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  

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Patriarch's Consecutive Skin Swim Count

Next Swims: Tuesday 7/24 6AM & 6PM, Wed 6AM

Last Swims:  Mon 7/23 6AM & 6PM
Water Temps: 72.7 (with pockets of slightly cooler and warmer water)
Waves:  flat
Water Clarity:  cloudy am, clear offshore pm
AM Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Kahuna, Showgirl, Lauren
PM Crew: The Patriarch, Crash, Mary, Sidney, Laura, Hailey, Debra, Dave, John, Capt'n (plus one other....sorry, I can't remember your name)

The lake conditions have been SO nice....just how nice?  They have been SO nice The Patriarch has now swum in the lake 25 consecutive days without a wetsuit!!  Granted the first day of his streak officially registered on the Loco-meter at 58 and the next two in the low 60's but since then the water temps have been 65 or higher.  (...which is The Patriarch's officially sanctioned threshold for skin swimmable water.)

Yes indeed, ideal conditions persisted once again for this evening's swim.  Water temps in the low 70's, a flat lake surface and crystal clear water (50-100 meters from shore)  The Klode crew of regulars was a tad bit light this evening but our numbers were buoyed thanks to a group of 8 swimmers walking the plank at the same time we were.

The majority of this evening's crew enjoyed a delightful swim up to Mudslide and back while a few from our sister crew swam a bit longer in preparation of upcoming events.  Just about the only thing unpleasant this evening were some rather aggressive biting flies.....whose life I'm sure will be short lived thanks to the growing number and size of the dragonflies we saw patrolling the walkway from the beach to the parking lot.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Running Out of Superlatives

Next Swims: Mon 7/23 6AM & 6PM, Tue 6AM

Last Swims:  Fri 7/20 6PM, Sat 7/21noon, Sun 7/22 noon
Water Temps: low to mid 70's
Waves:  Fri PM choppy, Calm Sat & Sun
Water Clarity:  Murky Fri, a little better Sat, crystal clear Sun
Fri PM Crew: Cap'n, Patriarch, Jason, Mary, Slip&Slide, eRun
Sat Crew: Patriarch, Cap'n, Jason, Diablo, Kim, Chris, Crash, Phil, Lauren, plus Jack Frost and his brother Steve who swam at 7AM
Sun Crew: Phil & Friend, Brian, Lauren, Cap'n, Patriarch, Gumdrop, Diablo, Padre, Dave, Not Dave's Wife, Sarah, Ali, Crash, Kim, David, Jack Frost

I am running out of superlatives.  I consider a "perfect" swim day to be warm (70+), calm, and clear water.  We've had more of those this month than we've had in the last three years.  The swimming today and yesterday seemed almost effortless compared to our struggles with the waves the previous two days.

Cap'n is bugging me to firm up social calendar.  Of course he's right, summer will be gone before we know it.  Therefore I declare this Friday 7/27 to be Klode Kru Fish Fry Night.  Please comment on a good place somewhere near the north shore.  My personal favorite is North Star, but I'm not sure they could handle a large group on a Friday night.

Coming soon: Lisa's Pizza Night, Picnic at Patriarch's, and (hopefully) a repeat of Steve's awesome party, and Dave's Plunge (jumping off Daves boat a ways offshore and swimming back to the beach. Also coming soon: shipwreck swim (swim out to the wreck of the steamship Appomattox off Atwater Beach).  There are also some malcontents pushing for a Big Bay to Atwater swim.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Playing in the Waves

Next Swims:  Fri 7/20 6PM, Sat & Sun noon

Last Swims: Thu 7/19 6PM, Fri 6AM
Water Temps: 72-74
Waves: Thu PM 2-3 feet, Fri AM 3-4 feet, irregular and choppy, with a strong current pushing south, difficult to swim in, fun to play in
Water Clarity:  Murky with stirred up silt and sand
Thu PM Crew: Patriarch, Lauren, Hannah, Kahuna, Brian, eRun, another person whose name I don't remember (sorry!)
Fri AM Crew: Patriarch, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Cap'n, Diablo, Kahuna, Brain, Ryan

We aren't setting any distance records in the very heavy surf, but we're having a lot of fun bouncing around in the big waves.  Sort of like a roller coaster, a little scary but lots of fun.  The hairiest part is getting over the sandbar where the waves break, but beyond the break it's not too bad.

