Saturday, December 12, 2015

Fun With Charts and Graphs

So it's mid-December and winter hasn't arrived yet.  No snow to ski on, and too warm to swim.  So what am I doing?  Wasting way too much time wading through the cesspool known as the web.  But today I spotted a treasure floating amongst all the sewage.  Check this out this analysis of Lake Michigan water temperatures:

Here are some observations:
- Even though the lake temps are well above average now, they were well below average in early 2015.  If you recall the lake nearly froze over last winter.  So the lake temps started off cool in spring and stayed that way all the way through the swim season (mid-May through Sept).  This matches my impression of 2015 as a below average swim season (temperature-wise anyway).

- If you look at the two really great swim seasons, 2012 and 2010, the opposite occurred.  The water started the year warmer than average and stayed warmer than average all through the swim season.  I recall 2012 in particular as the year when we had three solid months of water temps in the high 60's and low 70's.

- So if this pattern holds (i.e. if the water stays much warmer than average this winter), the 2016 swim season might be very good or even great.  But of course at this point I have to curb my enthusiasm.  So many of my predictions about Lake Michigan have dashed on the rock piles of hard cold reality.  But it's something to dream about during the dark days of December.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

In Between

Tragically the Lake Michigan swim season is over, and my swimming has been tyrannized by walls, black lines, and chlorine.  For me, this is the "in between" season, the time between Lake swimming and cross country skiing.  If you, like me are looking for fun things to fill the gap, Kahuna has suggested a worthy activity in a comment on the last blog posting.  I reprint it here:

If anyone out there is reading the blog this time of year (even the buoy has gone into hibernation), note that the Bike Fed's Santa Cycle Rampage is set for Sat. December 5th. Eastsiders tend to start at Cafe Hollander on Downer at 9:00 a.m. God willing, Sheboygan Santa will be there, with his magic sausage, along with his coffee can collecting for World Bicycle Relief (see their latest video at this address: Bring your check or cash if you are interesting in helping. Last year we raised over $400 for WBR (because Sram doubles donations, that's enough for 8 sturdy bikes). Note too, to celebrate Shorewood advancing to the Silver Level of the League of American Bicyclists' Bicycle Friendly Community rankings, my group (Greater Shroewood Bikers) is holding a Shorewood Community Cycling Celebration, at the Rampage After Party, 4-6 pm, Sat. Dec. 5th, at Three Lions Pub. Hope to see some of you there.

If the weather is anywhere near reasonable I will do the rampage this year.  (Anyone know a good place to get a Santa suit?).

Kahuna, congratulations and thanks for your efforts on behalf of Greater Shorewood Bikers.

Friday, October 30, 2015

2nd Chance for Loss of Innocence (WARNING: unauthorized blog post)

Next Swim:  Saturday Oct 31st, NOON.  Sunday TBD.

Last Swims:
Sun Oct 25th 1PM
La, la, la insert last-swim-details here.  Or not.

The buoy says water temps are above 50.  Let's not miss another chance to have a last swim, and another chance to do more shots of.... whatever random thing people bring, and most especially, another chance to rip off the Patriarch's clothes.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

End of the Season and the End of My Innocence

Next Swim:  ?? 2016 ??

Last Swims:
Sun Oct 25th 1PM
Water Temp: 47
Waves: Gentle Rollers
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Showgirl, Panini, Whatzzisname?, Itch, Diablo, Gumdrop, with me, Capt'n, Crash, and Scarface cheering from shore
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/3
Pitsch: 10

Sat Oct 24th 1PM
Water Temp: 55
Waves: Gentle Rollers
Water Clarity: Murky
Crew: Capt'n, Diablo, Mr. Anonymous, Itch, Showgirl, Crash, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/2
Pitsch: 7

Despite some bold Killepitsch-inspired talk about continuing to swim, I think realistically we've reached the end of the season.  Good thing, too, as the ladies, have lost all self control.  After practically forcing me to drink shots, Showgirl ripped off my shirt and Panini groped me all over with  her cold wet hands, while Crash and Scarface stood by and laughed.  Ladies, show us and yourselves some respect!  We're more than just handsome hunky studly sex toy playthings!  

Friday, October 23, 2015

Weekend Swim Plans

Next Swims: Friday Oct 23rd 5:30PM
Sat & Sun Oct 24th and 25th 1:00PM

Last Swim: Thu Oct 22nd
Water temp: 58
Waves: 1 foot rollers
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Itch, Diablo, Panini
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/2

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

One More Day

Next Swim: Thursday Oct 22nd 5:30PM

Last Swim: Wednesday Oct 21st 5:30PM
Water Temp: 58
Waves: One foot rollers
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Itch, Diablo
Wetsuit/Skin: 0/2

It's remarkable how the water temp has held steady in the upper 50s for the last two weeks.  It's beginning to look like we might still be swimming this weekend.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I'm a (double) loser

Next Swim: Wed Oct 21st 5:30PM

Last Swim: Tue Oct 20th 5:30PM
Water Temp: 56
Waves: Small Rollers
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Whatszhizname, Diablo, Itch
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/2
Pitsch: 0, but in it's place Itch brought some vile awful tasting substitute

Of all the love I have won or have lost,
There is one love I should never have crossed.
She was a girl in a million my friend,
I should have known she would win in the end.
I'm a loser
(Lennon & McCartney)

Today I got my comeuppance for calling people losers for showing up on the beach but not swimming. Today was my turn to be the loser. Not only did I not swim, I forgot to bring the Pitsch.  I paid big time. If scorn and humiliation were not enough, I was forced to choke down some Czechosolvackian  foul smelling terrible tasting concoction that's been rattling around in the back of Itch's Jetta since 1985.  I am writing this two hours later and I still can't get the aftertaste out of my mouth.  Yuch!  

Monday, October 19, 2015

Eking Out Another

Next Swim: Tuesday Oct 20, 5:30PM

Last Swim: Monday Oct 19th, 5:30 PM
Water Temp: 55
Waves: One Foot Rollers
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Itch, Gumdrop
Wetsuit/Skin: 0/2

How long can we go?  Can we make it to another weekend?  I have to hand it to Itch.  While the rest of us are increasingly ready to call it a season, he maintains his enthusiasm.  So if he shows up damn it I will too!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

No Reason to Stop

Next Swim: Monday Oct 19th 5:30 PM (don't be late, it will be getting dark)

Last Swim: Sunday Oct 19th, 1:00PM
Water Temp: 55
Waves: Small Chop
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Gumdrop, Showgirl, Itch, Diablo, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/2
Pitsch: 5

I keep thinking that every swim is the last of the season, but the swimming is still good, so why stop now?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Weekend Swims?

Next Swims:  Sat Oct 17th 1:00PM. Maybe Sunday too if we survive Saturday.  It appears lake water temps are falling relentlessly, we are very near the end.

Last Swim: I did not swim Friday evening, if anyone has a report please post a comment.

Itch Has the Pitsch, and Panini Achieves Her Goal

Next Swim:  Friday Oct 16th 5:30PM
Sat & Sun swims at noon, if conditions permit, check back

Last swim: Thu Oct 15th 5:30PM
Water Temp: 57
Waves: Choppy
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Panini, Lenore, Linda, Itch, Patriarch, and a couple of losers who didn't swim but had a Pitsch anyway 
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/4
Pitsch: 6

Congratulations to Panini who swore she would finish her season with a skin swim and did it despite the cold rough water and even colder and windier air.  (But someone tell me why we do that to ourselves, so I can write my book.) 

Thanks to Itch, who supplied the Pitsch.

It's cold, windy, dark, choppy, eerie, shivery, shaky and scary.  We can't keep this up much longer, can we?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Water is Warmer Than the Air

Next Swim: Thursday Oct 15th, 5:30PM

Last Swim: We Oct 14th 5:30PM
Water Temp: 57
Waves: Rolling less than one foot
Water Clarity: Murky
Crew: Linda, Gumdrop, Itch, Diablo
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/3
Pitsch: 4

Diablo advises that it's better to stay in the water because when you exit into the cold air unstoppable shaking starts and makes it difficult to hold the Killepitsch.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Halloween is Coming

Next Swim: Wed Oct 14th, 5:30PM

Last Swim: Tue Oct 13th, 5:30PM
Water Temp: 59
Waves: 1 foot Rollers
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew:  Linda Lamprey, Itch, Panini, Whatsizname?, Diablo, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/3
Pitsch: 6

A cold and windy and dark day, dusk descending and Capt'ns Halloween party days away, it was an evening for frightful stories.  Linda telling tales of lamprey attacks:

And all of you that have done the swim from Alcatraz check out this:

Monday, October 12, 2015

Swimming at Dusk

Next Swim: Tuesday Oct 13th, 5:30PM

Last swim: Mon Oct 12th 5:30PM
Water Temp: 59
Waves: Small Rollers
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew:  Itch, Lenore, 2-Ply, Diablo, Gumdrop, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/3
Pitsch: 6

One neat thing about swimming at dusk:  the water takes on a beautiful deep blue-green hue.  We had another wonderful swim tonight, extending our streak of great October swimming.  Hopefully we'll have another tomorrow.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Best October Swim Ever

Next Swim: Monday Oct 11th, 5:30PM

Last Swim: Sunday Oct 10th, 10:30AM
Water Temp: 58-59
Waves:  0.2 foot rollers (or so Capt'n says)
Water Clarity: Much improved
Crew: Panini, Crash, Showgirl, North Shore Nancy, Whatszisname?, Itch, Kahuna, Capt'n, Forger, Diablo, Patriarch
Pitsch: 13

Showgirl got it right.  She pronounced today's swim to be "the best October swim ever".  A perfect day with warm sunny clear skies.  Quiet clear water.  The water could have been a bit warmer, but 59 is pretty darn good for so late in the season.

