Friday, July 31, 2015

Celebration Weekend

Next Swims:
Tonight Friday July 31st we'll celebrate the Blue Moon.  Meet in the parking lot at Klode at 7:45PM, so we can be in the water when the moon rises over the lake at 8:15PM.  Following the swim we'll celebrate at the Estabrook Park Biergarten

Last minute update:  I screwed up (again!).  The beer garden last call is 9PM, too early for us, so we'll go to Three Lions Pub instead (on Oakland just north of Kensington)

Saturday and Sunday swims will be at 10AM.  Perhaps if conditions are right we can make Sunday's swim a "Shipwreck Swim" celebration at Atwater Beach.  Possibly followed by brunch.  Let me know what you think, by leaving a comment on this blog, or we can discuss at the Biergarten tonight.

Last Swim: Friday July 31st 6AM
Water Temp: 57 at the shore, but warmer and colder pockets offshore
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Ultra HD Clear
Crew: Abe, Julie, Erin, Diana, Forger, Capt'n, Crash, Diablo, Showgirl, Gumdrop, Super Hera, Kahuna, Scarface, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 12/2

Some of the best swims happen when you least expect.  It was like that this morning.  I was expecting very cold unswimable water like we experienced yesterday.  But as usual the Lake confounded our expectations.  The water temp was a still cool but at least swimmable (for me anyway) 57.

Showgirl lived up to her name by putting on a swimming show, doing an impressive skin mile, outlasting even Diablo who turned back sooner.  Made me feel like a total wimp in my wetsuit.

Tonight we celebrate the Blue Moon at the beach where the moon rises over the lake at 8:15PM and then at the Biergarten.  Meet in the Klode parking lot at 7:45PM.  We have several swimmers who swim regularly but still don't have swimming names, we can rectify that with the inspiration found at the bottom of a beer mug.

On Sunday if conditions are right and storms hold off we can do a "Shipwreck Swim" celebration at Atwater Beach.  We can discuss details at the Biergarten tonight.

P.S.  Please consider purchasing a "Friends of Estabrook" beer mug which costs $15, but gets you one free beer and $1 off every beer as long as the mug lasts.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cold Water Cold Beer

Next Swims:  Friday July 31st 6AM
Blue Moon Swim Friday at 7:45 PM, followed by the Beer Garden

Last Swims:
Thursday July 30th 6AM
Water Temp: 49
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Diablo, Itch, Forger, Kelly, with the Wimp Club (including this reporter) watching from shore
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/2

Wednesday July 29th 6PM
Water Temp: 53
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Mark, Nanook, Diablo, Sarah, Mr. Anonymous, Steve, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/3
Pitsch: 7

A beautiful warm and sunny morning lured us to the beach only to get bitten by frigid water.  I measured 49 at our usual launch spot.  In a desperate and pathetic attempt to find warmer water we marched to the north end of the beach to take another reading.  That's not quite as crazy as it sounds.  Many times we've run into warm pockets and cold pockets and it's sometimes cooler by the rocks where we usually start.  But it was to no avail.  The north beach was only a degree warmer at 50.

Most were waving the white flag at this point, but not Diablo, Itch, Kelly and Forger.  In they went. Diablo and Itch without without wetsuits!   Totally nuts but also inspiring.  Good job guys, you preserved our streak.

The responsibility for this cold water, I fear, belongs to the evil west wind which is blowing the warm surface water out and bringing up cold water from the frigid depths. Unfortunately that offshore wind is expected to persist through the weekend, and therefore I predict cool water the next few days.  I offer this prediction because I'm almost always wrong, so if I predict cold it might actually turn warm.  I know that makes no sense, but neither does anything else about this group.

The good news:  clear skies are expected on Friday, and so the rise of the Blue Moon over the lake at 8:15PM should be spectacular.  (A Blue Moon is the second full moon of the month, a rare event).  And I predict the beer at the Beer Garden will be as cool and frosty as Lake Michigan.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cooling Off But Still Good Swimming

Next Swims:  Wednesday July 29th 6PM
Thursday July 30th 6AM
Possibly Thursday at 6PM (check back)
Friday July 31st 6AM
Blue Moon Swim Friday 7:45 PM, followed by Beer Garden

Last Swims:
Tuesday July 28th 6PM
Water Temp: 62
Waves: Choppy
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Steve, Silas, Dave, Liz, Anna, Nanook, Itch, Patriarch, Kahuna
Wetsuit/Skin: 6/3
And watching from the beach: the Kahuna fan club, including Crash, Squeezakahuna, and Temper
Pitsch Count: 9

Wednesday July 29th 6AM
Water Temp: 61
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Gumdrop, Nivens McTwist, Zoom Zoom, Capt'n, Scooby, Diablo, Crash
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/5

We've lost ten degrees from the wonderful 71 of Monday night, but it's still a quite swimmable 60 plus.

Note: I've been counting swimmers wearing only wetsuit bottoms or lava pants as "skin" swimmers, but I'm now calling that a "wetsuit" swim.  Bottoms or lava pants don't provide much warmth, but they do provide lots of buoyancy.  USAT and USMS put them in the wetsuit category and so will I going forward.




Tuesday, July 28, 2015

No Rest For the Weary

Next Swims:  Tuesday July 28th 6PM
Wednesday July 29th 6AM
Thursday July 30th, 6AM
Friday July 31st 6AM
Blue Moon Swim Friday July 31st 7:15PM, followed by Beer Garden
Also, possibly evening swims on Wed & Thu, check back

Last Swim: Tuesday July 28th 6AM
Water Temp: 68
Waves: Half Foot Rollers
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Anna, Diana, Diablo, Bubba, Crash, