Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pirates Pizza Night Thursday Nov 13th 6:30PM at Lisa's

Come and celebrate the end of the swim season with us.  Reserve your spot by texting Capt'n or leaving a comment on this blog.  Hope to see you there!

Lisa's Pizzeria is at 2961 N Oakland Ave, a half block north of Locust

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pirates Pizza Night

Sadly, the Lake Michigan swim season is over for most of us, although there are a few hearty souls who still welcome the challenge.  But even if we've stopped swimming, we haven't stopped eating and drinking.  So how about a Pirates Pizza night this Thursday (Nov 6) or next Thursday (Nov 13).  If interested please comment with your date preference.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bonus Days

Next Swim:  Monday September 29th 6PM

Last Swim: Sunday September 28th 10AM
Water Temp: 60
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity:  Crystal Clear
Crew:  Steve, Kate, Zoom Zoom, Diablo, Mr. Anonymous, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin:  2/5
Pitsch Count: 7

Whoddathunk some of the best swimming days of the year would come at the end of September?  Normally the lake should be cooling but instead a string of warm calm sunny days is warming it up. What a treat to be swimming along side a lake bluff that is lit up with the reds yellows and oranges of autumn.  It can't last long though, come and enjoy it while you can.

P.S.  In other news, it is rumored that Showgirl is in Venice.  In today's paper I saw that George Clooney got married in Venice yesterday.  Coincidence?  I think not!  After all, if you were George Clooney wouldn't you want Miss America 2006 at your wedding?  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Exceptional late season conditions!

Next Swim:
   Sunday September 28th @ 10am

Last Swim
   Saturday September 17th @ 1pm
      Air Temp:  low 70's & sunny
      Water Temp:  61+
      Water Clarity: Crystal Clear
      Waves: slight current from south
      Crew:  The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Gumdrop, Panini, Zoom Zoom, Capt'n
      Skin / Suit Count:  7 / 0
      Pitsch Count:  7

By far the swim conditions today were the best we've had for September!  The water temp measured 61 from the shore but without wetsuits today there was no mistaking the pleasant pockets of warmer water that were encountered.  All Kru members present today ditched their wetsuits and swam skin...including Panini!  Also notable was the fact that everyone swam for at least 30 minutes with most making south to the Silver Spring down spout before turning back.

Here are a few pictures from today's adventure compliments of Panini...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Dos Locos Swims Again!

Next Swim:  Saturday September 27th 1PM
Sunday September 28th time TBD (post a comment if you have a time preference)

Last Swim: Friday September 26th 10:30AM
Water Temp: 58
Waves:  Choppy
Water Clarity:  Crystal Clear
Heavy fog rolling in and out as we swam
Crew: Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/0

Some days we go to the beach expecting to swim but we are disappointed to find very cold water or large waves or lightening.  Today was the opposite.  I just returned from Nashville and did not expect any more swimming this season.  But this morning the weather service maps and a blog post from Gumdrop reported water temps in the mid fifties, not exactly warm but definitely swimmable.  So I decided to go down to the beach and check it out for myself.

The water temp was 58 the water was clear and calm and it was warm and sunny.  I texted my report to Capt'n, and to my surprise he texted back that we should go swimming right now, as he had taken the day off.  We plunged in, just me and Capt'n, or "Dos Locos" as we used to call ourselves in the pre-Klode Kru days when it was just the two of us.  It was a great swim, especially fun because it was unexpected.

It should be good yet this weekend.  Come and join us.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Doing what we're told

Next Swim:
   Monday September 22nd @ 5:30pm

Last Swims:
   Saturday September 20th @ 11am
      Water Temp: 52-56
      Waves: none
      Clarity:  clear
      Crew:  Diablo, Kahuna, Zoom-Zoom, Capt'n
      Skin/Suit:  2/2
      Pitsch Count:  4

   Sunday September 21st @ 3:30pm
      Water temp:  51
      Waves: building 2-4ft
      Clarity:  stirred up
      Crew:  Diablo, Kahuna, Gumdrop, Capt'n with Special Guest appearance by Gigi
      Pitsch Count: 4

The Kru was at the ready Sunday to walk the plank into an icy onslaught of waves that were building in size and ferocity.  The determined look in everyone's eyes said it all....we were going to get this swim done and celebrate our victory with a festive round of Pitsch...or two.  As we boldly walked towards the water edge you could practically cut our anxious anticipation with dagger.  All that stood between us and our destined swim in the icy turbulent waters of Lake Michigan were but a few feet of sand...riddled with sharp jagged rocks....and the waves that would hiss at us as they crashed into those sharp jagged rocks.  All that remained was our traditional proclamation of "walk the plank!" and we would be off.  As I drew in a deep breath to make that famed proclamation an excited female voice was heard shouting out to us to "Wait! Wait" from the sizable crowd of spectators that had assembled along the shores to witness the famed bravery of the Klode Kru.  With a puzzled look we turned around to see which lucky crew member had drawn the favor of was most sure to be a fine young Lass to wanted to bid one of us safe journey prior to walking the plank.  Much to our surprise was this voice came not from just any fine young Lass but none other than Gigi!  ...who as it turned out had a very important message for us.  Skipping the formalities of letting us know how great we looked, Gigi immediately proclaimed that we couldn't swim today. we didn't. 

The End.

Friday, September 19, 2014

11am Saturday September 20th (weather permitting)

Next Swim:
   Saturday September 20th @ 11am (weather permitting)

Ahoy there me Maties!  The weather be lookin' a wee bit iffy fer what say ya bout walkin' the plank at 11am?  Whilst I taint be certain bout the water conditions or how many of me hearty Kru mates may be present...I am sure to be bringing me treasured bottle of Pitsch!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lake Michigan Dreams

Big Bay and back battling ten foot waves.  Warm clear water.    Wetsuits unnecessary.  Panini and Showgirl gliding over the waves. Mermaids swimming beneath us. Diablo grabbing their tails and launching them out of the water.  Kahuna washed up on the beach like a piece of driftwood.  Gumdrop swimming butterfly.  Capt'n, wearing his pirate costume singing "Good morning to you, good morning to you" in a hideous German accent. Beautiful sunrise as we swim.  Back to shore, we polish off a bottle of Pitsch.  Then I woke up.  It's dark and cold and I'm late.  I rush over to Klode to find Diablo and Panini and Showgirl walking back up the path, having decided it was too cold and too rough to swim.   Instead we went to Stone Creek for coffee and sweets.

P.S.  I am leaving for Nashville early tomorrow (Friday) morning for my granddaughter's fourth birthday.  Coming back Wednesday.  I'm not sure what Captn's plans are, but I suspect he'll be wanting to swim this weekend.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Inspired by Diablo

Next Swim: Wednesday September 17th 6AM

Last Swim: Tuesday September 16th 6AM
Water Temp: 55
Waves: One foot rollers
Water Clarity: Crystal
Crew:  Gumdrop, Diablo, Mr. Anonymous, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/2

I emerged from 55 degree water into 44 degree air and was very close to calling it a season.  But then I went home, had some breakfast, opened up the paper and this is what I see:
I am trying to find a copy of this picture or a link to it, but I can't find it on the Journal website.  Can anyone else?
P.S.  Here's another cool picture, this one from Gumdrop.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Bad Ass Swimming

Next Swim:  Tuesday September 16th 6AM

Last Swim:  Monday September 15th 6AM
Water Temp: 52
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Very Clear
Crew: Diablo, Capt'n, Mr. Anonymous, Panini, and me watching from shore
Wetsuit/Skin 3/1

Here's another reason we swim in cold water before dawn:  Panini says it makes her feel like a "bad ass".  I've never thought of it that way, but she has a point.  It takes a certain amount of grit to plunge into 52 degree water in the dark.    