We're going day by day now, but my intention is to keep swimming until the water drops back into the forties.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sunday Swim Moved Up To 10:30

Ardent Packer fans demanded that Sunday's swim be moved up to accommodate the game.
Next Swim: Sunday Oct 11th, 10:30AM

Last Swim: Saturday Oct 10th noon
Water Temp: 59
Waves:  small ripples
Water Clarity: Better but still not great
Crew: Mr Anonymous, Itch, Whatzhizname (Mark?  Vern?  Axle? Wood Crotch?),  North Shore Nancy, Crash, Showgirl, Panini, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 7/2
Pitsch: 12

Who would believe that some of the best swimming of the season is in October.  What a day!  What a swim!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Still Hanging In There

Next Swims:  Sat & Sun, Oct 9th & 10th, noon both days
Note:  These swims will be at our normal Klode Beach location,  In a previous post I said we might swim from Atwater to the shipwreck this weekend but conditions are not favorable for good shipwreck viewing (waves and murky water).

Last Swim: Fri Oct 9th 5:30PM
Water Temp: 59
Waves: 2-3 feet
Water Clarity: Poor
Crew: Itch, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/1

We're down to a few diehards swimming in gathering gloom.  Before we turned around at "birch trees" we stopped to float on our backs atop the waves and meditate on the beautiful pink sunset and the brilliant fall colors on the bluff.

The weekend weather forecast looks great.  It may well be our last chance.

The Picnic Table is Buried

Next Swim: Today Oct 9, 5:30PM
Sat & Sun, tentatively noon, check back later for time and place, we might do a shipwreck swim from Atwater instead of our usual Klode swim, we'll access the condition tonight and make a decision.

Last Swim: Thu Oct 8th 5:30PM
Water Temp: 56
Waves: flat
Water Clairity: murky
Crew: Itch, Diablo
Wetsuit/Skin: 0/2

Diablo reports that the picnic table was buried from all the high waves last week.  If anybody wants to dig it out see Itch, he has a shovel.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Day by Day

Next Swim:  Thur Oct 8th, 5:30PM

Last Swim:  Wed Oct 7th, 5:30PM
Water Temp: 60
Waves: 1-2 feet
Water Clarity: Excellent except for some gunk near shore
Crew: Itch, Lenore, Panini, Mr. Anonymous, Gumdrop, Mark
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/2

We've eked out another day, not yet ready to go inside to tile bottoms and the smell of chorline.

Assuming conditions are still favorable how about a "shipwreck" swim from Atwater Beach Saturday or Sunday?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bonus Swim

Next Swim:  Wed Oct 7th, 5:30PM

Last Swim:  Tue Oct 6th 5:30PM
Water Temp:  60
Waves: Small Chop
Water Clarity:  Gunky right on shore, but crystal clear just a few yards out
Crew: Lenore, Kyle, Itch, Diablo, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin:  2/3
Pitsch: 4

Any swimmable day in October is a bonus, and an October day with 60 degree crystal clear water is a real treat.  Night was falling as we swam and the water took on a beautiful teal color. And if that's not enough, the colors on the bluff are fantastic.

Itch and Diablo actually managed to dig out the beached yellow kayak and muscled it up the beach.  Don't ask me why, it makes no sense to me, but that's true of a lot of what this group does.

Speaking of the kayak, we're pretty sure it was the one that we see on rocks just north of the Silver Spring downspout.  We swam by there today and there was no kayak, so it's probably the same one.      

Monday, October 5, 2015

When You're in a Hole Stop Digging

Next Swim: Tuesday Oct 6th, 5:30PM

Last swim: Monday Oct 5th, 5:30PM
Water Temp: 59
Waves:  less than one foot
Water Clarity: Good away from shore
Crew: Itch, Diablo, Mark, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/2

As long as the water stays in the 50s we'll keep coming.  Tonight was a very pleasant swim enhanced by all the colors starting to show on the lake bluff.

Due to all the heavy surf last week a lot of flotsam and jetsam washed up on the beach, including a yellow kayak that was deeply buried in sand and rocks.  Don't ask me why, but Diablo and Itch decided it was their personal mission to dig it out.  Mark and I decided to walk back up to the parking lot as darkness fell, but Itch and Diablo were still digging like madmen.  They're probably still digging.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

October Swimming

Next Swim: Monday October 5th, 5:30PM

Last Swim: Sunday Oct 4th noon
Water Temp: 54
Waves:  2-3 foot roller, with the occasional 4 footer for fun
Water Clarity: None
Crew: Capt'n, Diablo, Itch, Lenore, 2-Ply, No Ply
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/2
Pitsch: 6

The days are shorter.  And cooler.  The wind is rawer.  The lake water temps are slowly declining.  But we keep swimming.  Postponing that sad day not too far away when we say, "that's it until next year".  But we're not just being stubborn, trying to postpone the inevitable.  It was actually fun playing in the waves today.  There still is good swimming to be had.  It's too cold and dark for 6AM swims, so we'll keep swimming at 5:30 as long as we can.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Party in the Surf and at Kahuna's

Next Swim: Sunday Oct 4th noon

Last Swim: Sat Oct 3 noon
Water Temp: high 50's
Waves:  4-6 feet, high frequency, powerful current too
Water Clarity: Zero
Crew: Gumdrop, Lenore, Neo, Diablo

Howling winds and monster waves made for a raw day at the beach.  Only four swimmers were brave enough to challenge the surf.  The current was so powerful that all four ended up exiting the water and walking back.

But it was a great party afterwards at the Kahunas.  A good old fashioned blowout with burgers brats and all kinds of snacks and deserts.  I had such a good time I left my bottle of Pitsch there.  Should be a good night for Kahuna and (what's her name again?).  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Krufest: A Season End Celebration at Kahuna's Saturday Afternoon

Next Swim: Friday, Oct 2nd 6AM
Saturday Oct 3rd noon, followed by party at Kahunas (see details below)

Last Swim: Wednesday Sept 30th 5:30PM
Water Temp: 57
Air Temp: 54
Waves: 4-5 feet, very rough and irregular, strong current too
Water Clarity: None, mucky brown
Crew: Mr. Anonymous, Gumdrop, Kahuna, with support on shore from Itch, Diablo and Mark a/k/a Verntinytrakowski.
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/0
Pitsch: 6

Whether you swim or not Saturday you are welcome to our season ending celebration "Krufest" at Kahuna's.  Here is his invitation to all:

I hope you can stop by my house Saturday afternoon. The plan is, swim at noon, then head over to my house for a cookout. Don't worry, "She Who Must Not Be Named" is happy to hear your coming over. Our address is 3529 N. Frederick Avenue, Shorewood. If you are not swimming I would expect people will be arriving at my house between 1 and 1:30. We'll fire up the grill, and provide hamburgers, brats, buns, chips, dip, veggies, a big green salad, beer, wine, mineral water and soda. Spouses, significant others and kids welcome. Please bring something to share. You might also want to bring a lawn chair, as I'm a bit short of that type of chair. I don't think it's going to rain, but I think it could be cool that day. So I have a better idea of how much stuff to buy the evening before, if you believe you are likely to be able to join us on Saturday, please send a text message to my cell no., 414.418.4469, telling me whether you plan on coming, and how many others you are bringing with you. Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Saturday!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

She's Very Very Angry

Next Swims: Tonight Wed Sept 30th, 5:30PM
Thursday and Friday at 6AM
Saturday Oct 2nd at noon, followed by "Krufest", a season ending celebration at Kahuna's, details, stay tuned for details

Last Swim: Tuesday Sept 29th 5:30PM
Water Temp: 59
Waves:  4-5 feet, very rough and irregular, strong current too
Water Clarity: None
Crew: Itch, Gumdrop, Diablo, Kahuna, Nanook, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/3
Pitsch: 6

Just a couple days ago we were remarking that we haven't seen any really big waves this season.  Well that's been fixed.  Yesterday's waves were perhaps not the biggest I've ever seen, but certainly some of the roughest.  It was impossible to stand in the surf and I got knocked down several times before giving up.  The others got further but everyone took a pretty good beating.

This morning the conditions were the same, but it was cold and dark too, so we decided not to swim this morning, but try again this afternoon at 5:30.  Gusty northeast winds are expected all day, so the waves may build even more.  Today will be our hundredth consecutive day, if the lake monsters don't get us.

Speaking of monsters, look out for this one.  She's a real bad guy.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Next Swims: Today Tuesday 9/29 at 5:30PM
Wed - Fri, Sept. 30th - Oct 2nd, 6AM each morning
Also:  Saturday October 3rd, following a noon swim we will gather at Kahuna's for a season ending "Krufest" celebration.  Details to come.

What was I thinking?  I should know better than to take her for granted.  In yesterday's blog I wrote "it ain't over" and "Wednesday will be our hundredth consecutive day".  "Not so fast", she said, "you have to prove yourselves worthy".

This morning's cold hard rain prevented us from swimming.  So we'll try again at 5:30 PM.  But it won't be easy.  The rain should be gone, but large waves are predicted.  We provoked her anger and now we will pay.

Monday, September 28, 2015

It Ain't Over

Next Swims:  Tue - Fri, Sept. 29th - Oct 2nd, 6AM each morning
Note:  Wednesday's swim will be the hundredth consecutive day we've swum!  (Thanks mostly to Diablo and Itch who kept the streak going despite some really cold days).
Also:  Saturday October 3rd, following a noon swim we will gather at Kahuna's for a season ending "Krufest" celebration.  Details forthcoming.

Last Swims:
Monday Sept. 28th 6AM
Water Temp: 59
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Capt'n, Crash, Diablo, Kahuna, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/2

Super Moon Eclipse Swim: Sunday Sept 27th 6:30PM
Water Temp: 60
Waves: Choppy
Water Clarity: OK
Crew: Capt'n, Showgirl, Crash, Diana, Rosa, North Shore Nancy, mark, Panini, Mr Anonymous, Gumdrop, Patriarch, and joining us afterwards to enjoy the eclipse from the Biergarten, McTwist, Tiny Mother, Kahuna (and the woman Kahuna brought who shall be nameless so as not put Kahuna in a squeeze and promote domestic violence).
Wetsuit/Skin: 6/5

Sunday noon:
Water Temp: 62
Waves: Choppy & Sloppy
Crew: Capt'n, Diablo, Itch, Showgirl, Crash, Scarface, Adam, North Shore Nancy, Mark, Mr. Anonymous
Wetsuit/Skin: 6/4

The season is growing late, but still great swimming to be had.  It's so good that Capt'n swam three times in eighteen hours, spanning high noon, sunset, moonrise, and sunrise!  And if the swimming itself wasn't good enough we enjoyed a spectacular "Super Moon Rise" followed by an amazing view of the Lunar Eclipse at the Biergarten.  Magic moments.