It's quite an experience to swim against the current, it seems like you're flailing away as hard as you can, but barely making progress.  Sometimes the waves lift you up and instead of pulling water you're windmilling the air.  On the way back you move so fast you need to be careful to not overshoot your mark.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Can't Get Enough

Next Swims:  Thu 7/19 6PM, Fri 7/20 6AM

Last Swim: Thu 7/19 6AM
Water Temp: 72
Waves:  half foot
Water Clarity:  Uneven, some places murky, others OK
Crew: Sir James, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Diablo, Brain, Cap'n, David, Lauren, Stephan, Patriarch

Another fantastic day for swimming.  Warm water, small waves, a bit of a current pushing south.  I swam with a group that went to mudslide and back, about a mile.  But I felt so good on returning that I just kept going south to the picnic table before returning to the beach.  But I'm a wimp compared to Sir James and Stephan who disappeared in the surf somewhere around Sheboygan.

My arms and shoulders are tired but I'll be back at 6PM for more.  Northeast winds are predicted for today, meaning the water will be warm and perhaps rough (2-4 waves according to the Nearshore Marine Forecast, GLCFS predicts 2 footers).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Eyes on the Sky

Next Swim:  I'm not sure I can make tonight (Wed7/18 6PM), but if you are coming please comment so others know they will have company.
There will be a swim at 6AM tomorrow morning (Thurs 7/19)

Last Swims: Tue 6AM, Wed 6AM
Water Temp: 68
Waves: Calm Tuesday morning, very choppy 2 footers Wed morning
Water Clarity:  Very good Tuesday, Wednesday all stirred up from the storm
Tue Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, Nivens McTwist, Brain, Steve, Tony, Jason, Stephan, Gigi, Bob, Patriarch
Wed AM Crew: Ele, Mama Ele, Cap'n, Diablo, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Flipper, Stephan, Patriarch

When I arrived on the beach last night for the 6PM swim a big front had just blown through.  Air temperatures dropped from 102 to 79 in a half hour.  We could see a thunderstorm over the lake to the north and the bay was full of whitecaps.  Some of the crew was there: Jack Frost, Cap'n, Dave, Not Dave's wife, but we decided to play safe and not swim.

When we returned in the morning the water was quite rough, but nothing we haven't dealt with before, and despite the forecast for possible thunderstorms,  radar showed none in the area.  Most of us did a short swim to garage and back, which was plenty tough in the rough water.  When we got out, to our surprise it started to rain and we could hear thunder in the distance.  Flipper and Stephan were still in the water, but they didn't hear the thunder over the crash of waves.

Luckily the thunderstorm kept it's distance, but this morning was a reminder that sometimes thunderstorms can pop up out of nowhere, so keep your eyes on the sky if there's any threat.

Monday, July 16, 2012

They Never Knew

Next Swims: Tue 7/17 6AM & 6PM, and Wed 7/18 6AM (and maybe 6PM too, check back)

Last Swims: Mon 7/16 6AM & 6PM
Water Temp: 70, but cooler pockets in some places
Waves: Small Rollers
Water Clarity:  Not good near shore, but excellent away from shore
AM Crew: Gumdrop, Showgirl, Diablo, Brain, David, Kahuna, Patriarch
PM Crew: Jack Frost, Ele, Kungfu, Patriarch, and about ten triathletes whose names I don't know

Several of the triathletes had never swum in Lake Michigan before, despite having lived here for years or even their whole lives.  They never knew how much fun was to be had right at their doorstep.  They were amazed how good the swimming is.