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Warming Up

Next Swim:
   Monday September 15th @ 6am (bring your flashlight)

Last Swim:
   Sunday September 14th @ 11am
      Water Temp:  58
      Waves: none
      Clarity:  clear
      Crew:  The Patriarch, Diablo, Zoom-Zoom, Mr. Anonymous, Capt'n with guest appearance by Megan
      Skin / Suit:  2 / 3
      Pitsch Count:  6

In all likelihood it may be a wee bit dark when we arrive on the beach Monday morning so it may not be a bad idea to bring a flashlight.  Hopefully we won't need them while we swim or on our way back to the parking lot.  :) 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

You Know You're Alive

Next Swim: Sunday September 14th 11AM

Last Swim: Saturday September 13th 1PM
Water Temp: 55
Waves: 2 foot rollers
Water Clarity: Gunky near shore but much nicer 50 meters out
Crew: Panini, Monika, Nivens McTwist, Diablo, Gumdrop, Capt'n, Patriarch, and with a guest appearance by a woman rumored to be Miss Wisconsin 2006
Wetsuit/Skin: 6/1
PitschCount: 7

On days like today when the water is cold we ask ourselves "exactly why are we doing this?".  Nivens McTwist came up with the best answer yet, "Because you know you're alive".  It's not just the shock of jumping in cold water.  When we jump into the lake we're jumping out of the routine everyday world into a wild and unpredictable wilderness. It's fun and challenging and difficult, and a bit dangerous.  We're alive and joyful.  And we know the season is short and we're near the end so we savor every swim.  We'll be back at it tomorrow, of course.

Friday, September 12, 2014

It Can't Be Over, Not Yet

Next Swim: Saturday September 13th 1:00PM

We had a great fish fry at Pandl's tonight and emboldened by a few beers we decided that even though the lake has been cold and we have no reason to believe that it will warm up by tomorrow, it's just too damn early to call it a season!  In most other years we've swum into October and so common sense be damned we're going to swim tomorrow!  They may chip me out of the ice, but they won't wipe the smile off my face.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fish Fry this Friday (9/12)

Next Swim:
   Friday September 12th @ 6am(?)
   Friday September 12th @ 5pm(?)

Next non-Swim outing:
   Pirates Fish Fry Friday
      Friday September 12th @ 6:30pm
      Jack Pandl's Whitefish Bay Inn
      1319 E. Henry Clay St.
      Milwaukee, WI  53217

Please join us at Jack Pandl's this Friday at 6:30pm for dinner.  A complete menu (which includes a Fish Fry) can be found on their websiteIf you're interested in attending please post a comment so we can make the appropriate reservation.

Swim conditions lately haven't been as pleasant as they were in August.  Upper 40's to low 50's have been common.  Further complicating things have been the big waves and dangerous currents which have resulted in the National Weather Service issuing beach hazard warnings for Wednesday and Thursday.

Rest assured, the stories at Friday's Fish Fry are sure to be even more exciting than our recent swim stories!  Big Shoulders, Ironman, Diablo's barehanded fishing expedition where he snagged a 6 foot fish by the tail....and much, much more!

Pirates Fish Fry Friday

Next Swim???  Whenever it warms up again

Unfortunately the lake has turned very cold.  I am still hopeful that, as in past years, we'll be swimming into October.

But while we're waiting for that to happen, there's much to celebrate:  a great swim season after a slow start and Ironman and Big Shoulders races by members of the Crew.  Let's trade stories tomorrow (Friday 9/12) at a Friday Fish Fry.

I'm going to try to make reservations for 6:30 PM at Jack Pandl's (Lake Drive & Woodburn in Whitefish Bay).  By Friday morning at the latest please let us know you are coming by commenting on this blog post.  Check back on the blog Friday afternoon to confirm time and place.  If for some reason Pandl's can't handle us I'll try another place.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Update - 6PM Swim Today (Monday)

Next Swims:
Monday September 8th 6PM
Tuesday September 9th 6AM

As the water was only 52 this morning we decided to skip this morning and try again tonight at 6PM.  The forecast calls for a sunny day with SE winds, so there is a reasonable chance of warmer water.

Late Update to the Update:  Kahuna is proposing to swim at Bradford instead of Klode at 6PM.  He is meeting some friends at the Tiki Hut and invites us to join him.  I will still be at Klode at 6 in case anyone has made plans to swim there.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I'm Number One

Next Swims:
Monday September 8th 6AM
Tuesday September 9th 6AM

Last Swims:
Big Shoulders - Ohio Street Beach in Chicago
Water Temp:  all over the place, very inconsistent from spot to spot, mostly in the low to mid 60's
Waves:  also inconsistent - very choppy and difficult in some spots, not so bad in others
Water Clarity:  Excellent in some spots, not so great in others
Crew: Mitch, Bubba, Jamie, Kate, Steve, David, Patriarch

Sunday September 7th noon
Water Temp: 54
Waves: Flat Calm
Water Clarity:  Perfectly Crystal Clear - Amazing - Outstanding - Beautiful
Crew: Adam, Diablo, Kahuna, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/2
Pitsch Count: 3

Saturday, September 6th 1 pm
Water Temp: 51
Waves: Rolling, but not bad
Water Clarity: Clearing
Crew: Diablo, Showgirl, Monica, Cobbie, Kahuna
Watching from shore: Cathy and her Wonder Dog.
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/1

If someone offered you a dollar would you grab a large live fish by it's tail and pull it out of the water?  Diablo would.  Diablo and Kahuna turned back before Adam and I and they came across a very large fish swimming sluggishly on the bottom.  (The size of the fish increased with every retelling starting around one foot - it's now up around six feet)  It was swimming sluggishly in the cold water. Kahuna told Diablo he would give him a buck if he would pull it out and Diablo promptly did so.  As least that's what they said, but they were both incoherent from cold at the time.

I don't have time to write everything about Big Shoulders, there is so much to say.  Perhaps we should have a Pirates Fish Fry Friday to recount Big Shoulders and Ironman adventures.

But I do have one thing that can't wait:
I was also the only person in the 65-69 2.5K wetsuit division

Friday, September 5, 2014

Good Luck to All Big Shoulders and Ironman Wisconsin Participants

Weekend Swims:
Saturday September 6th, 1:00PM
Sunday September 7th, noon

Last Swims:
Friday September 5th 6AM
Water Temp: 49
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Poor
Crew: Diablo, Adam, Kahuna
Watching from shore: Patriarch, Showgirl, Capt'n and Bubba
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/1

Thursday September 4th 6PM (at Big Bay)
Water Temp 53?
Waves: 1-2
Water Cloudy
Crew: Kahuna, Phil, and Phil's addorable tots.
Wetsuit Skin: 4/0

The big weekend has arrived.  Big Shoulders swim on Saturday and Ironman Wisconsin on Sunday.  Good luck to all involved!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Persistence Rewarded

Next Swims:
Thursday September 4th 6AM
Friday September 5th 6AM

Last Swim: Wednesday September 3rd 6AM
Water Temp 56 (Kahuna and Capt'n claim it was warmer than that further out, but that's just wishful thinking)
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Diablo, Showgirl, Kahuna, Bubba, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit Skin: 4/2

Yesterday we were shocked to find water temps in the 40's.  This morning we were just as surprised to find a water temp of 56 with a calm clear lake.  Which just goes to show that it doesn't matter what the forecast says or what the National Weather Service maps say, you never really know what the conditions are until you get to the beach.

There are only so many good swim days in a season and so my strategy is to show up as often as possible knowing that some days will go bust, but in the long run persistence is rewarded,

It was a beautiful swim.  Kahuna took some great pictures this morning:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Who's Crazier?

Next Swims: Today Tuesday September 2nd 6PM
Tomorrow Morning Wednesday September 3rd, 6AM

Last Swim:
Tuesday 9/2 6AM
Water Temp:  46!
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew:  Diablo was the only member of the Crew brave enough to swim this morning, and believe it or not he didn't even wear a wetsuit.  The rest of us watched in amazement.

Maybe we're even crazier than him because we're coming back at 6PM hoping that the water will be warmer by then.

Monday, September 1, 2014

33 days

Next Swims:
   Tuesday September 2nd @ 6am
   Tuesday September 2nd @ 6pm?  (post comment if interested)
   Wednesday September 3rd @ 6am

Last Swims:
   Monday September 1st @ 9am
      Water Temp: 56
      Waves: none with slight current from south
      Clarity:  clear
      Crew:  The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Zoom Zoom, Mary the Scott, Mitch, Kyle, Phil, Tim, Kevin, Michelle, Capt'n with guest appearance by Sir James
      Skin / Suit count:  3 / 9
      Pitsch Count:  6

   Sunday August 31st @ 9am
      Water Temp:  49-52
      Waves: none
      Clarity: clear
      Crew: Diablo, Michelle, Adam, Steve, Jamie, Riptide, Capt'n with guest appearances by The Patriarch, Sketch, Zoom-Zoom, Kate, Scott
      Skin / Suit Count:  2 / 5

Well, it was bound to happen sometime...and if you asked me 34 days ago if we would enjoy more than a day or two on the plus side of 70 I would have laughed hysterically and asked if you wanted another shot of Pitsch.  Despite the very cold start to our Lake Michigan swim season we  astonishingly enjoyed a stretch of 33 consecutive days with water temps above 60.  Even more surprising was how many of those days had water temps on the plus side of 70!

As sad as it was to see out streak of 60+ water temps end I'm happy to report that the water temps appear to be rebounding nicely.  While there's no guarantee that the water will again warm up above 60 this year there's also no reason to believe that it won't. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Dumb German's and Wanna Be Pirates

Next Swims:
   Sunday August 31st @ 9am
   Monday September 1st @ 9am

Last Swim:
   Saturday August 30th @ 9am
      Water Temp:  56.4 - 61.2
       Waves: Calm
       Clarity:  clear in most spots
       Crew:  Kahuna, Diablo, Neo, Nanook, Sketch, Don Diego, Zoom-Zoom, TaskMaster, Phil, Monica, Austin, Steve, Kate, Ben, Capt'n with special guest appearance by The Patriarch
      Skin / Suit:  5 / 10
      Pitsch Count:  12

Yah, yah, yah...speakin' wit ze German accent may be easie...but writin wit one es uber suckie hard.  But accordin' to ze Patriarch that's cuz ze German's are dumb.  ...and te add insult to ze injury not only does ze Patriarch think ze German's wit ze accent are dumb but ve also lack reverence, respect and aw.  Yah, yah, yah...was auch immer das bedeutet!

So did ya know in 2006 ve German's founded a Pirate political party? bout that...a political party to stand up fer ya right to pillage, plunda and drink Killepitsch!

So think what ya want bout ze German's and Pirates but my reply to ze Patriarch's (Der Spinnt?) belly achin' post bout being "Unworthy" "das kannst du deiner oma erzahlen!"  :)

Friday, August 29, 2014


Next swims:  9AM all three days of the Labor Day weekend:
9AM Saturday August 30th
9AM Sunday August 31st
9AM Monday Labor Day September 1st

Last Swims:
Friday August 29th 6AM
Water Temp: 68
Waves:  2 - 3 feet rough and choppy
Water Clarity:  poor
Crew: Adam, Nivens McTwist, Mike, Bubba, Capt'n, Diablo, Showgirl, and me on shore doing stretches to try to loosen up my sore back
Wetsuit/Skin Count: 3/4

Thursday August 28th 6PM
Water Temp: 70
Waves: 1-2 foot choppy
Water Clarity: Poor
Crew: Lorraine, Nanook, Jamie, Capt'n, eRun, Matt, and me on shore
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/3
Pitsch Count: 4

Thursday August 28th 6AM
Water Temp: 68
Waves: 1-2 feet very rough and choppy
Water Clarity: Poor
Crew: Bubba, David, Diablo, Kahuna, Sonnakahuna, Showgirl, Panini, Task Master, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 5/4

Wednesday August 27th 6PM
Water Temp: 71
Waves: 1-2 feet rough and choppy
Water Clarity: Poor
Crew: Jeff, Jamie, Mitch, Steve, Lorraine, Ben, Diablo, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/5

The title of today's post might lead you to believe I intend to blog about Capt'n.  That's a logical conclusion, but you would be wrong.  No, today's title was inspired by Ben and his concise description of the swim conditions of the last few days, "Annoying".  That pretty much sums up the rough choppy water we've seen three days in a row.  It's annoying to be tossed around like a rag doll, be slapped in the face and have dirty water shoved down your throat.  It's fun and challenging for a while but it's annoying in the way a good joke is funny the first time Capt'n tells it, but not the seventeenth (Oops!  There I go again.)

The unsettled forecast for the next few days suggests we'll be in for more of the same.  Perhaps it's the Lady of the Lake's revenge for blogging uncomplimentary reports.  I expect Capt'n will also be exacting some revenge soon.

The good news:  the water has been very warm.  

P.S.  Safe travels to India Panini, we miss you already.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Next Swims:
Wednesday August 27th 6PM
Thursday August 28th 6AM & 6PM
Friday August 29th 6AM

Last Swims:
Wednesday 8/27 6AM
Water Temp: 66
Waves:  small swells
Water Clarity: Very Good
Crew: Bubba, Nanook, Diablo, Nivens McTwist, Showgirl, Panini, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/7

Tuesday 8/26 6PM
Water Temp: 70
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity:  Excellent
Crew:  Steve, Jamie, Nanook, Ron, Lorraine, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/4
Pitsch Count: 6

Tuesday 8/26 6AM
Water Temp: 67
Waves: calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Showgirl, Panini, Nanook, Monica, Scooby, Kahuna, Diablo, Bubba, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/8

Fantastic swimming in warm clear water.  Stunning crimson sunrises, serene sunsets,  a bald eagle soaring overhead. Cormorants, ducks and gulls. The peaceful gentle soothing swells of a becalmed lake.  Shimmering shades of blue and reflected reds.  Waves almost whispering as they lap ever so languidly on the shore.

So do we come to the beach with respect awe and reverence?  No.  We tell sophomoric sex jokes,  make wannabe pirate talk, speak in fake dumb German accents and whine about how early it is, about work, about cold water even though it's 70.  We are so unworthy of the beauty that surrounds us.  

Monday, August 25, 2014

6AM Comes Much Too Soon

Next Swims:
Tuesday August 26th, 6AM & 6PM
Wednesday August 27 6AM

Last Swims:
Monday 8/25 6PM
Water Temp: 68, but warm and cold pockets, she can't seem to make up her mind
Waves:  Gentle Swells
Water Clarity:  Improving, bottom visible in many spots
Crew: Nanook,Jamie, Steve, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 0/5
Pitsch Count: 5

Monday 8/25 6AM
Water Temp: 70
Waves:  Gentle Swells
Water Clarity:  OK
Crew: Showgirl, Panini, Nanook, Capt'n, Kahuna, Capt'n, Gumdrop, Diablo, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 0/8

I should write something witty and insightful. But it's late I'm tired and I'm depressed because you'd think I'd have a better way to spend my retirement than get up before sunrise to swim with a pathetic bunch of working slobs.  Warning:  I'll be even grumpier at 6AM.  

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Note to Self: When Swimming to Big Bay Have a Plan on How to Get Back

Next Swims:
Monday August 25th 6AM & 6PM
Tuesday August 26th 6AM

Last Swims:
Sunday August 24th 9AM
Water Temp: 71
Waves:  1-2 feet choppy
Water Clarity: All stirred up silt and sand
Crew: Dusterino, eRun, Jess, Kyle, Rip Tide, Gumdrop, Jamie, Phil, Geoffrey, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 8/3
Pitsch Count: 10

Saturday August 23rd 9AM
Water Temp: 71
Waves: small swells
Water Clarity: good
Crew: Diablo, Ben, Rip Tide, Monica, Capt'n, Taskmaster, Kahuna, Squeezakahuna, Sonnakahuna, Squeezeasonnakahuna, Gumdrop, Nivens McTwist, Sketch, Lorraine, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 13/2

Have you ever wondered how that agitator Diablo manages to stay out of trouble?  Saturday we found out - Mrs. Diablo bails him out.   On Saturday he and I were having a grand time swimming south and before we knew it we were 3/4 of the way to Big Bay.  We decided to head all the way to Big Bay and along the way Monica joined us.  One problem.  It was too far to swim back, and we had no gear or no plan on how to return.  It would have been a long barefoot walk.  But Diablo did his best to look pitiful and a lady on the beach let him use her cellphone.  And somehow he convinced his wife to pick us up and drive us back to Klode.  She's way too good for him if you ask me.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Capt'n Needs Advice

Weekend Swims:  Saturday August 23rd 9:00AM and Sunday August 24th 9AM

Last Swims:
Friday August 22nd 6AM
Water Temp: 69
Waves: Gentle Rollers
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Showgirl, Diablo, Nivens McTwist, Blane, Kahuna, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/6

Thursday August 21st 6PM
Water Temp: 70
Waves: Gentle Rollers
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Wonder Woman, Lorraine, Mitch, Jamie, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 0/5

Sure it's been foggy and dismal the last couple days but the swimming couldn't be better.  And the morning was brightened considerably by the mystery lady who left a stone cairn on Captn's and my flip flops.  Not to mention an impromptu sojourn to Solly's for post-swim breakfast this morning.

 At the risk of making a complete fool of myself yet again, and with the caveat that my predictions are more wrong than right, I humbly predict that this will be a great swimming weekend.  The current conditions are fantastic and the forecast for the weekend is for warm mostly sunny weather with light onshore winds.  A perfect recipe for some fine swimming, it seems the planets are aligned.

We are hopeful that we can do a longer swim, perhaps even repeating our wonderful Big Bay swim accomplished last Saturday.

Capt'n has a choice tomorrow morning:  He can waste fifty bucks and run the Badgerland Striders half marathon on a hot humid awful day.  Or can he can swim with us for free in the cool refreshing rejuvenating waters of Lake Michigan.  Care to give him any advice?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Warm Water Continues

Next Swim: Friday 8/22 6AM

Last Swims:
Thursday 8/21 6PM
Water Temp: 70
Waves:  small rollers
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Mitch, Jamie, Lorraine, Wonder Woman, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 0/5

Thursday 8/21 6AM
Water Temp: 69
Waves: ripples
Water Clarity: Very Clear
Crew: Kahuna, Showgirl, Gumdrop, Scooby, Diablo
Wetsuit/Skin: 0/5

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ein Prosit

Next Swims:  Thursday August 21st 6AM & 6PM

Last Swims:
Wednesday 8/20 6AM
Water Temp: 71
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Kahuna, Lane, Diablo, Capt'n, Panini, Patriarch, with Showgirl on shore enjoying the sunrise and resting her sore shoulder
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/5

Tuesday 8/19 6PM
Water Temp: 66, but pockets of warmer water
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity:  Excellent
Crew: Kelly, Ron, Lorraine, Showgirl, Capt'n, Patriarch, and Wonder Woman?
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/5

It was nice to see some old friends back in the water again.  I hadn't seen Ron or Kelly on the beach this year. They sure picked a good day to show up.  The water was clear and calm and warm enough for a long swim.

Afterwards we surrendered to the pleadings of Showgirl, who forced us to go to the Biergarten.  As it turned out it was a great choice.  We're accustomed to spectacular sunrises on the lake, but last night we saw a spectacular sunset over the river, accompanied by genuine German oompah band complete with leiderhosen.  Eins zwei drei g'suffa!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Swim Tonight

Next Swims:  Tonight Tuesday August 19th 6PM
Tomorrow Wednesday August 20th 6AM

Last Swims:
Tuesday 8/19 6AM
Water Temp: 66
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Very good
Crew: Monica, Panini, Showgirl, Diablo, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/3

Monday 8/18 6PM
Water Temp: 66
Waves: Choppy
Water Clarity: Poor
Crew: Showgirl, Panini, Ben, Pat, Sketch, Austin, Lorraine, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/5

Monday, August 18, 2014

Alone in the Water

Next Swims:  Today Monday August 18th, 6PM
Tuesday August 19th 6AM

Last Swim:
Monday August 18th 6AM
Water Temp: 66
Waves:  half foot rollers
Water Clarity: poor
Crew:  Showgirl, Panini, Diablo, Kahuna, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/5

It was cool dark and foggy as we assembled in the parking lot, and there was not much conversation as we walked the path down to the beach.  Then a very unusual occurrence.  Capt'n, arriving ten minutes late as as usual, was completely silent.  No babbling about banana pants, no sexist commentary in a fake German accent, no crazy talk about sharks (see note below), no pirate talk, nothing.  It was a bit scary, but I have to admit I enjoyed the piece and quiet.

I have no idea why Capt'n does what he does (does anyone)?  But it got me to thinking about our little swim group.  I have always thought of us as a social group as much as a swim group.  A tight knit band of brothers and sisters bound together by a devotion to swimming and a love of Lake Michigan.  A group to share open water adventures and post swim eating and drinking.

But perhaps it's just the opposite.  When you're in the water you're completely isolated. You don't talk to anyone, you don't hear anything.  Just you and your thoughts.  Maybe the real reason we swim is that we are anti-social loners who just want to get away from everyone.  Our post-swim Killepitsch shots are just a pathetic attempt to cure our loneliness with alcohol.

Next time I'm in the water I'm going to shout out, "you guys are a pathetic bunch of losers".  But of course no one will hear me.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Stark Contrast

Next Swims:
   Monday August 18th @ 6am & 6pm?

Last Swim:
   Sunday August 17th @ 9am
      Water Temp:  65
      Waves:  chaotic 1-3ft
      Clarity: murky near shore / cloudy off shore
      Crew:  The Patriarch, Diablo, Showgirl, Sketch, Don Diego, Zoom-Zoom, Phil, Ben, Kate, Kyle, Jess, Dean, Todd, Angie, Capt'n with Extra Special Guest Appearance by Megan (...who even shared with us her big box of donuts!!)
      Skin / Suit:  1 / 14
      Pitsch Count: 5

Gone this morning were the calm clear water conditions and the sunshine filled blue skies.  Replacing them was a constant breeze from the northeast that brought with it chaotic 1-3ft waves and an abundance of clouds.  Certainly not a picturesque day for a swim like Saturday but it didn't deter this morning's crew of 15 from walking the plank!

Most fought the turbulent conditions and logged a 1 mile swim up to mudslide and back while still others completed the 1.5 mile journey up to the Orange Kayak and back.  To celebrate we toasted our exceptional swim accomplishment this morning with a round of Pitsch followed by brunch at the North Star cafe.  Many thanks to Megan who patiently waited while we completed our 80 minute swim and was still nice enough to share her box of donuts with us!  :)

Monday morning's 6am is a definite "go".  Please post a comment if you're interested in swimming Monday evening.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Check and Check

Next Swim:  Sunday August 17th, 9AM

Conditions permitting, we can repeat today's Big Bay swim.  But if you don't want to go that far you can always do a shorter swim.  We'll have a car at Big Bay to shuttle gear and people as needed.  Once again:  Big Bay one way is 1.2 miles.

Note:  In a previous post I had suggest the Beer Garden after the swim, but it doesn't open until noon.  Any good brunch places?

Last Swim:
Saturday August 16, 9AM
Water Temp: 67
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Crystal Clear
Crew: Pat, Mike, Monica, Kahuna, Diablo, Jack Frost, Tod, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 5/3
Special Thanks to the Matriarch for driving us back to Klode from Big Bay.

We set out this morning with two goals.  Swim to Big Bay and get the Big Freaking Tire off the beach. Check and check.

All seven who started with us made it to Big Bay, three swam back and four of us were driven back.  (Tod came later and did a shorter swim.)  Conditions were near ideal.  Warm and sunny day with calm clear relatively warm water.  It's a scenic swim, especially past the mansions near Big Bay.

As you may recall about a quarter mile from Big Bay there is a large sunken wood pier with one post sticking out of the water.  Or it used to.  Because of the high water it's not visible from the surface anymore and of course I just missed it.  Surprise!  Damn!

After the swim we went to work on the tire.  It took a half hour of heavy work to free it from the sand, but then rolling it up the beach was easy.  When we got back to the beach a lady who lives on the bluff approached and asked if we could help her with a tree that had fallen in her yard and she wanted uprighted.  I joked "you couldn't afford us".  She looked me straight in the eye and said "oh yes I could".   Double Damn!
Tod, Patriarch, Diablo, Mike, photo by Kahuna

Friday, August 15, 2014

Kahuna is the Best!

Next Swims:  Saturday Aug 16th 9AM, Sunday August 17th 9AM

The Crew couldn't come to a consensus on whether Saturday or Sunday was better for a Big Bay swim, so what the heck we can do both days (conditions permitting).  It's your option to do one or both days.  My wife Gelaney has graciously agreed to provide shuttle service for people and gear as necessary.

Once again, a Big Bay swim is a swim from Klode Park to Big Bay park, with the option to swim back, jog back, or be driven back.  The one way swim is 1.2 miles.  If you don't want to swim that far you can always do a shorter out and back.

Following Saturday's swim we will again attempt to GTBFTOFB (get the big freaking tire off the beach).  A large tractor tire has either washed ashore or pushed down the bluff and is marring our beautiful beach.  With the help of five or six people we should be able to quickly dig it out and roll it to the beach house where the DPW can take it up the bluff and dispose of it.  You don't need to bring any tools, Kahuna will supply them, but work gloves might be useful.

Last swims:
Friday 8/15 6AM
Water Temp: 67
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity:  still all stirred up silt and sand, but the gunk near the beach is gone
Crew: Showgirl, Ruth, Sarah, Kahuna, Diablo, Nivens McTwist, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/5

Thursday 8/14 6PM
Water Temp: 71
Waves:  small chop
Water Clarity: Poor
Crew:  Mitch, Showgirl, Panini, Gumdrop, Sketch, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/5

Thursday 8/14 6AM
Water Temp: 70
Waves:  2 foot, very choppy and irregular, difficult swimming
Water Clarity:  Awful, lots of gunk especially near shore
Crew: Nanook, Kahuna, Diablo, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/3

These last three swims couldn't have been more different.  I can honestly say that any swim in the lake is an enjoyable swim, but I have to admit that Thursday morning's swim was one of my least enjoyable.  The water was gunky and the waves weren't big but very choppy and irregular, the proverbial washing machine.  The waves pushed arms one way, torso another, dragged feet down, and slapped you in the face when you came up to breath (or take a swallow).  But there was a redeeming highlight:  when we returned to the parking lot a lady mistook Gabriel for Ted.  I laughed all the way home.

Thursday night was much better.  Although it was still a bit choppy, it was much easier swimming.  And to top things off we enjoyed a beverage (or two) at the beer garden.

Friday morning's swim was one of our best ever.  Not only did we have warm calm water, Kahuna greeted us on our return with hot coffee and donuts.  Kahuna, you are the BEST!

Finally, here is a picture that Kahuna took this morning as we left the beach.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Big Bay Bash This Weekend (conditions permitting)

Next Swims:  Thursday August 14th, 6AM & 6PM
Friday August 15th 6AM

Last Swims:
Wednesday August 13 6AM
Water Temp: 67
Waves: Gentle Rollers
Water Clarity: Gunky near shore, but much better further out
Crew: Nanook, Diablo, Nivens McTwist, Sarah, Bubba, Showgirl, Panini, Kahuna, Wonder Woman, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/9

Tuesday August 12, 6PM
Water Temp: 70
Waves:  Very large well organized monsters up to six feet high, breaking well beyond the rock piles, good body surfing waves
Water Clarity: none
Crew: Nanook, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 0/2

I already reported Tuesday morning's swim, but I missed Monday night:
Water Temp: Low seventies
Waves: Gentle Rollers
Water Clarity: Good
Crew:  Ben, Lorraine
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/0

What a difference 12 hours makes.  This morning the lake was peaceful gentle and nearly calm.  Last night it was a raging sea of very large and very powerful waves up to six feet high and possibly more.  It took Nanook and me several minutes of waffling before we worked up the courage to wade in.  We didn't actually swim anywhere, but instead played and body surfed in the breakers.  A lot of fun but a bit scary the way the waves knocked us around.

This weekend we hope to do our annual Big Bay swim, conditions permitting.  We'll pick the better day of the weekend, which right now looks like Sunday, but stay tuned.

A Big Bay swim is a swim between Klode Park and Big Bay Park.  As near as I can tell from Google, it's 1.2 miles between the south rock pile at Klode and the concrete block pier at Big Bay, a half-ironman swim.  You have three options for the return trip.  One, you can swim back, making a 2.4 or full ironman swim.  Two, you can run or walk back, 1.5 miles on the sidewalk. Or Three you can be driven back.  We'll have a car to shuttle people and gear as necessary.

Following the swim we'll celebrate at the Biergarten.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Temp's Up Surf's Up

Next Swims:  Today Tuesday August 12th 6PM
Tomorrow Wednesday August 13th 6AM

Last Swim: Tuesday August 12th 6AM
Water Temp: 71, at least ten degrees warmer than the air this morning
Waves:  2 foot rollers
Water Clarity:  Poor near beach, but clear further out
Crew:  Nanook, Wonder Woman, Diablo, Monica, Ann, David, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/4

A dreary morning on the beach.  Cloudy, misty and cool.  But the water was warm and the surf was up.  Not the choppy difficult to negotiate waves we saw this past weekend, but well organized consistent two foot rollers, much easier swimming once you get past the breakers.

I'll be back tonight at 6PM. I can't get enough of this warm water and great swimming.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Best Time of the Year

Next Swims:  Today Monday 8/11 6PM, I can't be there but if there is interest, please leave a comment and maybe others will join you
Tuesday 8/12 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim:  Monday 8/11 6AM
Water Temp: 71
Waves:  Gentle rollers
Water Clarity:  Not bad for after a storm
Crew: Nanook, Panini, Showgirl, Ruth, Diablo, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/5

Last night's strong storms ended just in time for us to get in a great swim.  Five days in a row with water temps above 70 make for some great swimming.  Get out and enjoy it while you can.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Most Pleasurable Day

Next Swims:  Monday August 11 6AM
In the previous post I had listed a Monday 6PM swim, however I won't be able to make it.  But I suspect others might want a 6PM swim, so please leave a comment if you are interested.

Last Swim: Sunday August 10, noon
Water Temp:  74! Another season record warm day
Waves:  Very Choppy
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Showgirl, Panini, Gumdrop, Kahuna, Kate, Steve, Diablo, David, Bruce, Nick, Tom, Scott, Crispy, Wonder Woman, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 8/7
Pitsch Count: 11

These last few days have been the best of the season.  70+ degree water and warm sunny days.  Get out and enjoy it while you can, it won't last.

I had an extra special post-swim treat to highlight my day.  While driving home I saw Showgirl and Panini on their bikes ahead of me.  They stopped at an intersection to talk, but there were construction barrels on the road and no way around them.  So I pulled up right behind them and laid on the horn.  They responded with a most unladylike string of epithets and gestures.

All in all, a most pleasurable day.

Here is a picture of Panini summiting the rock pile:

Saturday, August 9, 2014

One of the Flock?

Next Swims:  Sunday Aug 10th noon
Monday Aug 11th 6AM and 6PM

Last Swims:
Saturday Aug 9th noon
Water Temp: 73!  warmest of the season so far
Waves:  Heavy chop, difficult swimming
Water Clarity:  Lots of gunk near the rock piles, better away from the beach
Crew:  Kahuna, Christina, Panini, Lorraine, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/3

Friday Aug 9th 11AM at USAT Nationals swim course off Discovery World
Water Temp: 70
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity:  Not good, but the water seemed clean
Crew:  Patriarch, Capt'n, Kahuna, Sketch, Beef Stick, Bubba
Wetsuit/Skin: 0/6

Friday Aug 9th 6AM
Water Temp: 69
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: ?
Crew: Diablo, Showgirl, Bubba (anyone else?)
Wetsuit/Skin: 0/3

A near perfect day on the beach.  Warm and sunny with 73 degree water.   Because of the USAT Nationals, we only had five swimmers as compared to 25 last Saturday.  The good news is that none of the five are triathletes :)

When we arrived mama duck and six ducklings were paddling about between the rock piles.  When I started to swim they followed me for about 50 yards, swimming alongside no more than five feet away.  What were they thinking?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Water Temp Tops 71!

Next Swims:
   Friday August 8th @ 6am (Klode)
   Friday August 8th @ 11am (USAT Swim at Discovery World Museum)
   Saturday August 9th @ Noon
   Sunday August 10th @ Noon

Last Swims:
   Thursday August 7th @ 6pm
      Water Temp: 71.4+!!
      Waves: light chop from north east
      Clarity:  clear
      Crew: The Patriarch, Kahuna, Nanook, Ele, Panini, Slip-n-Slide, Sketch, Beefstick, Wonderwoman, eRun, Big Ring, Ruth, Tom, Tim, Scott, Colleen, Andy, Robb, Brad, Capt'n
      Skin / Suit: 5 / 14
      Pitsch Count: 16

   Thursday August 7th @ 6am (as reported by Kahuna)
      Water Temp: 65
      Waves: calm
      Clarity: clear
      Crew: Diablo, Showgirl, Dave, Speed Gun, Kahuna and 3 others (Dave? Mitch? whats-her-name? ).
       Skin / Suit: 4 / 3

Good News....the water temp has risen above 70!  Several pockets of water encountered during this evening's swim actually felt much warmer than the recorded 71.4.

