Monday, June 30, 2014

Interested in Swimming This Evening?

Several people have suggested a swim this evening (Monday 6/30), but no one has committed to a specific time, so please comment if you are coming.

Also, if anyone is interested in another early (5:45AM) swim tomorrow (Tuesday) please comment

Last Swim: Monday 6/30 5:45AM
Water Temp: 51.8
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity:  Good
Crew:  Showgirl, Gumdrop, Diablo, Bubba
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/3

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Happy 25th Birthday, Crash!

Next Swim:  Monday June 30th 5:45AM
Also possibly an afternoon swim, depending on the conditions tomorrow

Last Swim:  Sunday 6/29 noon
Water Temp: 57
Waves:  very small
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Showgirl, Panini, Ana, GG, Phil, Gumdrop, Diablo, Capt'n, Sketch
Wetsuit/Skin: 8/1
Pitsch Count:  6

The west wind brought in colder clearer water today, but the good news is the lake as a whole is finally warming up, with a lake wide average temperature of 59.  That should give us more opportunities for warmer water swims.

Those who are members of the Wisconsin Bike Federation, check out the cover of the July Bike Fed Magazine. It pictures four bikers riding in front of one of the rock piles on our very own Klode Beach at dawn.  It's a nice picture but it would certainly be a lot better if photographed us swimming past the rock pile.  What the heck is the point of biking down the beach if you don't swim?

Congratulations to Crash on her 25th birthday, which we celebrated at the Beer Garden after the swim.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Surviving the Storm

Next Swim:  Sunday June 29th noon, followed by Crash's birthday celebration at the Estabrook Beer Garden (no gifts please)

Last Swim:  Saturday June 28th noon
Water Temp: 62
Waves: Very Choppy
Water Clarity  Improving
Crew:  Showgirl, Panini, Tim, David, Gumdrop, Neo, Capt'n
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/4
Pitsch Count: 12

Suddenly a thunderstorm popped up out of nowhere. It was bright and sunny, nothing on the radar when a dark cloud formed and thunder boomed.  Luckily as it reached the lakeshore the storm died out just as quickly as it had formed and turned into just a gentle sprinkle.  Just a reminder to keep an eye on the sky.  Most storms come from the west over the lake bluff and so you don't see them until they're right on top of you.

We celebrated our not so harrowing escape with a double round of Pitsch. (Well it was a handy excuse, not that we need one.)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Lost in the Fog?

Next Swim:  Saturday 6/27 noon

Last Swim:  Friday 6/26 6AM
Water Temp:  61
Waves:  Calm
Water Clarity:  Still murky but improving, bottom visible 6ft down in some spots.
Crew:  John, Nivens McTwist, Diablo, Gumdrop, Bubba
Wetsuit/Skin Count:  2/3
Watching from shore:  Me and the Duck family

We get a text from Cap'n now and then, but nobody has seen him in several days, prompting speculation that he is:
a) lost in the fog
b) on an extended bender
c) become a zombie (although some might say he already was)
d) don't know, but there's a woman involved somehow

Our old friend Crash invites the Crew to help her celebrate her birthday at the Estabrook Park beer garden on Sunday any time after 1PM, no gifts or cards please.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Rain Rain Go Away

Next Swim:  Friday 6/26 6AM

I did not swim yesterday but I did stop by the beach yesterday to check conditions.  The water temp was 62.  The dead alewives that had been floating in the water are gone, no stench of dead fish.  The water near shore is still brown and murky, but 50 meters offshore it abruptly clears to bright blue.  The beach is still marked as "closed" due to ecoli counts (as are all the beaches north of Bradford), but I believe that's based on a reading from several days ago.