I found a funny story in an old Milwaukee Journal article.  It wasn't meant to be funny, but I think it's hilarious.  First a bit of background.  There used to be a large artificial "rock" off Bradford Beach that was the old water intake. Back in my day some nameless hippy spray painted the word "love" on it:
It's been said that it was a popular place to swim to climb on and smoke dope.  Anyhow for many years people would swim out there and sometimes it did not go well:,3619616&hl=en

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Super Moon Eclipse Sunday

Next Swims: Sunday September 27th @ noon
Super Moon Eclipse Swim Sunday September 27th @ 6:30pm
   Full Moon Rise 7:11pm
   After the swim and moonrise we can watch the eclipse at the Biergarden
   Partial umbral eclipse begins: 8:07 p.m. CDT on September 27
   Total eclipse begins: 9:11 p.m. CDT
   Greatest eclipse: 9:47 p.m. CDT
Coming attraction:  Next Saturday we'll have "Krufest" - a season ending celebration at Kahuna's, details forthcoming

Last Swim: Saturday September 26th noon
Water Temp:  61 at the shore but warmer further out
Waves: 1-2 rollers, with the occasional 3 footer just for fun
Water Clarity:  Poor - all stirred up
Crew: Crash, Showgirl, North Shore Nancy, Mark, Diablo, Gumdrop, Capt'n, Nivens McTwist, Panini, Itch, Kahuna, Brian, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 8/5
Pitsch: 20 (yes, some people did 2)

I'm back! Unfortunately in my absence the celebrity guest-bloggers decided to turn this blog into a sex advice column.  Which is sorta like my plumber offering investment advice, or my car mechanic doing brain surgery.  How can you comment on sex, even bad sex, if you have no sex?

Friday, September 25, 2015

BSM #6

Next Swims:
   Saturday September 26th @ noon
   Sunday September 27th @ noon
   Super Moon Swim Sunday September 27th @ 6:30pm (Full Moon Rise 7:11pm)

Last Swim:
   Friday September 25th @ 6am
      Water Temp:  58+
      Air Temp:  60 & mostly clear skies
      Waves: 1-2ft rollers turning into light to moderate chop
      Clarity: stirred up near shore / cloudy further out
      Crew:  Diablo, Kahuna, Showgirl, Itch, Scarface, Mark, Adam, Capt'n with special guest appearance by Crash
      Skin / Suit:  3.5 / 4.5

A nearly cloudless sky with a smattering of clouds on the horizon made for yet another spectacular sunrise swim.  Adding to the pleasant experience was the water temp which ranged on the plus side of 58 (as measured by the Macho-meter) to 61 (as measured by the Itch-o-meter).

This Sunday evening the Super Moon will rise at 7:11 with a lunar eclipse occurring 2 hours later.  The last time this happened was 1982.  For those unfamiliar with a Super Moon it's a full moon rise when the moon is at it's closest orbit to the earth.  I've even read articles that indicate that the moon will appear 17% larger for a Super Moon than a regular full moon.  Anyone interested in an evening swim Sunday as the Super Moon rises?

Now on to today's featured blog entry...Bad Sex Move #6:


…The views expressed by the authors on this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog, those who link to this blog, the author’s mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, grandparents, cousins, step relations, any other blood relative and the author himself, this website’s web host…

Comments on this blog are the sole responsibility of their writers and the writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The accuracy, completeness, veracity, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed.

…Although it may claim otherwise, this blog does not offer legal, medical, psychiatric, veterinary, gynecological, archaeological, astronomical, astrological, ontological, paleontological, philosophical, axiological, audiological, bacteriological, mineralogical, criminological, terminological, dermatological, ecclesiastical, campanological, phrenological, phonological, technological, hematological, campanological…

…This blog may inadvertently link to content that is obscene, prurient, useless, hate-filled, poisonous, pornographic, frivolous, empty, rotten, bad, disgusting, hostile, repulsive, virulent, infectious…This blog in no way condones, endorses or takes responsibility for such content.


The next time you're lucky enough to be in the bedroom with a partner pretend there's another participant in the room with you and be sure to give equal attention to both partners.  A related bad sex move is to admit to your partner that the reason you're so talented at pretending there's another partner in the room with you is because you practice frequently.  

BSM #7

Blog Post for Thursday, September 24, 2015 (compliments of Kahuna)

BSM #7:
   Him: "Pardon me miss, do you have the time?"
   Her: "For what?"

Next Swims:
Friday September 25 @ 6am.
Saturday September 26 TBA (noon and then an end of the season trip to the Hubbard Park Beer Garden for Barktoberfest? Or 7 pm to see the Super Moon, then off to Lisa's or CPK or some such place thereafter?)

Last Swim:
Thursday September 24th @ 6am
Water Temp: 57
Air Temp: 60 & Mostly Clear Skies, Visually Interesting Sunrise
Waves: 1 ft. rollers
Clarity: Crystal
Crew: Diablo, Itch, McTwist, Panini, support on the beach Crash
Skin / Suit: 2.5/2.5

You can tell the season is getting later:
As they stroke along through the water, swimmers are hitting golden leaves that have fallen off the trees.
We are almost making it back to the beach, before the sun breaks over the horizon.
None of the official bloggers show up to blog.
But the Patriarch is scheduled to return on Saturday, our long national nightmare will soon be over, that's as good a reason as any to celebrate. Please see the above re potential times for a swim and a celebration on Saturday. Post your preferences or suggestions

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

#8: Rolling Both Ways

Next Swims:
   Thursday & Friday September 24 & 25 @ 6am

Last Swim:
   Wednesday September 23rd @ 6am
      Water Temp: 55
      Air Temp:  56 & Clear Skies
      Waves:  flat
      Clarity: Crystal
      Crew:  Diablo, Kahuna, Showgirl, Nanook, Itch, Mark, Capt'n
      Skin / Suit:  3/4

Another absolutely picture perfect morning for a swim!  I've heard rumblings that more pictures are desired in this's one Kahuna took Saturday of North Shore Nancy on our way down to the beach:


This posting does not represent in any way the policies, positions or opinions of myself, my employer, my wife [I don't have one], my children [I don't have any....that I know of], my brother, my sister, my Tinder connections [I don't have any yet], my lawyers,..., or anybody else. Remember, To keep milk from turning sour: Keep it in the cow.  You don't have to read this, it's only a standard disclaimer.Trust me. I'm almost a doctor.  Wenn ich immer wuesste, was ich tue, waere das nur das halbe Vergnuegen

Bad Sex Move #8 - Rolling both ways

On the surface this move may sound like a great way to add a little spice to your next sexual encounter but this is definitely a topic you should take care when announcing to your partner.  Careful planning and advance notice before any such move are certainly recommended if you do attempt this move.  Sudden rolls in either direction due to discomfort (...such as when when you're lying on bed surface covered with crumbs...which may have resulted from an unrelated bad sex move...) can interrupt the rhythm of your partner and put you both in an uncomfortable position.  If taken too far this move can even result in great bodily harm if you happen roll off the bed. (...such as when attempting a 360 roll in either direction...)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Bad Sex Tip #9: Sex on the Beach

Next Swims: Wednesday thru Friday 9/23 - 9/25 @ 6am

Last Swim:
Tuesday September 22 @ 6am
       Water Temp:  54
       Air Temp: no idea
       Waves: almost none
       Clarity:  amazing, crystal clear
       Crew: Diablo, Showgirl, Panini, Kahuna
       Skin / Suit:  1 /3

Swimming nostalgia is running high these days, and this was a perfect day for it.  The streak continues, but the days are dwindling.  The water was a comfy 54, with no waves, and the clarity was amazing.  The sunrise was spectacular, with an orange glow spanning the entire horizon.

As the mornings get darker, there are fewer and fewer people at the lake.  This morning, there wasn't a single person or dog on the beach all the way to mudslide.  Which leads me to Bad Sex Tip #9-- the beach is deserted, so why not grab your squeeze and head over there for some sunrise action?  The only spectators will be.... the Klode Krew.

Big thanks to Kahuna for his pre-emptive post today (I'm side-stepping the lack of faith, confidence, and trust in my blogging abilities that his post suggests), AND thank you for the fantastic can of IPA he miraculously produced for me on the bike path yesterday!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Counting down to #10...

Next Swims:
   Tuesday thru Friday 9/22 - 9/25 @ 6am

Last Swim:
   Monday September 21 @ 6am
      Water Temp:  55
      Air Temp: 50
      Waves: slow rollers < 1ft
      Clarity:  foggy to clear
      Crew: Diablo, Showgirl, Panini, Capt'n with special guest appearance by Crash
      Skin / Suit:  1 /3

A cool but beautiful morning for a swim...sadly it's getting to be that time of the year when the water is warmer than the air temp.  For those who braved the cooler air temps this morning were treated to a spectacular crimson sunrise under mostly clear blue skies.


The remainder of this blog entry is meant for educational purposes only. Send no money now as this is not an offer to sell securities. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you're healthy enough to engage in bad sex. To prevent electric shock, do not open back panel of any sex accessory as no user serviceable parts can be found inside a sex toy. If you do open the back panel be sure to align all parts carefully, then bond before use.  Keep all lubricants away from open flame or spark and remember to apply only to affected area and use only in well-ventilated areas. Use of sex accessories may or may not be subject to government regulation.  You may or may not have additional rights which may vary from country to country. Reading the remainder of this blog including this disclaimer is not recommended for children.  Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.  Do not read while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment.  Also do not fold, spindle, or mutilate. 

Bad Sex Move #10 - The Pen Pal

Everyone's familiar with talking dirty in the bedroom..."Wow, your thighs look really different from this angle!"  But why not write dirty in the bedroom? Next time you're enjoying an experience with your significant other in the bedroom why not grab from the nightstand a pen & paper rather than your favorite accessory and start writing words that express how your feeling?  Such as "Hmmm...would you mind going faster", "can we try that again?" or "Wow, your thighs look really different from this angle!".

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Three's Company! and Bad Sex Tip #11

Next Swims: Mon-Fri Sept 21-25, 6AM

Last Swims: Sunday September 20th, noon
Water Temp: 57
Waves: minor but annoying chop out of the south
Water Clarity: cloudy
Crew: Panini, Crash, Nanook, NorthShoreNancy, NorthShoreMark, Showgirl, Forger, Kahuna, Captain, Diablo, Itch, Gumdrop, Adam

Wetsuit/Skin: 8.5/4.5

Pitsch count: 11 

Diablo swam at 10am. Late-arriving Adam swam at 1-ish.  No pitsch for them. 

There's a rumor among the crew that Gumdrop, Panini, and Crash are going to combine forces and get a place together, thus becoming a 2015 version of the beloved (?) sitcom "Three's Company." (circa 1977-1984 for those of you who are age- or culturally-challenged by this reference).  However.... didn't Jack have to adopt a gay lifestyle? And which of our lovely brunettes would get the blond hair, breast implants, and later invent an even better version of the thigh-master?  There are SO many un-answered questions here.  I can't wait to see the drama (comedy? tragedy?) unfold, undoubtedly with large, unbridled amounts of absquatulation.

And now, for Bad Sex Tip #11.  Please see Captain's legally binding disclaimer from yesterday, and tell the children to go to another room.  Furthermore, Bad Sex Tip #11 is in NO WAY related to the above paragraph.  However, one or more BSTs is highly likely to emerge from that mash-up, so stay tuned for further updates.  Anyway!  Our story today was brought to us by Forger.  He recounted a long-ago, pre-marriage, story where he and a friend were driving home after bartime, having sadly struck out with the ladies.  As they waited in a long line of cars for a train to pass, they saw an attractive young woman get out of the car in front of them, and proceed  the front of her car.  Being a helpful young man, Forger assumed she was having car trouble. When he failed to see the hood of her car go up, he jumped out to assist. He also hoped that if he managed to assist this young woman, she might show her gratitude with more than words.  When his helpful self arrived at the front of her car, he found her emptying her bladder.  She made it VERY clear that she did not need his help, and there would be no expressions of gratitude for him that night.  I'm not exactly sure how you can use this tip to enhance your own sex life, but give it some thought while munching on a handful of potato chips.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

By Popular Demand? ...Top 12 Worst Sex Moves....#12

Next Swims:
   Sunday September 20th @ noon
   Monday September 21st @ 6am

Last Swim:
   Saturday September 19th @ noon
      Water Temp: 55
      Air Temp:  68 & Sunny
      Waves:  Occasional 3-5ft
      Clarity:  Sand filled near shore / Clear 100m Offshore
      Crew:  Kahuna, Gumdrop, Itch, Mr. Anonymous, Mark, Brian, Capt'n with guest appearances by Diablo, Showgirl, Crash, Panini, Scott
      Skin / Suit:  1.5 / 4.5
      Pitsch Count:  12  (indeed...we did TWO rounds!)

Brilliant sunshine, the cloudless sky, the comfortable air temp, a distinct two-tone tan/turquoise seascape that marked a sharp contrast between crystal clear water and sand saturated water, the changing tree colors and the frequent big thunderous waves pounding the Klode rock piles....all fantastic topics of conversation for the Klode Kru to engage in and of course to write about.  Instead tho...a different topic dominated the majority of discussion today.

Of course there were the formalities such as what the water temp would be, which direction we should swim and of course Showgirl's fashion show extraordinaire....but by far the topic dominating today's Kru conversation started in the comments of yesterday's blog post.  What exactly are the "12 worst sex moves"?  Coincidentally, there are 12 more swim days left in about we offer up one of the 12 worst sex moves in each of the blog entries for the remainder of the month?

Before we embark upon this goal I feel the need to first post an important disclaimer...

IMPORTANT: The remainder of this blog entry may contain information that was initially disclosed confidentially and may therefore be unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humour or irrational religious beliefs. Any dissemination, distribution or copying of this blog entry is not advised (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word absquatulation has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the transmission of this blog entry, although the chipmunk living in my garage may soon find itself evicted.. Those of you with an overwhelming fear of the unknown will be gratified to learn that there is no hidden message revealed by reading this warning backwards, so just ignore that Alert Notice from Microsoft: However, by pouring a complete circle of salt around yourself and your computer you can ensure that no harm befalls you and your pets. If you have stumbled across this blog entry in error, please add some nutmeg and egg whites and place it in a warm oven for 40 minutes. Whisk briefly and let it stand for 2 hours before icing

Top 12 Worst Sex Moves #12: The Pacman

Does anyone remember this one?  Founded in the 80's this move was gender neutral although some argue that it cast Ms. Pacman in a whole new and somewhat unfavorable light as for just 25 cents one could watch her swallow balls until she died.  While this move may have been the rage in the 80's today it does little more than shamefully advertise how old you may be and how outdated your moves have become.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Above or below the belt?

Next Swims: Saturday, Sept 19, 12noon

Sunday TBD, feel free to suggest a time in the comments
Last Swims: Friday September 18th 6AM
Water Temp: 50.3
Waves: small chop
Water Clarity: cloudy
Crew: Captain, Diablo, Itch, Mark, Showgirl, Panini
Wetsuit/Skin: 0/2

An important bit of clarification from yesterday:  I forgot to give Kahuna 100% of the credit for his brilliant "Too Multch-uous" blog title.  He is a master of puns.

Today the swim streak was saved once again by Diablo and my betrothed, Itch, who bravely swam skin north into the fog.  And lived to tell about it.

Our subject line today relates to Mark's extra kind remark regarding my new swim backpack.  The chest strap rides a little to low for comfort, right across the girls.  Mark suggested that the problem might not be the strap, but the chest.  Specifically the AGE of the chest.  <sigh>  I fear he is right.

Hair and Makeup Report:  A lively discussion was had regarding Ted's extra-short 'do (it's great!) and it was also decided that too much makeup is........ too much.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Too Multch-uous Morning

Next Swims: Fri, Sept 17 6AM

Last Swims: Thursday September 17th 6AM
Water Temp: 55
Waves: One foot rollers out of the south, less than yesterday
Water Clarity: cloudy
Crew: Forger, Kahuna, Captain, Diablo, Itch, Mark, Mr. Anonomous, Showgirl
Ground Support: Crash

Wetsuit/Skin: 5/2.5

Our host, the village of WFB, has seen fit to place an enormous pile of wood-chippy mulch in Klode Park's parking lot, so we had to park streetside and make the grueling walk to the lot.

Fashion updates:

Diablo thrilled us all with his lime-green tshirt and coordinating green-trim swim trunks.

Mark looked delightful and fuzzy in his apres-swim fleece.

Mr. Anonomous was divine in his apres-swim skirt. Er, towel.

Kahuna's lovely knickers qualified him for the .5 in the skin-swim category.

The rest of the crew looked stunning as always, in basic black.

Can't wait to see who will dazzle us with their fashion brilliance tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The South Will Rise....

Next Swims: Thu, Fri, Sept 17, 18, 6AM

Last Swims: Wednesday September 16th 6AM
Water Temp: 57
Waves: One foot rollers out of the south
Water Clarity: cloudy
Crew: Panini, Super Hera, Showgirl, Forger, Kahuna, Captain, Diablo, Itch

Wetsuit/Skin: 6/2

The sunrise was gorgeous, and the lake was welcoming--  it was another amazing morning at the beach.

After vehemently asserting his desire to swim SOUTH into the waves, Itch led us north, followed obediently by the rest of the crew. Some rode the waves as far as mudslide, and then slogged back to the beach against them.

The Patriarch will be on vacation thru next week I am occasionally guest blogging in his absence, so please lower your expectations and expand your practice of forgiveness.  Kahuna begged me to include plenty of fashion and make-up tips-- I'll see what I can do.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Just Another Chore

Next Swims: Wed, Thu, Fri, Sept 16, 17, 18, 6AM every morning

Last Swims: Tuesday September 15th 6AM
Water Temp: 59
Waves: One foot rollers
Water Clarity: Not much
Crew: Scarface, Diablo, Capt'n, Showgirl, Mark, McTwist, Brian, Panini, Kahuna, Forger, Patriarch
Spectator: Crash
Wetsuit/Skin: 8/3

Monday Sept 14th 6PM
Water Temp: 61
Waves:  Heavy chop on top of 2-3 footers, tough swimming
Water Clarity: None
Swimmers: Mark, Patriarch
Spectators:  On Shore Nancy (of course!), Diablo, Capt'n, Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous and their dog
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/0
Pitsch: 6

Many years ago Matriarch's diminutive demure sweet kindly old grandmother (God rest) shocked us by describing sex as "just another chore at the end of the day".  It would have been interesting to hear grandpa's take on it, but he was long gone by then.

But I think I know how he might have felt.  The other morning Showgirl borrowed grandma's phrase by described zipping me into my wetsuit as "just another chore at the beginning of the day".  Now of course for a dorky old man like me having an attractive younger woman zip my neoprene is one of the highlights of my day.  But just a chore for her.  Sigh!

It just goes to show how clueless we men are at understanding the motivations of women.  Come to think of it, it also explains our relationship to Lake Michigan.  We love her (it's a she of course) and we think she's beautiful and we imagine she loves us back.  But deep in our heart of hearts we know she doesn't give a damn about us, we could be just another dead fish to toss around on the waves and spit up on the shore.  And the really weird thing is, it doesn't matter, we're hopelessly drawn to her anyway.