Here's the thing.  The papers and newscasts are full of negative stories about Lake Michigan.  Sewage overflows, invasive species, algae blooms, polluted beaches, drownings, etc. etc.  The lake can be cold, rough, murky, frightening, dangerous.  It's not surprising that most people think that only a certified nut cake would swim in the Lake.  It's all true, but there's another side to the story, one that's seldom told.  Despite all the problems, all the degradation, all the insults that man can hurl at her, despite all that and more, the Lake is still beautiful, awe inspiring, wild and free.  And on certain days, like today, it can be warm, clear, calm, inviting, fun, addicting.  Perhaps by swimming in her we are doing our little bit to restore the beauty that few others see.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Big Miles Big Smiles

Next Swims:  Mon 7/16 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim: Sun 7/15 1PM
Water Temp: 70+, with a few cold pockets
Waves: Small Rollers
Water Clarity:  A little murky near shore, but clear further out
Crew: Patriarch, Diablo, Kim, Phil, Anna, Jack, Jason, Ryan, Nick, Brian, Dave, Not Dave's Wife, Big Mike, Regular Mike, Jamie, eRun, Lauren, Kungfu (I'm thinking I missed someone, sorry!)

The swim conditions are so great that everyone is swimming longer and longer.  Today two swimmers made it to Big Bay and Back (an ironman distance swim), while six of us made it one way.  Most of the others swam at least a mile.  Wetsuits are becoming scare as the water is so warm.  What a great way to spend a hot summer afternoon.  See you on the beach!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Like the Caribbean Without the Colorful Fish

Next Swim:  Sunday 1PM (we may swim to Big Bay again if the conditions are good)

Last Swim: Sat 7/14 8AM
Water Temp: 70+
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Sir James, Kahuna, Showgirl, Diablo, Lauren, Larry, Tim, Two Brians & a Ryan, Patriarch

Three Lake Michigan newbies joined us today.  One of them said he never knew Lake Michigan could be like that.  He described it as like the Caribbean without the colorful fish.    On the other hand, there aren't any sharks or jellyfish either.   Kahuna did see some carp, but those are neither colorful nor dangerous.

I can't ever remember a streak of swimming this good in the Lake.  Ever since the 4th the water has been warm and clear and except for a couple days mostly calm.  I have to keep reminding myself that sooner or later it will become cold rough and murky again.  But it's only mid-July so we can hope that day is still far away.  Wait a minute - am I getting soft??

Anyway, it was perfect today.  Well, it would have been perfect if the sun had been out, but lets not quibble.  Two swimmers made it all the way to Big Bay and back, and three went one way.  Everyone had a great swim.

Good luck to all the Racine half ironman participants - you should have great swimming conditions.

P.S. I swam at iconic Bradford Beach yesterday and had lunch at the Tiki bar.  The beach is great.  The food is great.  The only part that's not so great is wading out through gunky smelly water to get to better stuff further out.  I'm not sure why Bradford is so gunky when then the other beaches are mostly clear.  Hopefully it's just a fluke and it will clear up, it would be great to do a swim/brunch there if it does.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Klode to Big Bay Swim Saturday @ 8AM?

Next Swim:  Friday (7/13) 6PM?  & Saturday (7/14) 8AM

Last Swims:
   Thursday 6AM
   Friday 6AM
Water Temp: 72.7
Waves:  Gentle Rolling < 1ft
Clarity: Good
   Thursday AM:  The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Kahuna, Showgirl, The Brain, Crash, David, Jason, Capt'n
   Friday AM:  Diablo, Showgirl, The Brain, Nivens McTwisp, Bo, Mike, Capt'n with special guest appearence by The Patriarch

Tentative Plans for the Saturday 8AM swim is to do a Klode to Big Bay (...and perhaps back?) journey.  Meet at the traditional Klode beach meeting spot ( the Klode South Beach Rock Pile...) at 8am for The Patriarch's special strategy session.  ( sure and bring your running shoes if you plan to run back from Big Bay.)

