Monday, June 29, 2015

I Have a Friend!

Next Swims:  Tuesday June 30th, Wednesday July 1st, Thursday July 2nd, 6AM very day

Also:  A full moon swim Thursday July 2nd at 8:15PM at Big Bay Beach, two blocks north of Hampton on Lake Drive.  On some maps it is shown as "Buckley Bay" or "Back Bay".  The full moon rises over the lake at 8:54PM.  The reason we are going to Big Bay rather than our usual swim spot at Klode is that Klode (a village park) closes at 9PM whereas Big Bay (a county park) closes at 10PM, and we'll have more time to view (and howl at) the rising moon.  Afterwards we can go to Three Lions Pub only a few blocks away.

Last Swim:  Monday June 29th 6AM
Water Temp: 58
Waves:  Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Mr. Anonymous, Showgirl, Little Fish, Nivens McTwist, Diablo, Kahuna, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 5/3

Thank you Mark Zuckerberg!  You have saved me from dying a lonely embittered isolated old man.  Having led a desolate facebookless existence for 66 years I have finally joined Facebook and have my first friend.  Capt'n has announced to the World Wide Web that I am his friend!  And I always thought it was just the Killepitsch talking.   Oh, the tears of joy and happiness that cascaded down my face when I received "Capt'n has accepted your friend request" message.

Mark, having transformed my life, will you be my friend too?  And, by the way, where is the "enemies" feature?  I have a long list of people I want to send a "I hate you, you worthless piece of s**t" and it seems to me that Facebook would be perfect for that.      

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Flocking to the Beach

Next Swims: Mon, Tue, Wed, June 29th, June 30th, and July 1st, 6AM

Last Swim: Sunday June 28th
Water Temp: 62
Waves: Small Chop
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Sarah, Kevin, Mark, Renee, Itch, Nanook, Diablo, Nivens McTwist, Little Fish, Tiny Mother, Showgirl, Gumdrop, Mr. Anonymous, Kahuna, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 8/8
Pitsch Count: 15

Like seagulls flocking to a pile of dead fish, warmer water temps brought Klode Kru swimmers flocking to the beach.  We had a season high sixteen swimmers.  I believe most swimmers had their longest lake swim of the season.  I'm looking forward to day soon when we can make it all the way to Big Bay.

Living up to her name, the fashion statement of the day was made by Showgirl, hopefully somebody has a picture to post on this blog or our Lake Michigan Facebook page.

P.S.  I'm trying to figure out what to do about a full moon swim on Thursday evening.  The challenge is the moon rises at 8:54PM but the Klode beach closes at 9PM, and as we've found out the hard way, malingerers are promptly ejected.  However, Renee thought Big Bay might be open until 10, but I'm not sure how to verify that.  Does anyone know?  Or have other suggestions?  

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Getting slapped around....for FREE!

Next Swims:
   Sunday June 28th @ 1pm
   Monday June 29th @ 6am

Last Swim:
   Saturday June 27th @ 1pm
      Water Temp: 62
      Air Temp: 68 & Sunny
      Waves: Light to Moderate Chop
      Clarity: clearing further from shore you swam
      Crew: The Patriarch, Diablo, Kahuna, Capt'n with special guest appearance by Showgirl
      Suit / Skin Count:  0 / 4
      Pitsch Count:  5

Quote of the Day:  Upon reaching Garage after about 20 minutes of fighting a moderately fierce chop Kahuna stood up and proclaimed... "Boy, in Vegas you'd have to pay extra to get slapped around like this!"  Unfortunately...though...due to an obscure legal statue the remainder of this story is protected under Capt'n / Crew member confidentiality restrictions.  ;)

Here are some pics from today's most excellent swim adventure:

Friday, June 26, 2015

Weekend Plans

Next Swims: Saturday & Sunday, June 27th & 28th, 1:00PM both days

Last Swims: Wed, Thu, Fri, June 24-26, 6AM
Water Temp: Mid to high fifties
Water Clarity:  Improving
Waves:  Calm Wed & Thu, Choppy Fri
Wed Crew: Sandy, Renee, Mark, Super Hera, Capt'n, Nivens McTwist, Kahuna, Itch, Showgirl, Diablo, Patriarch
Thu Crew: Diablo, Showgirl, Gumdrop, Nanook, Mr. Anonymous, Tom, Kahuna
Fri Crew: Kahuna, Tom, Diablo, Super Hera, Showgirl, Itch, Nanook, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 24/4

After briefly reaching 60 last weekend, the water temps have been stuck in the fifties.  But warmer sunny weather is predicted for the weekend so perhaps we'll get a break.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mornings on the Beach

Next Swims:  Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,  June 24th, 25th, 26th, 6AM all three days

Last Swims:  Monday and Tuesday 6AM
Water Temp: Monday 58, Tuesday 54
Waves:  very small
Water Clarity:  Good
Monday Crew: Capt'n, Amy, Mr. Anonymous, Diablo, Showgirl, Patriarch
Tuesday Crew: Diablo, Nanook, Bubba, Mr. Anonymous, Showirl, Patriarch, with encouragement from shore by Wonder Woman
Wetsuit/Skin: 10/2

We're back into the swing of morning swims.  I hate getting up so early, but sunrise on the beach is spectacular.  Nice to see Wonder Woman again.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Longest and Best Days (So Far)

Next Swims:  Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, June 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, 6AM all three days

Last Swims:  Saturday and Sunday June 20th and 21st noon
Water Temp:  60 both days, but on Sunday we experienced pockets of warmer water away from shore
Waves:  Very rough and choppy on Saturday, much calmer Sunday
Water Clarity: Murky on Saturday, improved on Sunday
Saturday Crew: Nanook, Showgirl, Gumdrop, Diablo, Mr. Anonymous, Kahuna, Itch, Patriarch, with Nanook's sister and mom watching from shore
Sunday Crew: Andy, Tim, Mark, Nanook, Showgirl, Diablo, Itch, Capt'n, Diablo, Partriarch, with a dramatic appearance (and disappearance) of Scoobie on his jet ski
Wetsuit Swims: 7
Skin Swims: 10
Pitsch Count: 18 Nanook's mom joined us in a Pitsch which means she owes us a swim!

I am very happy to report that the summer swim season has shifted into high gear.  The summer solstice has brought in warmer water and hot weather, allowing us to accomplish our longest swims so far.  Many of us have ditched our wetsuits as well.

Several important announcements:

First, we will begin daily 6AM swims on Monday.

Second:  Our first Full Moon swim of the season will be next Thursday July 2nd.  Perhaps we'll even go out afterwards.  Stay tuned for details.  By the way this full moon is known as the Buck (naked?) moon.

Third:  I hereby proclaim that the swimmer formerly known as Jamie, having demonstrated that he's at least as crazy as the rest of us has been accepted as a full member of the Kru, and shall henceforth be known by the swimming name "Itch".  His engagement to Showgirl is thought to be a false rumor by some, but the thought of a Klode Kru wedding brings tears to my eyes, and so I prefer to believe it.

Finally:  If the guy with the smelly cigar ever shows up at the beach again, I will personally chop him to bits and feed him to the gulls.  However, the lady with the wardrobe malfunction is welcome anytime.


Friday, June 19, 2015

The bark was worse than the bite

Next Swims:
   Saturday June 20th @ noon
   Sunday June 21st @ noon

Last Swim:
   Friday June 19th @ 6am
      Water Temp:  54:6
      Air Temp:  52 & Sunny with NE winds 10-15mph
      Waves: 1-3ft chop
      Clarity: stirred up
      Crew: Kahuna, Super Hera, Capt'n with special guest appearances by Diablo & Showgirl
      Suit / Skin Count:  3/0

At first glance the choppy 1-3ft waves, the chilly northeasterly winds, 54 degree water temp and an air temp struggling to match the water temp appeared to be ominous signs for an unpleasant swim.  Much to the Kru's delight the conditions were more playful than threatening.  The brave Kru members who forged ahead despite their initial perceptions and walked the plank were actually treated to a rather pleasant character building swim.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Uber Celebrity Super Hera

Next Swim:
   Friday June 19th @ 6am

Last Swim
   Wednesday June 17th @ 6am
      Water Temp:  54.2
      Air Temp:  54 & mostly sunny
      Waves:  very light chop
      Clarity:  cloudy near shore / clear 100m offshore
      Crew: Diablo, Kahuna, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Jamie, Super Hera, Capt'n
      Suit / Skin count:  5 / 2

You wouldn't have known it by how modest she was...and I'm willing to bet the Klode Kru members didn't realize it this morning...but joining us for this morning's swim was none other than the Brew City Bruisers Super Celebrity Super Hera!  (...I could hardly believe my eyes nor contain my excitement when Super Hera revealed her true identity!)  Among a sizable list of accolades Super Hera was the League fan favorite in 2013 & 2014.  For those who aren't familiar with Super Hera here's a link to her very own personal Brew City Bruisers bio:

To the best of my knowledge Super Hera is the first Klode Kru swimmer with a personal bio page on the web.....Hmmmm....personal bio pages...interesting idea....  :)

Welcome to the Klode Kru Super Hera!

Side note:  I'm pulling together an order for personalized Klode Kru swim caps.  Cost will likely be around $10 per swim cap.  If you're interested in one please post a comment along with the name you would like on your cap.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Numbskull Swim

Next Swim:
   Wednesday June 17th @ 6am a comment if you're interested in swimming Monday or Tuesday morning

Last Swim:
   Sunday June 14th @ 3pm
      Water Temp:  61!  :)
      Air Temp:  68 & Sunny
      Waves:  rippled-to-flat surface
      Water Clarity:  Cloudy
      Crew:  Kahuna, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Eileen, Capt'n
      Suit / Skin:  5 / 0 brain may have been a wee bit numb numb from the festivities on Locust St prior to this afternoon's swim...but the sunshine and water temp of 61 made it a fine swim indeed!  Many thanks to the Kru fer avoidin' the temptation for mutiny when I showed up late without me customary bottle of Pitsch. Kudos to Showgirl who not only entertained the Kru with her fancy new swim outfit but then made it a strip-n-dip swim as well!  8)~

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Knucklehead Numbskull Swim Sunday

Next Swim: Sunday 6/14 3PM

Last Swim: Saturday 6/13 noon
Water Temp: 56
Waves:  small
Water Clarity: poor
Crew: Gumdrop, Kahuna, Diablo, Patriarch
Wetsuit/ Skin: 3/1

It was so foggy that we couldn't see the shipwreck marker buoy a quarter mile off shore.  That and the murky water made a swim to the wreck pointless, so we headed north instead.  We had to swim around a pier and I headed back closer to shore while the others swam further out.  Soon I lost them in the fog, prompting today's quote of the day from Kahuna, "the Patriarch got lost but he bought the beer afterwards so we still like him".   Even though we didn't make the wreck it was a great swim and the barbecue and beer afterwards was fantastic.

Tomorrow morning is the Locust street beer run and there is a chance of thunderstorms thus creating the rare possibility of a knucklehead  numbskull  swim. Knucklehead swim: swimming during a thunderstorm. Numbskull swim: swimming drunk.

Let me be clear: I completely disapprove of this. But there are those among us for whom crazy is good, crazier is better.  Which I suppose is to be expected in a group who think swimming in Lake Michigan is fun.

Diablo, Patriarch and Gumdrop debating whether we really want to do this:

Friday, June 12, 2015

Chicken & Ribs & Beer & Ice Cream!