At Klode the main issue is not the sewage dumping by MMSD, but rather the heavy rains which lead to storm sewer runoff from the street sewers that empty directly into the lake, carrying with them all the fertilizer and pesticides from lawns and gardens, as well as oil, leaves, pollen and other gunk.  A veritable feast for growing stuff.  The good news is that no more rain is predicted for the next couple days, but then some rain is possible this weekend.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Next Swim:  Wed 6/25 5PM

Last Swim:  Tue 6/24 5PM
Water Temp:  65, which felt very pleasant after all the cold water we've experienced thus far
Waves:  Calm
Water Clarity:  Poor, somewhat gunky from all the rain runoff, and still some dead alewives floating around
Crew: Nannook, Patriarch, with a guest appearance by Andy
Wetsuit/Skin Count: 0/2
Pitsch Count: 0

Finally!  Warm water!  My first skin swim of the season.  We were put off at bit by the gunky water near shore, but the warm water lured us in.  We speculated that perhaps the water was cleaner further out, but the very heavy fog kept us close to shore.  Hopefully the warmth will stay and the gunkiness dissipates.

With the warmer water perhaps we can try early morning swims again.  Please comment if interested.

Slowly Improving

Next Swim:  Today Tuesday June 24 5PM (unless there are thunderstorms nearby)

Last Swim:  Yesterday 6/23 5PM
Water temp: 59
Waves:  small chop
Water Clairity:  Poor
Crew:  David, Sketch, Crispy, Kahuna, Capt'n, Patriarch, and special guest Gigi
Wetsuit/Skin Count:  6/0 (Diablo we need you!)
Pitsch Count: 5

Conditions are improving.  The fog was gone.  Most of the dead fish are gone, and the smell.  The water temp is creeping higher.

Kahuna I will never make fun of you again.  You got your revenge for my blog comment yesterday by suggesting I do the track workout this morning at Shorewood High.  It was kind of like trying to swim with James.

P.S.  Crash is proposing a beer garden outing on Sunday, details to follow.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Nothing Better to Do? Really?

Next Swim: Monday June 23, 5PM

Last Swim:  Sunday 6/22 3PM
Water Temp:  59
Waves: Calm
Water Clairity:  Poor
Crew:  Sketch, Andy, Crispy, Diablo, Kahuna, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/ Skin Count: 6/1
Pitsch Count: 7

Today was one of those days when you question your own sanity.  According to Capt'n conditions were much improved from Saturday, but still far from ideal.  Foggy, chilly (both air and water), some smelly dead fish still floating in the water.  So why do we do this?  Because even at her worst we still lover he.  We'll be back for more tomorrow.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Less than ideal...

Next Swim:
   Sunday June 22nd @ 3pm

Last Swim:
   Saturday June 21st @ noon
      Water Temp:  55.3
      Waves: rippled surface / slight current from south
      Air Temp:  64 & dense fog
      Clarity:  murky & unpleasant
      Crew (noon): Gumdrop, Showgirl, Neo, Nanook, David, Capt'n
      Skin / Suits:  1 / 5
      Pitsch:  3
      Crew (6pm):  Diablo, Gumdrop, Sketch, Andy, Capt'n

Cool air temps with even cooler water temps, dense fog and murky water littered with floating debris from the recent rains and unwanted seagull food made for some of the most unpleasant swim conditions that I can ever remember having in Lake Michigan.  Still the Kru was determined to log a swim today.  Kudos to Neo who swam skin despite the unpleasant conditions.  Kudos also to Gumdrop and Nanook (...accompanied by yours truly...) who logged an orange kayak swim despite the navigational challenges presented by the fog and aquatic obstacles.

Saturday June 21st Swim Plans

Next Swims:
   Saturday June 21st @ Noon
   Saturday June 21st @ 6pm followed by Pirates Pizza Night

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pirates Nearly Come to Blows!

Next Swim: ?? Please comment if you plan a swim this week.  (I have relatives visiting until Friday, I can't commit to anything before Saturday.)  If nothing else we will definitely be planning swims for this weekend.  We finally have some hot sunny weather which should raise the water temp.