Matriarch and I will be in Nashville the next ten days, trying to keep up with our five year old granddaughter.  While I'm gone Capt'n will assume blogging duties along with a new blogger: Showgirl.  I expect we will be enriched and informed by the feminine point of view.  Or maybe the mystery will deepen even further.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sunrise Swim

Next Swims:  Tue-Fri, September 15th - 18th, 6AM every morning

Last Swim: Monday September 14th 6AM
Water Temp: 58
Waves: Small Rollers
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Diablo, Itch, Showgirl, Super Hera, Mr. Anonymous, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/2

It ain't over yet.  The water has warmed up cleared up and calmed down.  And since the sun is coming up later these days, we had the great pleasure of experiencing sunrise while in the water.  An especially great swim.  Hopefully we'll have a few more this season.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

No Pitsch for You Means More Pitsch for Us

Next  Swims: Mon - Fri, Sept 14-18, 6AM every morning

Last Swims:
Sunday Sept 13, 10AM
Water Temp: 56
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Murky, all stirred from Friday's and Saturday's big winds
Crew: Itch, Showgirl, Gumdrop, Mr. Anonymous, Patriarch
Mark and North Shore Nancy swam earlier and Diablo later
Wetsuit/Skin: 6/2
Pitsch: 7

Saturday Sept 14, 9AM
Water Temp: 53
Waves: 2-3 feet very choppy with strong southerly current
Water Clarity: Murky
Crew: Diablo (he single handedly keeps the streak going once again!)
Wetsuit/Skin: 0/1

We arrived at the beach this morning to find this message in the sand:

It reads: "North Shore Nancy + Mark swam this a.m. NO PITSCH!"
Well guys, you'll be happy to know your Pitschless swim did not go in vain, we had a Pitsch for ourselves and another for you.  Thanks for making that possible.

I was shocked to learn that for the first time in 25 years, Big Shoulders was cancelled.  It sounds like most people were relieved, but Itch was enraged.  He's blames the organizers and the whole state of Illinois which he seems to believe is a fetid swamp inhabited by yellow bellied cowards.  That's the pirate spirit, Itch!  The Packers should have no problem dispatching that lot.  

I've done Big Shoulders seven times, at least twice in very rough conditions so it must have been really snarky for them to cancel. If anyone has an email or anything explaining their decision please forward it to me, I'm really curious.

The good news is that the swim season is not over yet!  The Atwater buoy made it to 60 this afternoon and the trend is up.  Come out and swim while you still can.  

Friday, September 11, 2015

Good Luck to All Big Shoulders and Ironman Competitors

Next Swims:  Saturday and Sunday Sept 12th and 13th, 10AM both days

Last Swims:
Friday Sept 11 6AM
Water Temp: 50
Waves:  Very Choppy
Water Clarity: Good
Crew:  Diablo
Wetsuit/Skin:  0/1

Thursday Sept 10th 6PM
Water Temp: 53
Waves:  Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew:  Mark, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/0

If the forecast is right it will be cold and rainy with rough water at Ohio Street beach Saturday morning.  All the ingredients for some tall tales of swimming adventure derring do.  I can't wait to hear them.  To be honest I'm not entirely unhappy that I got shut out on signing up for Big Shoulders this year.  On the other hand, those that complete the swim under such difficult conditions will have sea yarns to spin for many years.  Good luck!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Amazing Mighty Mac Swim Story

Next Swim:  Friday Sept 11th 6AM
Saturday and Sunday Sept 12th and 13th, 10AM both days

Last swims:  Wed and Thu Sept 9th and 10th, 6AM
Water Temp: 49 Wed, 50 Thu
Waves: Small
Water Clarity: Excellent
Wed Crew: Diablo, Itch, Gumdrop, Super Hera, Showgirl
Thu Crew: Itch, Diablo
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/4

Before I get to the amazing swim story, I have to apologize to Diablo, he pointed out that the "swim streak" counter had to be wrong.  I went back and checked.  The correct count is 80, not 70.  I blame my lack of Common Core math skills.  Anyhow, September 30th is the magic day when the streak will reach 100.  If we get there we'll have some sort of celebration for sure.

Now, here's another amazing story of an incredible Great Lake swim.  On Labor Day Steve Wolfe participated in the Mighty Mac swim across the Mackinaw Straight, parallel to the Mackinaw Bridge.  The straight is notorious for waves and currents. Here is his report.

On the night before, we met with other swimmers at the pasta dinner. The weather forecast was not looking great.  A storm system was tracking to hit just about the time the swim was going to start. Fortunately, the storm hit a little sooner than anticipated and it left calm air (and water) in its wake.  Everyone got a late start leaving the marina around 7 and not entering the water until about 8 am.
The swim itself was every bit as challenging as I had expected.  We swam along the east side of the bridge north to south.  Things started off calmly.  Water was 65 degrees and very minimal waves.  About an hour into the swim, the winds picked (12-15 mph) up and the calm gentle rollers turned into 3-4 foot waves.  In addition, the west to east current was stronger than anyone had anticipated.  Most teams were blown off course a bit.  The last 3-4 teams (including myself) landed far east of our intended landing spot.  The boat’s GPS claims we swam 8.5 miles.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it was closer to 9-10.  In total, we were in the water for a total of 6.5 hours.  I'd guess the water temp was about 62 in the middle of the straits.

There were two surprises during the swim.  First, a huge freighter came through the straits while we were swimming.  Prompting us to hop on our boat, travel south, and then back north after it had passed.  Second, myself and several others became severely sea sick due to the waves.  There is actually a pretty good video of the event at the following link.

Also, I had a wonderful opportunity on Saturday (5th) to do a training swim on Mackinac Island.  It was perfect.  Water was 68 degrees, sandy beach, and 30-40 foot visibility.  It made me a little jealous after our August of 48 degree temps.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Next Swims: Wed, Thu, Fri, Sept 9th, 10th, 11th, 6AM all three days

Last swim: Tue Sept 8th 6AM
Water Temp: 55
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Itch, Diablo, Patriarch, with Crash providing navigational assistance from shore
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/2

One of the gloomiest eeriest days I've ever seen.  When we arrived it was dense fog, strangely quiet, no breath of wind, dead calm water, not even the gentlest waves lapping at the shore;

Crash acted as our navigation beacon, keeping pace with us by walking on shore with her bright green tee-shirt.   Or maybe she was our green lantern on Daisy Buchanan's dock.  Or maybe she was our green mermaid on the side of our Starbuck's paper cup.  Or maybe she was the mysterious Green Knight and we swimming Sir Gawains.  Or maybe the cold water affected me more than I thought.

Anyhow, just as we finished swimming loud thunder and bright lightening filled the sky, and by the time we got back up to the parking lot it was raining cats and dogs.  Luckily for Diablo and Crash, Itch and I were able to give them rides home or they would have been some sorry drenched puppies.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sultry Air, Frigid Water

Next Swims: Tue - Fri, Sept 8-11, 6AM

Last Swim: Labor Day Sept 7th 11AM
Water Temp: 49
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Diablo, Nanook, Itch, Nivens McTwist, Kahuna, Panini, Electra, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Crash, Karen, Linda
Wetsuit/Skin: 10/2
Pitsch: 10

You would think that all this sultry weather would push the water temp needle up, at least a little bit.   But we're stuck in the forties and low fifties.  A couple days ago it got near 60 but then went right back down.  Meanwhile the lucky ducks on the Michigan side of the lake are enjoying seventies.  Damn!

But of course the few, the brave, and the crazy were not to be deterred.  And Diablo and Nanook didn't even wear wetsuits for their half-mile swim!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Weak Minds, Strong Bodies

Next Swim:  Monday Labor Day Sept 7th 11AM

Last swims:
Sun Sept 6th
Water Temp: 53
Waves: calm when we started, building
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Wild Style, Moe, Adam, Zoom Zoom, Diablo, Capt'n, Sketch, Panini, Showgirl, Scarface, Mr. Anonymous, Crash, Electra, Mark, North Shore Nancy, Brian, Itch, Mitchell, Gigi and friend, Patriarch
(I may have missed someone, there were lots of people and my mind was foggy from cold water).
Wetsuit/Skin: 18/3
Shots: 22 (some had two!)

Sat Sept 5th, 11AM
Water Temp: 59
Waves:  Small and rolling
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Crash, Mark, Andy, Gumdrop, Panini, Don Diego, Michelle, Itch, Kahuna, Showgirl, Capt'n, Mr. Anonymous, Electra, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 6/8
Balls: 8 (all Diablo's)
Shots: 12

Fri Sept 4th, 6PM
Water Temp: 57
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Diablo, Itch, Mr. Anonymous, Showgirl, Crash, Capt'n, Kahuna, Gumdrop, Mark, North Shore Nancy, Panini, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 9/3

Today's blog title is courtesy of Adam, who told me he was of weak mind but strong body.  It is an apt description of our whole group.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Weekend Plans

Weekend Swim Plans:
Friday Sept 4th 6PM, going out for food and refreshments afterwards at Three Lions or some other pub
Sat Sept 5th, 11AM
Sun Sept 6th 11AM
Labor Day 11AM

3PM Friday Update:  The Atwater buoy is back online and recording rapidly rising water temps.  Currently 60!  Skin Swim or Bust at 6PM.  Are you with me?

Last Swim:  Fri Sept 4th 6AM
Water Temp: 52
Waves:  Small Rollers
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Showgirl, Super Hera, Itch, Diablo, Pat, Forger, Kahuna, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 7/2

It looks like a hot humid weekend.  No better place to cool your heels than the beach.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

North Shore Nancy is Back

Next Swims:  Friday Aug 4th, 6AM & 6PM
Showgirl hinted that she was buying beers for everyone after the 6PM swim.
Or at least I'm pretty sure that's what she meant even if that's not exactly what she said.
So, Showgirl, where're we going?

Last swims: Thu Aug 3rd, 6AM & 6PM
Water Temp: 53 at 6AM, 56 at 6PM
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
6AM Crew: Dave, Mr. Anonymous, Forger, Kahuna, Crash, Diablo, Showgirl, Patriarch
6PM Crew:  Mitch, Mark, Nancy North Shore, 2-Ply, Itch, Gumdrop, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 14/2
Pitsch: 5

Onshore Nancy boxed herself into a corner by promising to swim if the water temp was at least 55.   This created an ethical dilemma for me.  What if thermometer read 54 or 53, would I lie to her and say it was 55?  You bet I would!  There is no honor or honesty among pirates.  But luckily I didn't have to lie, it read 56 (really!).  Anyhow she kept her promise and now she's no longer Onshore Nancy. North Shore Nancy is back!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

6AM & 6PM swims Thursday

Next Swims:  Thu Sept 3rd, 6AM & 6PM - Friday Sept 4th 6AM

Last Swim:  Wed Sept 2nd, 6AM
Water Temp: 50
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity:  Good
Crew: Itch, Nanook, Diablo, Fred, Pat, Showgirl, Brendan, Nivens McTwist
Wetsuit/Skin: 5/3

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Missing Swimmer!