Next Swim: Saturday June 13th noon at Atwater Beach, meet at the flag pole in Atwater Park (the east end of Capitol Drive)  If permissions permit we will do a "Shipwreck Swim" out to the wreck of the Appomattox, about a quarter mile off shore.

Last Swim: Thursday June 11th 6AM
Water Temp: 53
Waves:  Disorganized
Crew: Jason, Mr. Anonymous, Diablo
Westsuit/Skin: 2/1

Saturday is the excellent Shorewood Men's Club Barbecue at Atwater Park, so as has been our custom we'll meet for a swim followed (optionally) by barbecue.  Tickets can be purchased from Kahuna.  Half chicken dinners are $10.50, half rack of ribs is $13.  Includes all the fixings.  Beer and Ice Cream available for purchase.  Good stuff!

If the water is warm enough and clear enough and calm enough, we'll swim out to the wreck, an amazing sight if you've never seen it.  Pictures and more info here:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Barely Bearable

Next swim: Thursday June 10th 6AM

Last Swim: Wednesday June 9th 6AM
Water Temp: 52
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity:  Very Good
Crew: Bubba, Zoom Zoom, Diablo, Showgirl, Kimberly, Danielle, Patriarch
Everyone in wetsuits, except of course ice man Diablo.

The water was four degrees higher than yesterday, inching up into the "barely bearable" range (as far as I'm concerned anyway).  The first couple minutes were difficult, but not so bad after that.  I managed my first trip to "Garage" this year, and several swimmers went further.  Another beautiful morning on the beach.

Today's quote of the day is from Bubba who said upon entering the water, "52 my ass!".

P.S.  There is a new Lake Michigan swim event called the Great Lake Plunge on August 22nd in Evanston.  It looks like a good alternative for those of us who didn't get into Big Shoulders.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Nothing Like a Nice Swim

Next  Swim:  Wednesday 6/10 6:00AM

Last Swim:  Tuesday 6/9 6AM
Water Temp: 48
Waves: Flat Calm
Water Clarity: Crystal Clear
Swim Crew:  Diablo, Kahuna, Gumdrop
Skin/Wetsuit: 1/2
Spectators:  Mr. Anonymous, Patriarch

The quote of the day comes from Kahuna who said as he emerged from this morning's adventure, "There's nothing like a nice swim………and that was not a nice swim".

It was an ideal day for swimming in every way but one.  The water was clear and calm, the morning was beautiful.  Paddle boarders glided across the lake.  But the water was frigid!  It didn't stop Kahuna and Gumdrop and Diablo (who swam skin!), they're better men than me!

I've heard the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  Well then we are definitely insane, because we'll be back Wednesday morning.  It's just got to be warmer, right?  

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Aqua Blue & Tan Swim

Next Swim:
   Sunday June 7th @ 1pm

Last Swim:
   Saturday June 6th @ 1pm
      Water Temp:
         53.3 (macho-meter)
         54 (Mr. Ducky-o-meter)
         55 (Kahun-o-meter)
      Air Temp:  64 & Sunny
      Waves: rippled to very slight chop
         thick sand-filled nearshore
         clear blue water 200-300m from shore
      Crew:  Diablo, Kahuna, Gumdrop, Showgirl, Panini, Capt'n
      Suit / Skin:  5/1
      Pitsch Count: 6

Completely saturated with sand, the near shore water today had a distinctive light tan hue to it.  While it was thick enough to prevent you from seeing your hand in front of your face I would certainly not characterize it as murky or brown but more like a light tan paste.  By sharp contrast about 200-300 meters away was the beautiful blue water easing its way towards.  This water was so clear that you could easily see the sandy lake bottom about 12-15ft down.  (...which in case you're wondering translates to about 25-30ft in the Kahuna measurement system...)  As pleasant as it was to swim through the clear blue water it was noticeably cooler than the tan water.