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.