Congrats to the Klode Kru members who competed in the Menomonee Park Aquathon Thursday evening.  Crew members who were present included:  Sir James, Padre, Riptide, Dave & Not Dave's Wife, Alewife & Mike, Capt'n

Race Results can be found at:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Next Swims: 6AM Thu July 12
I'm not sure about 6PM, as I think most people will be doing the Bastille Run at 9PM

Last Swims: Wed 7/11 6AM & 6PM
Water Temps:  Unbelievably warm: 74+
Waves: small rollers
Water Clarity:  Cloudy near shore, clear away from shore (maybe 50 meters away)
AM Crew: Showgirl, Gumdrop, Jeff, Diablo, Crash, Brain, Phil, Patriarch
PM Crew: Aimee, Jason, Jack Frost, Kahuna, Patriarch, with swimmer-to-be Cal and mom to be again Claudia

Terrific swimming continues.  Are we getting spoiled?  We will be able to handle sub-70 water anymore?  Normally we have only a handful of days like this in a year, I've never seen anything like this.  We're swimming longer and more frequently than ever before, and I'd go even further if my arms and shoulders weren't so tired.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Not Much to Say

Next Swims:  Wed 7/11 6AM and 6PM

Last Swims:Tue 7/10 6AM & 6PM
Water Temps: 70s
Waves:  one foot
Water Clarity: Poor, stirred up silt and sand
AM Crew: Gumdrop, Showgirl, e-run, Ele, Slip&Slide, Steve, Jack Frost, Diablo, Patriarch, Brain
PM Crew:  Kahuna, Patriarch, Jason, Ed, Nivens McTwist, Smartass

Not much time to blog, but not much to say other than the water is warm and the swimming is fantastic.  See you on the beach.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Delightful Delirium

Next Swim: Tuesday 7/10 6AM

Last Swims:  Mon 7/9 6AM & 6PM
Water Temps:  Low 70s @ 6AM & 74.4+ @ 6PM
Waves:  calm @ 6AM & gentle <1ft waves @ 6PM
Water Clarity:  almost crystal clear
AM Crew:  The Patriarch, Diablo, Mike
PM Crew: The Patriarch, Crash, KungFu, Matt, Heidi, Nick, Capt'n plus a companion crew of 7 others

I arrived at our traditional Klode beach rondevu site a tad bit late this evening.  Lucky for me the crew had still yet to depart....that is everyone except for The Patriarch had yet to depart.  Oddly, swimming just off the beach was The Patriarch who was just beginning his journey....solo.  Puzzled, I shouted out a traditional pirate greeting to The Patriarch, "ARRG!".  Almost immediately The Patriarch stopped, stood up and shouted back with crazed look in his one eye and his whiskers twitchin', "ya better hurry up cuz the crew be leavin' ya behind". ...and after that he resumed his solo swim northward as the astonished crew watched from shore.

Was The Patriarch aware that he had left the crew behind?  ...or perhaps he was hallucinating from drinking too much lake water during his AM swim?  (...ha, ha...yeah, right...lake water? Grog is more like it!)  Or perhaps the exceptional conditions we've been enjoying have put The Patriarch in a state of delightful delirium?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Warm and Choppy

Next Swim: Mon 7/9 6M, and probably 6PM
Update: there will definitely be a 6PM swim on Monday

Last Swims:  Sat & Sun 7/7, 7/8 at 9AM
Water Temps:  Low 70s
Waves:  1-2 feet very choppy
Water Clarity:  Very clear Sat, stirred up and cloudy Sunday
Sat Crew:  Mike, Showgirl, Diablo, Kahuna, Patriarch
Sun Crew: Anna, Ryan, Kungfu, Diablo, Kahuna, Patriarch

Onshore winds brought in warm water, but also created very choppy conditions and clouding the water by stirring up silt and sand from the bottom.  Waves were 1-2 feet and very irregular, not the predicted 3-5 foot waves.  Apparently the professional forecasters aren't any better than me and Cap'n at predicting Lake Michigan.