Next Swims:  Wed, Thu, Fri, Sep 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 6AM each day

Last Swims: Mon & Tue Aug 31st and Sept 1st
Water Temp:  Mon 51, Tue 53
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Good
Mon Crew: Diablo, Mr. Anonymous, Mark, Showgirl, Super Hera, Capt'n, Patriarch
Tue Crew: Forger, Showgirl, Itch, Diablo, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 9/3

Have you seen this man?  Kahuna, aka Sandie, aka Pendlepuss, also answers to "Shithead" and "Hey Asshole".  Last seen swimming east after muttering "there just has to be some warm water out there somewhere".  Age:  Younger than he looks.  Hair:  Disheveled.  Eyes: Bloodshot.  If encountered approach with caution. Probably incoherent. Possibly dangerous.  Certainly high.  If found, return to Squeezakahuna (but don't call her that).  Reward: One free swim with Patriarch (retail value $100)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Finally Out of the Forties

Next Swims: Mon Aug 31 through Fri Sep 4th, 6AM each day

Last Swims: Sat Aug 29th 11AM
Water Temp: 47
Waves: 1-2 foot rollers
Water Clarity: Murky
Crew: Itch, Showgirl
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/1
Pitsch: 5

Sun Aug 30th 11AM
Water Temp: 50!  (after 12 days in the forties)
Waves:  Small Rollers
Water Clarity: Murky
Crew: Sandy, Diablo, Crash, Scarface, Monica, Mr. Anonymous, Mark, Forger, Itch, Showgirl, Mighty Mac, Capt'n, Gumdrop, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/13
Pitsch: 12

I never thought I'd see the day when I'm happy to see 50 on my water thermometer. But today is that day.  After twelve days of forties it finally warmed (if you can call it that) to that magic number which is my minimum swim temperature.  Even with full wetsuit, booties and three caps, the first couple minutes were brutal, but after that it actually was OK.  It felt so good to be back in the water that I was at mudslide (a half mile from our starting point) before I knew it.

Everyone seemed to agree that the coldest patch was right near the rock piles where we start, so perhaps that means that warmer water is finally coming in.  Let's hope so.

In the mean time we're toughening up.   We would have never considered swimming at 50 before, much less the forties that the bad asses were swimming in all week.  Three cheers for the swimmers that kept swimming during this arctic blast.  I'm very happy to join you in the water again.

Friday, August 28, 2015


Next Swims: Sat & Sun, 8/29 & 8/30, 11AM both days

Last Swims:
Thu & Fri, 8/27 & 8/28, 6AM both days
Water Temp: 47
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Thu Crew: Showgirl, Itch
Fri Crew:  Diablo, Showgirl, Itch

The water is still brutally cold but it was a gorgeous sunrise.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Under Siege

Next Swims: Thu Aug 27th 6AM, and Friday Aug 28th 6AM

Last Swims: Wed Aug 26th 6AM
Water Temp: 47
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Itch
Wetsuit/Skin:  0/1

Although August is usually the warmest month for Lake Michigan water temps, even in August it's not unusual to have a few days of cooler water.  But I can't remember anything like this current streak of cold water. It's been a week and a day of sub-50 degree readings, and my only swim was the Great Lake Plunge in a wetsuit.

The good news is the weather pattern that created this upwelling of cold water has finally broken.  The strong offshore winds have shifted to onshore which will allow some warming.  There's plenty of summer left.  Hopefully we'll have some more swimmable conditions soon.

Of course while I'm whining about cold water a few of the real bad asses have continued to swim.  You guys are better than me.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Linda Takes It to Another Level

Next Swims:  Wed, Thu, Fri, Aug 26-28, 6AM
Note: There will be no PM swims until the lake warms again, which may be a couple days

Last Swim: Tue Aug 25th
Water Temp: 48
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Itch, Linda
Wetsuit/Skin: 0/2

We need to invent a new category for the incredible swims that Linda completed the last few days.

On Saturday she completed the Apostle Islands Relay Swim as a solo skin swimmer.  The water was in the mid sixties with very heavy chop.  The swim was supposed to be 20 miles but the course was shortened to 17 miles because of the rough seas.  Linda was the first of the three solo swimmers!  Here are the results: Congratulations Linda!

Then this morning she swam over a mile skin at Klode in 48 degree water!  I find that almost superhuman.  An amazing feat!  Sadly, Linda is leaving tonight for her home in Ohio, and we probably won't see her again until next year.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Barely a new record cold skin swim

Next Swims:
  Tuesday-Friday at 6am

Last Swim
   Monday August 24th at 6am
      Water Temp:  7.1C (44.8) Scientific-o-meter / 44.6 Patriarch-o-meter / 43.2 Macho-meter
      Air Temp:  54 & Sunny
      Waves:  flat
      Clarity:  Crystal Clear
      Kru:  Diablo (skin), Forger (suit) witnessed by The Patriarch, Showgirl, Crash, Mr. Anonymous, Capt'n
      Skin / Suit:  1/1

It was a challenge to keep our feet in the water long enough to take an accurate reading this morning....but after several excruciating minutes in the water the Scientific-o-meter bottomed out at 7.1C.  The 7.1C reading barely nudged out the 7.3C reading recorded at last Friday morning's swim.  Regardless, Diablo still walked the plank skin and logged a 1/4 mile swim up to the Garage and back from Klode's north beach.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Undiscouraged by Cold Water

Next Swims: Monday - Friday Aug 24 - 28 @ 6AM each day
And if the Lake ever warms up again we'll do 6PM swims as well, check back

Last swims:  Saturday Aug 22, Great Lake Plunge, Clark Street Beach, Evanston IL
Water Temp: 53
Waves: Small rollers
Water Clarity: Ultra HD clear
Crew:  Mitch, Capt'n, Scarface, Crash, Showgirl, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 6/0 (wetsuits mandatory)
Pitsch: 5

Saturday Aug 22nd 11AM Klode Beach
Water Temp: 50?
Waves:  Calm,
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, Gumdrop, Mark, Erin, Itch, and one other
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/7

Sunday: Aug 23rd 10AM Klode Beach
Water Temp: 44
Waves:  Small Rollers
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew:  Dave, Mark, Brian, Showgirl, Itch, Diablo, Gumdrop, plus a gaggle of North Shore Nancy's (including me) watching from shore
Waves:  Small rollers
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/3
Pitsch: 12

The Lake's been doing her best to discourage us, but we just keep swimming (or some do anyhow).

My own enthusiasm was severely tested at 4:30 AM Saturday morning when my alarm went off.  Did I really want to drive all the way to Evanston to swim in 53 degree water in an event that would likely be shortened, maybe even cancelled? Somehow I overcame common sense and went anyway.  I'm very glad I did.

Clark Street Beach is beautiful, nice and sandy, no rocks and a great view.  Northwestern University to the north and the Chicago skyline to the south.  The Great Lake Plunge was a lot of fun, a low key affair run by very nice people.  They did a really great job for their first event, especially communicating the cold lake conditions which forced them to shorten the course at the last minute.  I hope they do it again next year.  I will certainly be there if they do and I would recommend it for you too.

Halfway around the course I spotted golf balls on the bottom (Capt'n saw them too), and I burst out laughing.  They were too deep to dive for them in a wetsuit.  It seems they're everywhere we swim, there must be zillions throughout the lake!  I don't understand why so many people would drive golf balls into the lake, maybe just to make a splash?  But I must admit I've never tried it.  We've got enough now maybe we should drive a few back in?

After the Plunge we found a most excellent place nearby for breakfast, the Walker Brothers Pancake House.  Better yet, Capt'n bought.  A new annual tradition?

Speaking of Capt'n he continues to struggle with figuring out the "official" lake temperature.  This morning he was taking the water temperature with multiple thermometers in multiple locations.  All the readings agree within a couple degrees which is good enough for me but not for Capt'n Queeg. I'm afraid he's going to drive himself (even more) nuts with this quest!

Speaking of lake water temps, Steven "Mighty Mac" Wolfe pointed out this site which shows the water temps at the buoy that is off Atwater Beach.  The buoy temperatures seem to track closely with the water temps we measure at Klode, although I noticed that when the temperature is changing rapidly there is a couple of hours of lag time between when the water cools (or warms) at the buoy versus Klode. But it still gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect so I have added it to the list of links to the right of this blog.

By the way Steve, regarding your question about inland lakes to swim in as an alternative.  You're talking to the wrong people.  We'd rather be chipped out of the ice on the Lake Michigan shore than swim in an inland lake.

Friday, August 21, 2015

A new skin record??? (join the debate)

Next Swims:
   Saturday 8/22 @ 1pm
   Sunday 8/23 @ 10am

Last Swim:
   Friday 8/21 @ 6am
      Water Temp:  7.3C (45.1)  Scientific-o-meter / 44.6 Patriarch-o-meter / 43.2 Macho-meter
      Air Temp: 58 & Sunny
      Waves:  Flat
      Clarity: crystal clear
      Kru: Diablo, Gumdrop & Itch with witnesses The Patriarch, Showgirl, Crash, Scarface, Mitch, Fred and Capt'n
      Ball Count: 8 Itchy balls

Prior to yesterday the coldest official skin swim on record was set on August 27th 2013.  At that time the Scientific-o-meter registered 8.3C (46.9) and macho-meter.v1 registered 45.3.  Since that time both the Patriarch-o-meter and macho-meters have been upgraded/replaced with newer models.  (i.e. the originals died so we jumped on amazon and bought replacements at a hefty price tag of about $4.)  Remaining constant since the 2013 record has been Scientific-o-meter which was generously donated to the Klode Kru by AleWife's Husband.