Not so good news....that great big f-ing tire has won round #1 and remains on the beach.  Never fear though....Kahuna's got a plan for round #2 so stay tuned!

Friday (8/8) the USAT National Swim course will be open for swim practice from 11am-1pm.  The plan is to meet in front of the Discovery World Museum at 11am before we head out for a loop (or two) around the shortened course. 

Food for thought....Compliments of Kahuna

Who knew the USDA is trying to use my “Meat-O-Meter 2000” as a mascot?    

Thermy, the USDA’s mascot, even has an arch nemesis, “BAC” the evil food bacteria: 

The question is, do I need to come up with an animated character, with a similar, catchy name and rhyming catch phrase for my humble lake thermometer, so that we can promote swimming in Lake Michigan to kids and the general public?

Like maybe:  Thermy O’Crap! the Lake Temp Indicator says:  “Your nads won’t get frozen, if you stay in bed dozen!”   

Does Thermy O’Crap! have an arch nemesis?  Maybe Mr. Freeze?

  Or maybe Crypty, the Cryptosporidium? 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

70 Degree Water!

Next Swims:
   Wednesday 8/6 @ 6pm?  (post comment if interested)
   Thursday 8/7 @ 6am
   Thursday 8/7 @ 6pm (GTGBFTOTB swim!)

Last Swims:  
Thursday 8/7 @ 6 am:
Water Temp: 65
Waves: calm
Clarity: clear
Crew: Diablo, Showgirl, Dave, Speed Gun, Kahuna and 3 others (Dave? Mitch? whats-her-name?).
Skin / Suit: 4 / 3

   Wednesday 8/6 @ 6am
      Water Temp:  64+
      Waves: <1ft p="" swells="">      Clarity:  Clear
      Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, Sonofkahuna, Bubba, Showgirl, Panini, Nivens McTwisp, Smartass, Wonderwoman, Slip-n-Slide, Linda, Ruth, John, Geoffrey, Capt'n
      Skin / Suit:  7 / 8

   Tuesday 8/5 @ 6pm
      Water Temp: 70!!
      Waves: moderate chop from northeast
      Clarity:  stirred up
      Crew: The Patriarch, Nanook, eRun, Andy, Mitch, Bob, Capt'n
      Skin / Suit:  4 / 3

   Tuesday 8/5 @ 6am
       Water Temp: 65
       Waves: Calm
        Clarity:  Good
        Crew:  Bubba, Showgirl, Panini, Kahuna, Diablo, Monica, Patriarch, Blackstone,
         Nivens McTwist, Smart Ass, David, Taskmaster, Wonder Woman  
         Skin/Suit 6/7        

   Monday 8/4 @ 6pm
      Water Temp: 67
      Waves:  rippled surface
      Clarity: Clear
      Crew: The Patriarch, Nanook, Capt'n
      Skin / Suit:  3 / 0

   Monday 8/4 @ 6am
      Water Temp:  62
      Waves: none
      Clarity: Clear
      Crew:  The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Showgirl, Panini, Gumdrop, Linda, Capt'n
      Skin / Suit:  7 / 1

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Great Swimming

Next Swims:  Today Tuesday 8/5 6PM
Tomorrow Wednesday 8/6 6AM
 Thursday August 7th @ 6pm (GTGBFTOTB swim!)

Last Swims:  I'm pressed for time right now, I'll update this later. But suffice it to say that the swimming is great, the water temps in the mid-sixties and lots of swimmers in the water.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Best weekend of the year so far!

Next Swims:
   Monday August 4th @ 6am & 5:30pm
   Tuesday August 5th @ 6am
   (updated!) Thursday August 7th @ 6pm (GTGBFTOTB swim!)

Last Swims:
   Saturday August 2nd @ noon
      Water Temp: 67
      Waves: slight chop
      Clarity: clear
      Crew: The Patriarch, Kahuna, Neo, Nanook, Showgirl, Panini, Ele, Crash, Lorraine, Linda, Anna, Monica, John, Todd, Bill, Chris, Liz, Chris, Andy, Ana, Phil
      Suit / Skin:  15 / 6

   Sunday August 3rd @ noon
      Water Temp: 63 (+/-)
      Waves: none
      Clarity: clear
      Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Scooby, Nanook, Showgirl, Panini, Crash, Frost, Don Diego, Mr. Anonymous, Task Master, Scott, Kyle, Jessica, Tim, Ben, Ruth, Anna, Linda, Lorraine, Ashly, Andy, Joe, Capt'n with special guest appearance by Colleen
      Suit / Skin:  17 / 8
      Pitsch Count:  22

Wow!  21 swimmers joined us Saturday and 25 on Sunday...a sure sign that the water temps must be improving.  Also good signs were the duration of some of the Klode Kru swims over the weekend.  Saturday's swim featured 3 Kru mates completing the 2.4 mile swim to Big Bay and back...with two of them swimming skin!  Sunday's swim featured at least 10 Kru mates who completed the 2 mile swim up past Three Piers and back.

For what it's worth, we have now enjoyed six consecutive days with water temps above 60.  Of course there's no guarantee that these 60+ water temps will continue.

Many thanks to The Patriarch & Mrs. Patriarch for hosting this afternoon's most excellent BBQ.  The food was superb, the shots of Pitsch flowed freely and the stories that were told will most likely never be spoken of again.  :)

Thursday evening's 6pm swim has been officially proclaimed as the second ever GTGBFTOTB swim.  Want to know what GTGBFTOTB means?  Just ask Kuhuna.  ...of course shots of Pitsch will be available for all who attend this extraordinary event!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Please Come to Patriarch's Picnic on Sunday

Weekend Swims:  Saturday 8/2 and Sunday 8/3, noon both days

Last Swim: Friday 8/1 6AM
Water Temp: 63 with colder pockets offshore
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Very Good
Crew: Panini, Showgirl, Capt'n, Linda, Diablo, Rob, Nanook, Kim, Nivens McTwist, Kahuna, Scooby, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 5/7

Following Sunday's swim please come to my house for a picnic.  Bring your partner, bring your family, come one and all.  The menu will be brats, burgers, chicken breasts, and all the fixins, plus beer, soda and wine, and of course Killepitsch.  No need to bring anything.  

4433 N Woodburn St, Shorewood  

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Post-Swim BBQ at Patriarch's on Sunday

Next Swim: Friday 8/1 6AM

Last Swim: Thursday 7/31 6AM
Water Temp: 61
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Good
Crew:  Kahuna, Bubba, Diablo, Patriarch, and Wonder Woman on shore

On Sunday I will have a barbecue at my house following the swim.  All our welcome, even if you don't swim.   More details in tomorrow's post.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Monsters in the Rock Pile

Next Swim:  Thursday 7/31 6AM

Also I could swim this evening (Wednesday) at 5:30 PM (preferred) or 6:00PM.  Please leave a comment if you are interested.

Last swims:
Wednesday 7/30 6AM
Water Temp: 62
Waves:  Glass
Water Clarity:  Poor
Crew: Kahuna, Panini, Bubba, Capt'n, Diablo, Nanook, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin:  1/6

Tuesday 7/29 5:30PM
Water Temp: 66
Waves: Choppy
Water Clarity: Poor
Crew:  Kahuna, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 0/2

Well waddaya know, two days in a row with the water temp above 60!  It's really to skip the struggle of putting on and taking off the wetsuit.

Here's another strange event to add to our list of crazy things on the beach.  As always the first thing I did when we arrived was to wade into the water next to the south rock pile to measure the water temp.  Suddenly a huge racket came from the inside the rock pile.  It sounded like something thrashing the water and banging the rocks.  Then, two very large fish (two feet plus each) swam out.  Kahuna managed to capture it in a picture, they are a bit hard to make out.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Swim Tonight and Tomorrow Morning

Next Swim:  Today Tuesday 7/29 5:30PM.  If the the NWS and NOAA water temperature maps are to be believed, it's in the 60's.

Also:  Wednesday 7/30 6AM

Last Swim: Unfortunately I had to miss yesterday's swim so I have no report.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Eventful Weekend

Next Swim:  Monday 7/28 5PM, forecast says waves 3-6 feet are possible

Last Swims:
Sunday 7/27 1:00PM
Water Temp:  mostly 50 or below, but a few warmer spots too
Waves: Calm at the start, but sudden heavy weather forced us out (see below)
Water Clarity:  OK
Crew: Diablo, Neo, Cobbie, Cathy, Panini, Gumdrop, Phil, Patriarch, with special guest Capt'n
Wetsuit/Skin: 6/2
Pitsch Count: 9

Saturday 7/26 11AM
Water Temp: 51 at the beach, maybe colder away
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: OK
Crew: Mike, Mike, Bill, Brian,Tim, Monica, Julie, Showgirl, Panini, Andy, Diablo, Patriarch, Capt'n
Wetsuit/Skin:  12/1
Pitsch Count: 8

Despite the cold water, a wonderful and amazing weekend.  On Saturday we met this incredible woman Abbey Brau who swam for an entire hour in 51 degree water without a wetsuit and only a single latex cap!  When she emerged from the water she wasn't even shivering or slurring her words like we do in much shorter and warmer swims.  Abbey is from Minnesota and she is training for the 10K "Bridge to Bridge" swim in San Francisco (Golden Gate to Bay Bridge) on August 9th.  On the event webpage it says, "This legendary swim is recommended for elite swimmers wanting to race between two landmark bridges in the exciting bay waters".  Pleased to meet you Abbey, good luck in in San Francisco.

Our Sunday our swim started uneventfully enough.  It was sunny and warm, the water was flat.  We could see rain on the lake far to the north, it didn't seem like a threat.  But what we didn't see, because it was "hiding" behind the lake bluff, was a violent storm furiously bearing down from the west.  Cobbie and I were just finishing our swim and just barely made it back.  But Phil and Gumdrop got caught and had to bail out.  One of the great things about Klode is the long sand beach.  If you get in trouble you just get out and walk back, which isn't possible in most places along the shore.  Phil wasn't too far away, but Gumdrop had to walk almost a mile back.

From the shelter above the beach we watched a huge wind pick up the flat water, toss it into a spray and push it rapidly south.  It almost seemed like a herd of invisible buffalo stampeding across the water.

Another amazing but disgusting thing was all the brown foamy gunk gushing out of the street sewer just north of our beach.  Although it's not raw sewage it might be worse in some ways, heavy with all the foul stuff running off the streets and people's lawns.  Fertilizers, insecticides, road oil, and God knows what else.  Yuch!  Hopefully it dissipates quickly.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Triple Play

Next Swims: Saturday 7/26 11:00 AM, Sunday 7/27 1:00 PM

Last Swim: Friday 7/25 6AM
Water Temp: 57-59 depending on who was measuring, what they were measuring with, and where they were measuring
Waves:  Like glass, but there was a noticeable current heading north
Water Clarity:  Poor near shore, better further away
Crew: Kahuna, Capt'n, Gumdrop, Diablo, Wendy, Julie, Panini, Showgirl, Bubba, Patriarch
Special Guest: Wonder Woman
Wetsuit/Skin: 5/5

A gorgeous sunrise.  A great swim.  Breakfast at Solly's.  Enough said.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Operator Error

Next Swim:  Friday July 25th 6AM followed by breakfast at Solly's.  Even if we don't swim we will still go to breakfast

Update Thursday 7PM:  I stopped by the beach at 5:30 and was flummoxed to measure a water temp of 64, a full 15 degrees warmer than this morning.  I am totally at a loss to explain, but I sure am happy about it.  I had a very pleasant skin swim.  Hopefully the warmer water will still be there in the morning.

Also, I will stop by the beach tonight (Thu 7-24) at 5:30 but I'm not optimistic that it will be warm enough to swim.

Last Swim:
Thursday 7/24 6AM
Water Temp: 49
Waves: One Foot
Water Clarity:  Terrible, with lots of gunk washed up on shore from yesterday's big waves.
Crew:  Diablo and Gumdrop, with me and Kahuna shivering on shore
Wetsuit/Skin Count: 1/1

Today we added another misadventure to our long list of skulduggeries.  I drove to the beach expecting warm water because that's what the NOAA maps showed.  I arrived at the beach and waded in as usual to take the temperature.  The water felt very cold but my thermometer read 60.  It didn't seem right so I took another reading and got the same thing.  So I prepared to do a skin swim, but the water still felt very cold and after three attempts to get in the very cold water I finally gave up.  I couldn't figure out why 60 degrees was such a problem.

Then I finally realized what was going on.  My thermometer takes two temperatures, air and water, but it only displays one of them.  I always set it to display the water temp, but I must have accidentally somehow toggled the button to read the air temperature.  So I took a third reading and got 49, which finally made sense.

Capt'n was conspicuously absent from the beach this morning but there is an item in the morning paper that may explain it: "a male was arrested for drinking and possession if both marijuana and drug paraphernalia at Klode Park at midnight".  Donations to his bail fund can be handed directly to me (cash only in a plain envelope).  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Well I'll be Dipped

Next Swim: Thursday 7/24 6AM

Surprised again!  This morning the water temp was 49, this evening it is 63.  That means it's time for a dip.  See you on the beach at 6AM.

Apparently there is some disagreement in the Crew on the best day for Breakfast at Solly's.  Some want Friday morning after our 6AM swim.  Others would prefer Saturday morning so breakfast won't interfere with work.  But that would mean an early swim Saturday (7AM?).  If you have a preference and have not already commented please do so.  I'm fine with either options, there's never a bad day to have breakfast at Solly's.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Next Swim:  ???  Whenever it warms up again, I will be monitoring

Update Monday evening 7/22 - water temp has fallen even further, 46 at 8PM

Last Swims:
Monday 7/21 6PM
Water Temp: 54
Waves:  Choppy
Water Clarity: Good
Crew:  Mike, Mike, Andy, Gumdrop

Tuesday 7/22
Water Temp: 49!
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Good
Crew:  Monica, Gumdrop, Diablo (others, including myself wimped out)

Yesterday I was predicting warmer water, so I adopted a "skin or bust" strategy for last nights swim.  It was a total bust.  Not only was my prediction wrong, it was spectacularly wrong.  The water temp was 56 yesterday morning, 54 yesterday evening, and 49 this morning.

What an unusual year.  It's not unusual to have some days of very cold water, even on the hottest days of summer.  But what's unusual this year is the lack of any warm days.  In past years we've seen many days with water temps in the high sixties or even low seventies by now.  But this year is different.  My raspberries and tomatoes are 3-4 weeks late this year, and so is the lake.

Maybe instead of whining about it I just need to adopt a new strategy, the "Diablo Strategy": swim no matter what.  Today's 49 degree water did not stop him from swimming to the picnic table and back without a wetsuit!  Wow!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cooling Down. Warming Up?

Next Swims:  Mon 7/21 6PM
Tue 7/22 6AM

Last Swim:  Monday July 21st 6AM
Water Temp: 56
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Panini, Showgirl, Diablo, David, Capt'n, Kahuna, Patriarch, and GG giving her legs an ice bath
Wetsuit/Skin: 6/1

The last few days the pattern has been the same.  The water cools into the upper fifties overnight, and then warms to the low 60's during the day.  Today should be the same.  It's hot humid and sunny, with a southeasterly breeze, and that usually (but not always) means warmer water.  It could also mean choppy water. I'll be back on the beach at 6PM for a "skin or bust" swim,  meaning I intend to swim without a wetsuit, and let the water temperature dictate how far I will go.  Please join us, you can bring your wetsuit if you want.