Last Swim:  Sunday June 15 noon
Water Temp: 54
Waves:  1-2 ft very irregular, choppy and building
Water Clarity:  poor
Crew:  Diablo, Kahuna, Andy, Gumdrop, Andy, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuits:  Everyone except Diablo who is becoming our most hardcore cold water swimmer

Pirates of legend fight over booty, but our sorry pirates Capt'n and Kahuna nearly came to blows over a dispute about the depth of the Appomattox shipwreck.  Capt'n says 10-12 feet, Kahuna says 20-25.  How can we settle this before one runs a sword through the other?  Someone will have to take a kayak or paddle board out there on a calm clear day and measure it.

Anyhow, here is a website with much more information about the ship and the storm that sunk it, with pictures of the ship and the underwater wreck.   

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sensational Shipwreck Swim

Next Swim:  Sunday June 15th @ noon

Last Swim Saturday June 14th @ noon (Atwater Beach)
   Water Temp:  58 near shore / low 50's away from shore
   Waves:  Calm
   Clarity:  crystal clear
   Crew:  The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Joe, Capt'n
   Suits / Skin:  4 / 1

Yo ho ho....what a show!  With the exception of water temp today's shipwreck swim may quite possibly have been the most sensational show ever.   The water was crystal clear, the surface was calm and the sand that typically covers sections of the wreck appeared to have been recently swept away.  The entire massive hull of the Appomattox was clearly visible and easy to follow.  According to my GPS visiting the site required less than a 1/4 swim...and if you/re daring enough ( Kahuna and I...) swimming down to walk the plank requires you to plunge only about 10ft.  (...a challenging feat indeed when you're wearing a wetsuit...)

Following today's swim the entire Kru enjoyed a delicious BBQ Chicken and/or Rib lunch, a few pints of grog and live music....all compliments of the Shorewood Men's club.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Morning Update

During my morning run I stopped at Big Bay to take a temperature reading.  I got 51, a bit too cold for me.  So I think I will pass on a Friday afternoon or full moon swim, and hope for warmer water tomorrow for the "shipwreck" swim:

On Saturday we will do a "shipwreck" swim at noon from Atwater Beach (Lake Drive & Capitol Drive), followed (optionally) by lunch on the bluff.   Meet at the beach overlook near the flagpole.  It will be busy you may need to park a couple blocks away.   

Tickets for the Shorewood Men's Club Barbecue are being sold by Kahuna in advance or day of.  More info:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Me Myself and I

Next Swims:
Gumdrop is swimming today Thursday @ 4PM, email him if interested.  His email is in blogger profile: (sorry I can't make it)

On Saturday we will do a "shipwreck" swim at noon from Atwater Beach (Lake Drive & Capitol Drive), followed (optionally) by lunch on the bluff.  Tickets for the Shorewood Men's Club Barbecue are being sold by Kahuna in advance or day of.  More info:

Last Swim:  Thursday 6/12 6AM
Water Temp: 51
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity:  Surprisingly clear, usually after a big rain the near shore is cloudy with runoff and sediment, but not today
Crew:  Me, Myself, and I

Well since no one else showed up this morning I presume that means the morning crew needs warmer water to lure you out of bed, not that I blame you.   It's too bad because the lake was extraordinarily beautiful this morning in a fog shrouded melancholy sort of way.  Anyhow, since the water temp is likely to stay the same or even go lower    I won't be showing up tomorrow morning.

Last night I talked to a bunch of swimmers at the Superrun in Lake Park, all anxious to swim but hoping for warmer water.  It will happen eventually of course, but it's frustrating in the mean time.   

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Too cold. Too dark. Too windy. Too rainy.

Next Swims:
Thursday 6/12 6AM

Gumdrop wants to swim Thursday @ 4PM, email him if interested.  His email is in blogger profile: (sorry I can't make it)

We will probably do a Friday morning swim at 6AM, check blog tomorrow.

Also, Friday the full moon rises over the lake at 9PM exactly.  The weatherman predicts clear skies so the viewing should be great.  If interested in a "full moon swim" please comment.

On Saturday we will do a "shipwreck" swim at noon from Atwater Beach (Lake Drive & Capitol Drive), followed (optionally) by lunch on the bluff.  Tickets for the Shorewood Men's Club Barbecue are being sold by Kahuna in advance or day of.  More info:

Great minds think alike.  This morning Bubba and I independently came to the same conclusion, it was too cold, too dark, too windy and too rainy to swim.  I know, I know.  We're wimps.  We've swum in worse.  But here's the choice:  extra shuteye in a nice warm bed, or go swimming knowing that you will be exiting the water in a cold rain.  Chills and even hypothermia are going to set in very quickly.  You can try to mitigate the chills by immediately running up the bluff, not even stopping to remove a wetsuit, jump in the car, crank the heat and change into dry warm clothes as quickly as possible (made more difficult by numb hands).  It might keep you warm, probably not.

I turned off the alarm, rolled over, and went back to sleep.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Old Friends

Next Swim: Wednesday 6/11 6AM (unless it's raining heavily, which is possible according to the weather man)

I seem to be running into anxious swimmers everywhere.  Yesterday it was Coach Dom (the Shorewood High track and cross country coach).  Everyone has the same question:  when the heck is the lake going to warm up?

 Bubba to the rescue!  In the blog comments he reported swimming by himself Monday and Tuesday morning.   That's double good news.  First it's good to hear he's been swimming again, we thought he was injured.  More importantly, he reports water temperatures in the mid-50's.  OK that's not warm exactly, but certainly better than the 40's we've seen recently.  Apparently onshore winds we've had the last few days are finally blowing in some warmer water.

Bubba, I for one will be happy to join you tomorrow (weather permitting).

Also, we hope to do a "shipwreck" swim on Saturday at noon at Atwater Beach, followed by the Shorewood Men's Club barbecue on the bluff overlooking the beach.  Kahuna is selling tickets.  A shipwreck swim is a swim to the wreck of the steamship Appomattox which lies about a quarter mile offshore, it's quite a sight but we need clear calm water for best viewing.

P.S.  To Terri P who asked a question about PM swims on weekdays.  Yes, we will do that when the water warms up a bit more, stay tuned.  

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Cold Water? So What!

Next Swim: Sunday 6/8, 9:30AM  (We are swimming early so as to allow time to get to the Locust Street Beer run which begins at 11:30)

Last Swim:  Saturday 6/7 1:00 PM
Water temp: 55, but as usual warmer and colder pockets
Waves:  Small Chop
Water Clarity:  Excellent
Crew:  Phil, Kahuna, Neo, Diablo, Gumdrop, Cap'n (late as usual), Panini, Showgirl, Putin, Patriarch, plus spectators James, Sarah, and Brad
Wetsuit/Skin: 5/5

The lake is taking a long time to warm up this summer, which I suppose was to be expected given the long cold winter.  But that didn't stop ten hearty Crew members from enjoying a refreshing dip, including five who swam without wetsuits in very cold water.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Swim Plans for 6/7

Next Swims:
   Saturday June 7th @ 1pm
   Sunday June 8th @ TBD

Current Conditions at 4pm 6/6:
   Water Temp:   54.2
   Air Temp:  75 & Sunny
   Waves:  <1ft p="">   Clarity:  Crystal

The maps indicate the 60 degree water is approaching....perhaps it will be here by tomorrow.  Regardless 54.2 isn't bad compared to what we've had all week.  Plan is to swim Saturday at 1pm and then survey the Kru for a Sunday swim time.  The Locust Street Beer Run is at 11:30am so I'll be lobbying fer an early or late swim Sunday.  :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Miracles Happen

I don't have a swim to report today but I do have a good story.  Spoiler Alert:  This is one of those made-for-Hollywood tear jerkers where everything goes wrong for the story's heroes (me and Cap'n), but right at the end a miracle occurs and everything turns out all right.  And you say to yourself  THAT would NEVER happen in real life, but it DID and we have a picture to prove it. So grab a box of tissue and read on.

It all started innocently enough.  The temperature maps of the lake were all showing mid-40s, but I was driving by Big Bay late afternoon and said to myself "sometimes the maps are wrong, I'll take a reading".  And sure enough I registered 52 off the pier, still cool but warm enough to think about.  And the sun was shining and the water calm and crystal clear.  Never did our Lady look so inviting. She was asking me, no begging me to swim. I know what you're thinking: "Patriarch you should know better".  But I can't resist Her siren song.

So I text Cap'n and see if he could he could meet me at Klode in an hour, and he says sure and we are hoping for a great swim.  As we descend the bluff we run into our old friends Dave and Not Dave's Wife.  We tried to get them to swim with us but they rejected us (cue the tissues).  But they did give us some good news, a photo shoot involving an attractive blonde is happening on the beach.

We walked by the photographer and model, and we're intrigued and curious, but what can we say that wouldn't make us sound like a couple of creeps? So we walk by.  We wade into the water and our thermometers immediately plunge into the 40's.  She's done it again, our beloved Lady had seduced us, enticed us, flirted with us, and then spit us out like bad food.  So now we've been thrice rejected:  Dave, Not Dave's Wife, and the Lake.  I'll pause for a moment as you probably need to grab another box of tissue.

So, sad, rejected, despondent and depressed, we start walking up the bluff.  The sight of the model was even more depressing, because we want to talk to her, but we might as well try to talk to a mermaid.  Then the miracle happens.  Out of the blue she says "I recognize you two from the swim blog".  Turns out this particular mermaid is a certified yoga instructor, writes a blog about healthy eating, is a triathlete training for Chicago, follows our blog and plans to swim with us.  Unbelievable, right?  Well here is a link to her blog and below that a picture of her and your heroes.

Copywright: Patriarch 2014, Hollywood and Broadway producers interested using this story for movie and play productions can contact my agent at CrazyCap'

Monday, June 2, 2014

Wussed Out

Next Swim: ???  Whenever the water temp gets above 50 again.

We stuck our toes in the water this morning and it was immediately obvious that the water temp had plunged again.  After considerable hemming and hawing and with no one volunteering to lead the way, we headed back up the bluff with our tails between our legs.

Upcoming events:
Saturday June 14th at Atwater Beach - Shipwreck swim (conditions permitting) followed by Shorewood Men's Club Barbecue

Post Swim Cookout at Patriarch's:  exact date TBD, but sometime soon

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Weekday Morning Swims Begin

Next Swim:  Monday June 2nd 6AM

Last Swim:  Sunday June 1st 2PM
Water Temp:  57 near shore, but much colder away from the beach (50?)
Waves:  Very Choppy
Water Clarity:  Good
Crew: Big Show, Sir James, Showgirl, Panini, Kahuna, Riptide, Sketch, Mitch, eRun, Patriarch
Wetsuits: 10, Skins 0
Pitsch Count: 6
Conspicuously Absent: Cap'n
Loser of the Day: Cap'n
Sucking Sound Extraordinarie: Cap'n
Smelly Dead Fish Award:  Cap'n

After yesterday's awesome conditions it was back to reality: cold choppy water.  But conditions be damned, everyone (or everyone that showed up at least) got in at least a short swim.  That's the true Klode Krew spirit!  Afterwards we had a great time at the Beer Garden where we ran into Coach Dave and his lovely wife Laura.

Showgirl and Panini must have had too many beers because they proposed that we begin weekday swims at 6AM tomorrow. Drunk or not, we can't let the ladies show us up, can we guys?

Oh, and did I mention that low down good for nothing sack of s*** Cap'n didn't show up today.  He texted some lame ass excuse about being stuck in traffic, but I suspect the real reason was likely a woman or grog, or probably both.