While the macho-meter would nominate this morning's swim as a record breaker from yesterday's amazing swim (43.2) the Patriarch-o-meter nominates yesterday's swim as the record breaker (44.1 vs 44.6).  As the constant between the previous 2013 record and today's record swim is the Scientific-o-meter readings 8.3C vs 7.3C the Scientific-o-meter would nominate this morning's swim as the record.

As a result, I'd like to make the following proposal:
  • Declare this morning's swim as the "official" skin swim record at 7.3C (45.1)
  • Declare yesterday's swim as the "unofficial" skin swim record at 44.1.
  • ...and allow those who swam/witnessed this morning's swim to brag that the "unofficial unofficial" record skin swim water temp is 43.2.

So what say ye?  Do we have an accord? (Post a comment and voice your opinion)

By the way....not only did itch swim skin this morning he also returned with 8 golf balls!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Diablo Sets A Record!

Next Swim: Friday August 21 @ 6AM

After Friday morning's swim we will stop for a quick breakfast somewhere (Stone Creek? Collectivo?).   Those of us doing the Great Lake Plunge on Saturday can plan our strategy.  Please join us even if you're not Plunging.

Speaking of the Plunge, I will be driving and could take three others.  I plan to leave at 5:30 AM.  Let me know if you're interested, or come to the breakfast Friday and we can plan car pools.

Last Swim: Thursday August 20th @ 6AM
Water Temp: ***44.1*** Yikes!
Waves:  Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Diablo and two ducks
Wetsuit/Skin: 0/1

Only three of us showed up at the beach this morning, and only one swam.  But what a swim!  Diablo broke the skin cold water record he shared with Nanook.  The old record was 45.3, and the new record is 44.1.  He swam a quarter mile (from the north rock pile to garage and back) with only his speedo, cap and goggles.  Amazing swim!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Upwelling Continued

Next Swims: Thursday 8/20 @ 6AM and Friday 8/21 @ 6AM
Also, possibly Thursday @6PM (but no Wed 6PM swim)

After Friday morning's swim we will stop for a quick breakfast somewhere (Stone Creek? Collectivo?).   Those of us doing the Great Lake Plunge on Saturday can plan our strategy (my strategy: survival).   Please join us even if you're not Plunging.

Speaking of the Plunge, I will be driving and could take three others.  I plan to leave at 5:30 AM.  Let me know if you're interested, or come to the breakfast Friday and we can plan car pools.

Last Swims: Tuesday 8/18 6PM
Water Temp: 57
Waves: Very choppy
Water Clarity: OK
Crew: Kim, Crash, Itch, Jack Frost, Mark, Brennan, Patriarch, with North Shore Nancy cheering us on from shore
Wetsuit/Skin: 7/1
Pitsch: 8

Wednesday 8/19 6AM
Water Temp: 51!
Waves: 1 foot rollers
Water Clarity: OK
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/4
Crew: Nivens McTwist, Kahuna, Forger, Super Hera, Itch, Showgirl, Panini, Diablo, with me, Capt'n, Scarface and Crash wimping out and watching from shore

The upwelling I wrote of in yesterday's blog has continued and intensified.  The water temperature has dropped to 51, possibly even colder away from shore.  And strong offshore winds make for slim chances of any improvement today.

Because of the cold water many swimmers cut their swim short, and some of us didn't swim at all (or as Capt'n likes to say - we made it to Toe Stubber- the submerged rock a couple feet offshore).  However a brave few saw the cold water as a challenge.  Today Super Hera swam a full mile in 50 degree water, she wore a wetsuit, but that's still a long time in cold choppy water.  And last night Mark and Crash and
Jack Frost ventured a short skin swim in choppy 57 degree water, which I believe is probably the coldest water they've experienced skin.  Outstanding job!

I suppose it's time to start obsessing about the conditions for Saturday's Plunge, but if there's one thing I've learned about Lake Michigan swimming is that you've just got to roll with it.  I really want to swim skin, but if it's too cold and rough for that, no shame in donning the wetsuit, and if it's too cold for that we'll just head for breakfast somewhere.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Next Swims: Today Tuesday August 18th @ 6PM (if it isn't thundering)
Wed - Fri 8/19 - 8/21 6AM
Also, possibly 6PM swims on Wed and/or Thur

Last Swim: Tuesday 8/18 @ 6AM
Water Temp: 57
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Kahuna, Goose, Diablo, Scarface, Showgirl, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/2

Word of the day is "Upwelling": Noun, a process in which cold waters from the depths rise to the surface.

If you want a really good explanation of upwellings, and how and why they can change Lake Michigan water temperatures so radically and so quickly, see this WISN weather blog entry, complete with charts and diagrams.

And if you want to hear about some really bad ass open ocean swimming, see this article and listen to the embedded podcast about Kim Chambers who recently swam skin from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate, thirty miles in cold shark infested water.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday 8/17 6am report

Next Swims:
   Tuesday - Friday 6am  (post comment if interested in PM swim)

Last Swim:
   Monday 8/17 at 6am
      Water Temp: 59  (cooler in most other spots)
      Air Temp:  73 / Sunny / humid
      Waves:  slight chop
      Clarity: Crystal Clear
      Kru:  Diablo, Kahuna, Scooby, Showgirl, Crash, Nivens McTwisp, Scarface, Super Hera, Forger, Julie, Brian, Capt'n
      Skin / Suit:  4 / 8

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Big Bay Day

Next Swims:  Mon - Fri 6AM (8/17 - 8/21)
There may also be some 6PM swims this week too.  Check back or leave a comment.

Last Swim:  Sunday August 16, 10AM
Water Temp: High 60's but warmer and colder patches, mostly warmer
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew:  Jackie, Lenore, Brian, Gumdrop, Mighty Mac, Kim, Diablo, Mark, North Shore Nancy, Taskmaster, Lorraine, Sketch, Itch, No-Ply, Zoom Zoom, Sir James, Crash, Patriarch, plus a couple people I don't know, and Kelly and Mr. Anonymous swam after us.
Wetsuit/Skin: not sure but I think 7/14
Pitsch: 8

Big Bay swims are my favorite swims, but they don't happen often.  Three times already this year I said in this blog that we might try it the next day but then BOOM, the lake turns choppy and cold.  Today was the opposite, I came to the beach not intending a Big Bay swim, but conditions were so good that we just had to make it happen.

Unfortunately I think this impromptu decision caused some confusion amongst the crew, sorry about that.  But hopefully most people had fun.  I especially like swimming under the huge mansions on the south end of the swim.

Special thanks to Mrs. Diablo who at the last minute helped us out by driving the one-way swimmers back to Klode.  It's always entertaining to listen to her side of the story.  We've always thought that Diablo was impervious to cold, but today we found out that he's come home near hypothermic several times. He's pretty good at fooling us but he can't fool the wife.

Hopefully we'll get another shot or two at a Big Bay swim, and we need to do a Shipwreck Swim as well.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Perfect Place on a Hot Summer Day

Next Swims: Sunday 8/16 @ 10AM, Monday 8/17 @ 6AM

Last Swim: Saturday 8/15 @ 8AM
Water Temp: 66
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Scooby, Crash, Gumdrop, Scarface, Kahuna, Sonnakahunna, Mr. Anonymous, Mark, North Shore Nancy, Liz, Showgirl, Linda, Diablo, Jack Frost, Forger, Kim, Patriarch, and Phil aka "The Hot Guy in the Yellow Shorts" (according to the peeps)
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/18

Why would you be anywhere else on this hot sticky humid sunny sultry summer day?  Conditions almost ideal and Scarface brought her excellent fresh bakery and Kahuna brought coffee and donuts.  What more could you ask for?

P.S.  Congratulations to Mr. A who successfully completed his Alcatraz swim!  (I think Mike was planning to do that too, but I don't know the result. )

Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday (8/14) 6am Swim Report

Next Swims:
   Saturday 8/15 @ 8am
   Sunday 8/16 @ 10am

Last Swim:
   Friday 8/14 @ 6am
      Water Temp:  59.6
      Air Temp:  71 & mostly sunny
      Waves:  flat
      Clarity:  Crystal Clear
      Kru:  Diablo, Scooby, Showgirl, Crash, Nanook, Scarface, Forger, Super Hera, Fred, Capt'n
      Skin / Suit:  6 / 4

Another delightful day for a dip in the lake.  Flat, crystal clear and an amazing sunrise highlighted the swim.  The cooler 60ish water at the onset of the swim by the rocks gave way to mostly slightly warmer pockets further away from shore.

An earlier swim appears to be the favorite option for Saturday's swim so the Kru has announced intentions to assemble at 8am Saturday to walk the plank.  For those looking to swim with the Patriarch for $100 it appears likely that he will make his return for the 8am Saturday swim.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Catching Up

Next Swims:
   Friday August 14th @ 6am
   Saturday (8/15) at 8am & Sunday (8/16) at 10am

Last Swims:
   Wednesday August 12th @ 6am
      Water Temp: 66
      Waves: flat
      Clarity: clear
      Kru: The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Gumdrop, Crash, Itch, Super Hera,  Erin, Linda, Capt'n
      Skin/Suit:  8 / 2

   Wednesday August 12th @ 6pm (as reported by Kahuna)
      Temp.: 69
      Clarity: Not very
      Waveage: Little choppy
      Kru: Loraine, Linda, Kristy, Two Ply, Itch, Sonnakahuna, Kahuna
      Wetsuit/skin: 4/3
      Pitsch Count: 5

As the sun set slowly in the west, the Kru headed south, some to Silver Spring, Linda, Kristy, Two Ply and Loraine to staircase. A beautiful summer eve swim

   Thursday August 13th @ 6am  (as reported by Diablo)
      Water Temp: 67
      Waves: flat
      Clarity: clear
      Kru: Diablo, Nives, Scooby, Crash, Mr. Anonymous, Forger, Gumdrop, Linda
      Skin/Suit:  6 / 2

When we go arrived this morning Linda was already in the water in her journey to swim 8 hours today.  Also, Forger was worried that he didn't find any balls and Nives said that swims like this morning are good to remember during the cold days of winter.  Enjoying the Summer.