It' harder and slower to swim in big chop, but lots of fun too.  You just have to careful about breathing or you're going to get a mouthful.

Friday, July 6, 2012

One of the Best Ever

Next swims: Sat 7/7 and Sun 7/8 9AM

Last Swim: Fri 7/6 6PM
Water Temp: 71, consistently warm with no cold pockets
Waves: small chop
Water Clarity: excellent
Crew: Cap'n, Showgirl, Diablo, Gumdrop, Ele, Jason, Lane, Ellen, Patriarch

As good as it gets.  Warm and clear water.  Words can't describe how much fun it is to swim in conditions like this evening.  We did an extra long swim, almost the entire crew made it to the orange kayak and back (aprox 1.5 miles).  And it's only July 6th, still early in the swim season.

The Mumbo Jumbo

Next Swims: Friday July 6, 6:00PM
Sat & Sun; 9AM? (I am flexible, if there is a better time let me know)

Last Swims: Thu 7/5 6AM, Thu 6PM, Fri 7/6 6AM
Water Temps:  low 60's
Waves:  one foot chop
Water Clarity:  Good
Thu AM crew:  Kahuna, Diablo, Patriarch
Thu PM Crew: Cap'n, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Scott, two Mikes, Patriarch
Fri AM Crew: Diablo, Showgirl, Gumdrop, Patriarch, with Cap'n on the shore

The calm conditions of a week ago has given way to choppy water with stronger currents, or "the mumbo jumbo" as Diablo calls it.  Or perhaps he was referring to Cap'n.  The waves and currents have brought up somewhat cooler water, now in the low 60s, but we must be adapting because most people are swimming skin these days.  It seems each season we get a little braver - or a little dumber.

Even rougher water is possible this weekend - 3-5 foot waves in the forecast.   I am proposing 9AM swim times for the weekend (the waves will be smaller in the mornings).  But I am flexible, please comment if another time would be better.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Scenic Route

Next Swims:  Thursday 7/5 6AM and 6PM, both at Klode

Also Gumdrop and Kahuna are proposing a 4th of July "Firecracker Swim".  I think they mean to swim off one of the beaches that have fireworks displays tonight (Klode & Atwater among others).  I'm not sure of the details, if  you guys are serious please provide details.  Personally I'm concerned about boaters with the same idea.  Someone should invent a night swimming beacon.

Last Swims: Tue 7/3 6PM, Wed 7/4 9AM
Water Temp:  Not sure, my thermometer is going crazy, I would guess low to mid 60's, but pockets of 70 or more.
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Tue PM crew: Mike, Steph, Brain,Crash, Cap'n, Patriarch
4th of July Crew: Dave, Not Dave's Wife, Kim, Alyssa(sp?), Jack, Kahuna, Diablo, Patriarch

Today we swam south from Big Bay, which I had never done before.  There are large boulder fields on the bottom with rocks of all sizes, and the occasional golf ball.  Much more interesting than the flat sand bottom near Klode.  This inspired us to consider a future "Big Bay to Atwater" swim.  I googled it out, it's exactly 1.5 miles following the shore around the point.

Another Lake Michigan mystery:  wherever I swim I see golf balls on bottom.  Where do they all come from?  Did the USS Titleist sink in a storm on it's way to Kohler?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Jump in the Lake!

Next Swims: Today Tuesday 7/3 6PM at Klode, and tomorrow Wednesday 7/4 at 9AM at Big Bay

We will swim from Big Bay Park on the 4th because Klode will be closed for fireworks setup.  Big Bay is on Palisades Ave, a one way going north, at the east end of Fairmount Ave, two blocks north of Hampton, where Lake Drive makes a sharp turn.  There is no parking lot, park on Palisades and walk down the paved path to the beach.  Sometimes Big Bay is shown as Buckley Park on maps.

