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.