Coming Highlights:  Later this week, probably Thursday or Friday or whatever day works best for people we'll have breakfast at Solly's following the morning swim.  There are no bad choices at Solly's (but few healthy ones).  I recommend the large stack of Door County Cherry Pancakes, smothered in butter and real maple syrup.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Morning Swims Begin

Next Swims: Monday & Tuesday 7/21 & 7/22, 6AM
We might also do evening swims if it appears the conditions will be good, stay tuned

Last Swims:
Sunday 7/20 1PM
Water Temp: 60
Waves:  Choppy
Water Clarity:  Excellent, large schools of fish visible
Crew: David, Panini, Showgirl, Gumdrop, Diablo, Capt'n, Patriarch
Plus:  Showgirl's son David, Scooby on his jet ski and Crispy was just leaving as we got there.
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/4
Pitsch Count: 7

Saturday 7/19 8AM and noon
Water Temp: 56 at 8AM, 62 at noon (amazing how quickly it can change!)
Waves:  Choppy
Water Clarity:  Excellent
8AM Crew:  Capt'n, Gumdrop
Noon Crew: GG, Neo, Diablo, Patriarch, Panini, Showgirl
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/5
Pitsch Count: 5

60 degree water could hardly be considered warm, but it sure seems that way after all the cold water we've experienced thus far this season.  And it's warm enough for some amazing swimming, with crystal clear water full of large schools of fish.  It's also warm enough to begin morning swims again.  See you on the beach at 6AM.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Next Swims:  On Saturday 7/19 we couldn't find a good time for everyone so we'll have two swim times, 8AM and Noon.
Sunday 7/20 swim will be at 1:00PM

Last Swim:  Friday July 18 6PM
Water temp: 63
Waves:  Very Choppy
Water Clarity:  Good
Crew: Jeffery, Gumdrop, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin 1/3
Pitsch Count:  3

This morning we vowed "skin or bust" at 6PM and our strategy paid off as the water temp at 6PM was a full seven degrees warmer than 6AM (56 versus 63).  It was our first "double dip" day of the season. We had a delightful skin swim, it was so nice to finally ditch the wetsuit.  Hopefully the warming trend will continue.  The weather and wind forecasts look favorable, but of course the lake is unpredictable.

Sick of It

Next Swims:  Today Friday July 17th 6PM
Tomorrow Saturday July 18th noon
Sunday July 19th 1:00PM

Last Swim: Friday July 17 6AM
Water Temp: 56
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Diablo, Bubba, Gumdrop, Kahuna, Showgirl, Cap'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 6/1

We're getting pretty sick of this cold water.  It's such a pain in the butt to put on and take off our wetsuits, and they feel so restricting in the water.

But, since we are eternally (perhaps foolishly) optimistic we believe that today's sun and favorable winds will warm up the water at least a little bit, and therefore Capt'n and me will be returning to the beach at 6PM without our wetsuits.  Skin or Bust!  Please join us, even if you bring a wetsuit.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Our Own Beach Vacation Spot

Next Swim:  Friday 7/18 6AM

Last Swim: Thursday 7/17 6AM
Water Temp: 55
Waves:  Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Diablo, Bubba, Gumdrop, Kahuna, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin Count: 3/2

She did it to us again.  After flirting with 60 yesterday, she turned a 55 degree cold shoulder this morning.  But no matter.  We witnessed an extraordinarily beautiful sunrise.  The air was clean clear and fresh, and the waves sparkled like diamonds.  We have no need of long distance travel for a beach vacation, we have our own beautiful beach vacation spot right here.  So come down and enjoy a mini beach vacation with the Klode Cru.  If you don't mind vacationing with a bunch of ***holes, that is.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Near Death Experience

Next Swim:  Thursday 7/17 6AM

Last Swim:  Wednesday 7/16 6PM
Water Temp: 60
Waves:  half foot rollers
Water Clarity: Poor
Crew:  Gumdrop, Doctor Watson, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin Count: 1/2

Yes!  Warmer water is finally rolling in.  When I saw 60 register on my water thermometer I got so excited I decided to swim without a wetsuit, even though I usually use a wetsuit until the mid-sixties.

When I returned to shore I was greeted by a lady who informed me that I was crazy.  Thank you, I already knew that.  Then I remarked that I actually felt warm rather than cold when I first got out of the water and Doctor Watson says that's what happens when you're hypothermic just before you die.

But if I was actually near death I was disappointed not to have a near death experience.   I saw no brilliant white lights, I just saw Gumdrop.  If that's what waiting for me on the other side, I prefer to stick around a while.

Lonely on the Beach

It was just me and the ducks and gulls on the beach last night.  This morning it was Diablo by himself.  I can't say blame you, the continuing streak of cold water temps is disheartening.  I measured 54 last night, same as the night before.

I'm not discouraged however.  The lake as a whole continues to warm up and sooner or later the law of averages will work in our favor.  People playing the slots think the same, but we're different, we deserve it (right?).

Maybe today is the day.  It's bright and sunny and there is a favorable onshore breeze to bring in the warm surface water.

Anyone else for 6PM swim today (Wed 7/16) at 6PM?  Please leave a comment.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Too Much to Ask?

Next Swim:  Tue 7/15 6PM

Last Swim:  Mon 7/14 6PM
Water Temp:  I measured 54 right at the shore, Kahuna got 51 a bit further out
Waves:  calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Todd, eRun, Slip-n-Slide, Andy, Kahuna, Patriarch, Capt'n, Wendy, Julie, GG, Robb
Giving her legs an ice bath:  Elle
Wetsuit/Skin Count:  11/0

When (if?) it ever warms up it's going to feel really really good.  Heck, even 60 would seem like a hot tub at this point.  Not that I'm complaining mind you, any day in the lake is a good day. But there's plenty of warm surface water out there, would be too much to ask for a favorable wind to blow just a little bit our our way?  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cold and Colder

Next Swim:  Monday July 14th 6PM

Last Swim:  Sunday July 13 10AM
Water Temp:  48!!
Waves:  Dead Calm
Water Clarity:  Excellent
Crew:  Sarah, Christine, Christopher, Chris, Andy, Rob, Kleaz, Diablo, Capt'n
Observers:  eRun, Sketch, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin:  8/1
Pitsch: 6

It's disheartening to look at the temperature map of the lake and see the average lake temperature is 60 and is close to 70 in many places.  Aw quit yer whinin' Patriarch.  After all, it didn't matter to the nine hearty souls who swam anyway, including Diablo without a wetsuit.  Amazing!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Attendence is Growing...temps up slightly

Next Swim:
   Sunday July 13th @ 10am

Last Swim:
   Saturday July 12th @ 1pm
      Water Temp:  54 by the rock piles a few degrees warmer further out
      Water Clarity:  clear
      Waves:  Calm at start / Slight chop from south later on
      Crew:  The Patriarch, Diablo, Gumdrop, Ele, Sketch, Cabby, Cathie, Keith, Wendy, Julie, Andy, Robb, Kealz, Capt'n with guest appearance by Jolie
      Suit / Skin Count:  13 / 1
      Pitsch Count:  7

While predicting the lake temperatures is nearly impossible these days forecasting that the number of swimmers will increase as the Racine and Door County triathlons approach is a little easier.  Not surprising, the #1 question on the beach recently has been whether the water will warm up before next weekend?  The #1's probably best to start coming out and getting acclimated to the cooler water temps.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Warming Up (a bit)

Next Swim:  Saturday July 12th noon

Last Swims:
Friday July 11th 6AM
Water Temp 52
Crew: Julie, Wendy, Diablo, Kahuna, Capt'n
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/1

Thursday July 10th 5 and 6PM
Water Temp 58
Waves:  small
Water Clarity:  Good
Crew:  Patriarch, Andy, Patrick, Erun, Gumdrop, Nanook

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Watch WISN 12 at 5 or 6PM Today! (Wednesday)

Next Swim:  Thursday July 10th 5:00PM

Last Swim: Wednesday July 9th 6AM
Water Temp:  46 Yikes!
Waves:  Calm
Water Clarity:  excellent
Those brave enough to take the plunge:  Gumdrop, Ruth, Don Diego, Neo, Capt'n, and special mention to Diablo who swam without a wetsuit!
Special guests: Showgirl, Diablo, Patriarch, and the crew from channel 12, weatherman Chris, cameraman Pat, and intern Chesney

The streak of extremely cold water continues.  But with camera rolling, the show must go on!  While a few of us wimped out (or had some sense), the braver part of the Cru put on a great show that I'm sure will be going viral by this time tomorrow.  Watch channel 12 at 5 or 6 tonight.

The good news is that the wind is turning around tomorrow from offshore to onshore, which might bring in some warmer water (or maybe not, I've given up trying to predict).