guest appearance from Crash

White capped sea serpents playfully splashed around the bay for as far as the eye could see Friday evening.  Excited about our Friday Fish Fry plans the crew was all to happy to join them for a Friday evening frolic across the bay.  The swim up to Garage took the crew about 15-20 minutes while the swim took little more than 5.

Gone Saturday morning were our white capped friends but the wake they left behind made once again for a challenging swim northward.  Comfortably warm water conditions and a cloudless sky encouraged the crew to continue our swim adventure all the way northward to mudslide despite a steady diet of playful 1ft waves that challenged just about every swim stroke.  The reward for our efforts northward was a swift and virtually effortless swim back to Klode....unless of course you're a workaholic like Jeff who chose to battle the near shore waves as they crested over the sandbars rather than enjoy the swift current southward that could be found outside of the sandbars..

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fish Fry Friday

Next Swims: Fri 7/27 6PM, followed by a fish fry at Jack Pandls
Also, Sat 9AM, Sunday TBD

Last Swim: Fri 6AM
Water Temp: 70
Waves: a little choppy
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Gumdrop, Showgirl, Cap'n, Patriarch, Diablo, Ali, Flipper, plus a couple triathletes whose names I don't know, and a mystery swimmer who we spotted heading out deep (Eric?)

We'll stop at Jack Pandl's after tonight's swim, about 7:15.  Once I determine who is all coming I'll try to call for a reservation.  So if you're not swimming but coming to the fish fry please comment or email or text so that I can include you in the count.

Jack Pandl's is right on Lake Drive about a mile south of Klode and a short distance north of Big Bay (on the big sweeping curve).  One cool thing about eating there is the pictures they have on the wall of the resort that used to be there (the remnants of which we can see above and below the water as we swim between Klode and Big Bay).

Saturday morning we'll swim at 9AM, and we'll discuss Sunday's plan at the fish fry.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

70+ Water Returns / Fish Fry Friday

Next Swims:  Friday 7/27 6AM & 6PM

Last Swims: Thu 7/26 6PM
Water Temps:  72.2-74.6+
Waves:  slight rolling chop
Water Clarity:  clear
Crew: The Patriarch, Capt'n

After a brief respite the 70+ and clear water conditions returned Thursday evening.  The coolest water temp recording I could find was 72.2 from the Klode shore but The Patriarch and I encountered several pockets of considerably warmer water (80?) during our journey.

The Friday Fish Fry plans are to swim from Klode at 6pm and then head out for a Friday Fish Fry between 7-7:30pm.  Current plans are to head over to Jack Pandl's Whitefish Bay Inn which less than 2 miles south of Klode on Lake Drive...or just a few blocks north of Big Bay park.

A map to Pandl's can be found at:

If you're not swimming plan to meet us at 7:15pm...and be sure to save us a table or two as I hear the fish is fantastic! 

Please note:  the fish fry location at this time has not been officially sanctioned by The Patriarch so please check back for the Friday AM blog post for the official fish fry location.

Devil Swim

Next Swims:  Thursday 7/26 6PM, Fri 7/27 6AM & 6PM

Last Swims: Wed 7/25 6PM & Thu 7/26 6AM
Water Temps:  low to mid 70's (Wed), 66.6 @ 6AM Thurs
Waves:  calm
Water Clarity:  Cloudy near shore, clearing further out
Wed PM Crew: The Patriarch, Sir James
Thursday AM Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Lauren, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Capt'n

Surprisingly the water conditions weren't too bad Thursday morning...although a little bit on the cool side.  This morning's Captn-o-meter reading of 66.6 was a little bit of rude awakening compared to the 70+ degree water we've grown accustomed to...but in retrospect it's more in line with what the water temp is traditionally this time of year.   (Coincidentally, not only was the water temp reading at 6am this morning 66.6 this morning's swim was also our 66th swim of the season....)

If you're worried that our days of 70+ degree water are nearing an end...don't be.  According to the temperature maps there's still plenty of warm water in the lake both above and below the lake surface.  With today's forecast calling for temps in the low 80's there a good chance our streak of consecutive 70+ degree days (...only 1 day in the past 3 weeks has seen a recorded water temp below 70...) may even continue with this evenings 6PM swim!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rainbows and Lightening Bolts

Next Swims:  Wed 7/25 6PM, Thu 7/26 6AM & 6PM

Last Swims: Tue 7/24 6PM, Wed 7/25 6AM (We didn't swim Tue AM because of a thunderstorm)
Water Temps:  low to mid 70's
Waves:  1 foot choppy
Water Clarity:  Murky near shore, clear further out
Tue PM Crew: Patriarch, Kahuna, Diablo, Sarah, Lauren
Wed AM Crew: James, Matt, Ryan, Lauren, Ali, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Cap'n, Diablo, Patriarch

This morning the western horizon was graced with one of the most beautiful rainbows I have ever seen.  Well defined bands of bright color stretched all the way across the sky.  Violet, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, and all the colors in between.  From the water it was an especially spectacular sight.

Unfortunately (or maybe inevitably) behind the rainbow were dark clouds, rain, thunder and lightening.   Beauty, raw power, and danger all wrapped together, just like the lake.  Reluctantly we ended our swim early, but we'll be back for another go tonight.

For those of you who haven't been following the blog comments, Kahuna is making some very good and some very bad suggestions.  Good:  Team picture day - who has a good camera?  Good: Olympic triathlon party to watch our friend Gwen Jorgensen (who swam with us a couple times).   Very very bad: Gumdrop Swimsuit Day -  a special place has been reserved for Kahuna in the 9th circle of hell for this suggestion.

Reminder:  Fish Fry Friday after Friday night's swim