Last Swim: Tuesday 7/3 6AM
Water Temp:  Hard to say, but there were very warm pockets (maybe 70) and cold pockets (maybe 60), but overall very comfortable with or without a wetsuit.
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Diablo, Showgirl, Ele, Phil, Ed, Brain, Patriarch, Kahuna, and Kahuna's wife Terese and dogs Boden and Purdy romping on the beach

Despite all the whining when we walked the plank (as usual it was colder near the Klode rock piles), the swimming was great and everyone did a longer swim, with some going as far as the orange kayak.  I'm not sure how far that is, somewhere between 1.5 and two miles round trip maybe. Half of us wore wetsuits, half went skin, it was good either way.

There's no better place to be than in the lake on these scorching hot days.  Let me rephrase:  The lake is always a great place to be, but especially on a scorching hot day.  Let's try again:  the weather sucks, the lake is fantastic - so Go Jump In the Lake!

Happy Independence Day!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Welcome to Paradise!

Next Swims: Tuesday (7/3) 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim: Monday 7(/2) 6PM
Water Temp: 67.6  with warmer water (70?) offshore!
Waves: Small Chop from south
Water Clarity: Exceptional with one brief trout sighting by Showgirl
Crew: Patriarch, Kahuna, Gumdrop, Showgirl, eRun, Diablo, Capt'n with a festive crew of additional swimmers also swimming from Klode at the same time

The water was so nice this evening the entire Klode Kru (sans one) swam skin this evening....the lone exception being eRun who showed up a little later and didn't have the benefit of knowing that the Patriarch-o-meter read 70 prior to walking the plank.  (...the official Captn-o-meter recorded a 67.6 as the coldest reading that could be found from the Klode beach.)

Also enjoying the pleasant conditions off the Klode beach shores this evening was a jovial crew of swimmers training for upcoming triathlons.  Rumor has it that they may have been migrating from one of those murky / weedy lakes commonly found everywhere else besides Lake Michigan.  Will they ever be able to return to those proverbial puddles of mud & muck now that they've experienced open water swimming paradise?

Warm(er) Water Finally!

Next Swims:  Monday 7/2 6PM, Tuesday 7/3 6AM
Also, there will be a morning swim on the 4th since it's a holiday I propose a 9AM start.
(Because Klode is closed for fireworks on the 4th we'll swim from Big Bay)

Last Swims: Sat & Sun 1PM, Mon 6AM
Water Temps:  lower 60's and rising (pockets of warm and cold)
Water Clarity: Excellent
Waves:  Small
Crew: Not sure I remember everyone, please comment if I missed someone.
Sat Crew: Patriarch, Cap'n, Phil, Bunky, Dave, Not Dave's Wife, Not Dave's Wife's Daughter
Sun Crew: Patriarch, Cap'n, Crash, Diablo, Gumdrop, Kahuna, Jake, Nivens McTwist and his daughters Little Fish and Smartass
Mon AM Crew: Brain, Diablo, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Patriarch, and Cap'n watching from the beach.

The water is warming up nicely.  Although there are still some cold pockets, mostly it's pleasant, even without a wetsuit.  Apparently the fish like the warmer water too, yesterday Gumdrop and I were engulfed by a huge school of 6 inch shimmery silvery fish (alewives?).  The school extended from top to bottom (maybe twelve feet) and as far as we could see in every direction (which is pretty far in the crystal clear water).  Thousands, maybe tens of thousands of fish.  This probably also explains a very large trout that Brain and I spotted just off the center rock pile this morning.

Following Sunday's swim we had a grand time celebrating Crash's 18th birthday at the new Estabrook Park Biergarten. I recommend the dark lager, although Hefe Weiss is also pretty good on a warm sunny day.

We'll be back on the beach at 6PM tonight (Monday).  See you there.