   Thursday August 13th @ 6pm
      Water Temp:  64.5 (with several much much warmer pockets and a few cold ones)
      Waves: Flat
      Clarity: clear
      Kru: Diablo, Frost, Crash, Scarface, Northshore Nancy, Mark, Brennan, Capt'n
      Skin / Suit:  6 /2
      Pitsch Count:  6

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

No Balls Today

Next Swims:  Wed, Thu, Fri, Aug 12-14th 6AM

Last Swims:  Tue 6PM
Water Temp: 68
Waves: 1-2 foot rollers
Water Clarity:  Murky near shore, better further out
Crew: Mark, Itch, 2-Ply, Liz, Brenan, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/4
Pitsch: 7
Balls: 0

Tue 6AM
Water Temp: 64
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Good
Crew:  I don't have the complete list, but here is what I do know: Linda, James, Scooby, Diablo, Kahuna, Sonnakahuna, Nivens McTwist, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/4?
Balls: 0

I am leaving for The Cities immediately following the Wed morning swim, and then our son will be in for the weekend, so this blog may fall behind.  Sorry!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Fantastic Swimming and Nineteen Balls

Next Swims:  Tuesday August 11th 6AM and 6PM
Wed, Thu, Fri 6AM
Possibly Wed Thu Fri 6PM swims, check back

Last Swim: Monday August 10th 6PM
Water Temp: 66
Waves: Calm, but a current moving south
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: 2-Ply, Itch, Mark, North Shore Nancy, Capt'n, Crash, Patriarch
Wetsuit/skin 1/6
Pitsch: 7

The swimming doesn't get much better.  Come and enjoy while you can, it won't last!

In addition to a fantastic swim there was a dramatic turn in the contest to see who has the most balls.  Until tonight the leader was Nanook with three balls.  But then 2-Ply doubles it by coming ashore with 6 balls.  And only a few minutes later Itch doubles again and comes up with an astounding thirteen balls.  He already had a ball, so that gives him the most balls by far.

Current Standings:
Itch - 14 balls
2-Ply - 6 balls
Nanook - 3 balls
Showgirl - 1 ball
Capt'n - only 1 ball, but the biggest most colorful ball


Next Swims:  Monday August 10th 6PM
Tuesday August 11th 6AM (And 6AM Wed, Thu, Fri too)
Maybe some more 6PM swims Tue Wed and Thu, check back

Last Swim: Monday August 10th 6AM
Water Temp: 64 (yes, really)
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Diablo, Amy, Crash, Super Hera, Kahuna, Linda, Capt'n, Forger, Scooby, Brian, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/7

That's it!  I quit!  I'm through being Mr. Nice Guy!  TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT!

So you think it's easy being Patriarch?  Every day, sometimes twice, it's same ridiculous damn thing.  We walk down to the beach and the first thing I do is take a water temperature reading.  Then, no matter what number I report, high, low or in-between, I'm invariably submerged in a tsunami of disbelief.  "No way".   "It can't be".  "Are you sure?".  "Liar!".  "It MUST be warmer than that!"  "It MUST be colder than that!".  "You're Crazy".  "Take another reading, here, there, out there!"  "You must have read it wrong."

WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE??  Are you there to swim or whine?  The lake is the lake, often cold, murky and rough.  Get over it.  You want nice?  Go play with your rubber ducky in the kiddie pool.   Stop using me as a punching back.  Why is it necessary to project your fears and anxieties on me?  Your psychotic delusions?  (Your secret desires?).  Shut up, man up and walk the plank.

And if that's not bad enough I go home and listen to wifey whine about her colonoscopy tomorrow and how awful the prep is, and how I'm an awful husband because I'm not sympathetic enough, etc, etc, etc

So I'm done. Get someone else to read the temp, I'm going swimming.  Oh, and by the way, do you expect Pitsch after your insufferable sniveling?  FORGET IT!!!!!!!!      

Sunday, August 9, 2015


Next Swims: Mon-Fri August 10th thru August 14 6AM every weekday morning
Also: possibly some 6PM swims, check back

Last Swim:
Sunday August 9th 1PM
Water Temp: 60 but warmer and colder pockets, mostly warmer
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Mark, Brian, Linda, Phil, Erin, Jack Frost, Nanook, Neo, Scarface, Crash, Capt'n, Kahuna, Gumdrop, Diablo, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/11
Pitsch: 15

Congratulations to all the triathlon finishers!  Especially to North Shore Nancy who finished despite bad luck and great adversity.

I was surprised to see so many of you on the beach this afternoon.  I would have thought you'd have your fill of Lake Michigan, but there's no denying the power of her siren song.  

The lake just can't seem to make up it's mind.  65 on Friday, 53 on Saturday, and 60 today, but not really a steady temperature, patches of warm and cold, and even a great difference between the surface and a couple feet down.  A jumbled up mess, but I'm hoping the preponderance of warm spots means that warm water is moving in.  

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bad Ass #4. And #5?

Next swims:  Sunday August 9th 1PM, Monday August 10th 6AM

Last Swim:  Saturday August 8th 10AM
Water Temp: 53
Waves: Choppy
Water Clarity: murky
Crew: Kahuna, Itch, Steve, Diablo
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/3
Pitsch: 8 (yes, that's two shots apiece)

The bad news: the water temp has fallen again.  The good news:  instead of whining about it, the Crew rose to the occasion and we now have another Bad Ass.  Congratulations to Kahuna who swam a skin mile in sub-55 degree water.  I was not there to witness this auspicious event but reliable reports tell a story of considerable suffering and shivering.  Double shots of Pitsch celebrated Kahuna's accomplishment.

Also:  Capt'n thinks (pardon the oxymoron) that I missed a bad ass swim.  Wednesday morning the temp was 52 and Kate joined us for a skin swim.  I did not think she made a mile, but Capt'n thinks she did.  Kate if you made it to "mudslide" and back on Wednesday you too are a Bad Ass.  Let me know.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Lovely Ladies of Klode Beach

Next Swims:  Saturday, August 8th 10AM, Sunday August 9th 1PM
I will attempt a Big Bay swim on Saturday if conditions are right (water 65+, not too wavy).  Matriarch has graciously agreed to provide shuttle service for me and anyone else who cares to join me on this 1.2 mile one way swim.  Or you can swim it two ways or just do our usual thing of an out and back whatever distance you choose.

Last Swims: Friday August 7th 6AM
Water Temp: 65
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Showgirl, Scarface, Crash, Scooby, Forger, Kahuna, Diablo, Capt'n, Itch, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/9

Friday at lunchtime a bunch of people swam the USAT course at Discovery World, but I was not there, perhaps someone can provide a report?

The Lovely Ladies of Klode Beach.  Showgirl (top), Crash (left), Scarface (right), and my beloved Barbie.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Return of Warm Water. And More Balls!

Next Swims:
Tomorrow Friday August 7th, 6AM, followed by breakfast somewhere
Friday August 7th 11:30AM, meet in front of Discovery World to swim the USAT Nationals course
Saturday August 8th 10:00AM (this may be a Big Bay swim, check back)
Sunday swim time to be determined, check back

Last Swim: Thursday August 6th, 6PM
Water Temp: 66, pockets of warmer and cooler, mostly warmer
Waves:  small rollers
Water Clarity:  Good
Crew:  Nanook, Littlenook, Mitch, Gumdrop, Mark, Amber, Capt'n, Lorraine, Itch, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/7
Pitsch: 7

Our suffering in cold water the last week has been rewarded.  Warm water has finally moved back in and we had an outstanding swim tonight.  It's seems so much easier to swim when your body is not contracting into a tight knot.  And no shiverfest afterwards!  Deeeelightful.

Lots of funny things happen on the beach, but tonight Nanook beat them all.  She emerged from the water and pulled three golf balls out from under her suit.   I'm still laughing.

This makes her the current leader in the balls contest.  Itch has a small ball, and Capt'n has one big orange ball.

Correction:  Oops, I almost forgot, Showgirl has a ball too.


Next Swims:  Today Thursday August 6th, 6PM
Tomorrow Friday August 7th, 6AM
Friday August 7th 11:30AM, meet in front of Discovery World to swim the USAT Nationals course

Last Swims:
Thursday August 6th 6AM
Water Temp: 58
Waves: One foot rollers
Water Clarity: Poor
Crew: Nivens McTwist, Diablo, Jenny, Erin, Showgirl, Super Hera, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/5

Wednesday August 5th 6PM
Water Temp: 59
Waves:  One foot chop
Water Clarity: Poor
Crew: Itch, Crash, Kahuna, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/3

The lake conditions at Klode have transitioned from cool calm and clear to (somewhat) warmer wavier and murkier.  Favorable winds continue through the weekend so I'm hoping for the warmup to continue.  We're still looking for that day when we can do a Big Bay swim.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hard Core

Next Swims: Today Wednesday August 5th, 6PM
Tomorrow Thursday August 6th, 6AM
Possibly Thursday at 6PM, check back
Friday August 7th, 6AM
Friday August 7th 11:30AM, meet in front of Discovery World to swim the USAT Nationals course

Last Swims:
Tuesday August 4th 6PM
Water Temp: 56
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Nanook, Scarface, Slip-n-Slide, 2Ply, Silas, Liz, Erin, Patriarch, and Mitch swam before us
Wetsuit/Skin: 6/3
Pitsch: 8

Wednesday August 5th 6AM
Water Temp: 52
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Kate, Showgirl, Gumdrop, Neo, Itch, Diablo, Scooby, Capt'n, Forger, Zoom Zoom
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/6

You would expect that the cold water temps of the last week would scare swimmers away.  But you would be wrong.  Instead of turning tail we've been toughening up.  I can remember the days when we thought 55 degree water was really really cold, and it took all our gumption just to accomplish a short swim in wetsuits.  Now we have a number of swimmers who brave water in the low fifties and even lower for swims of a mile and more.  Amazing!

Still, warmer water would be nice.  After ten days or more of strong offshore breezes the wind is finally turning onshore for a few days, so hopefully that will improve things.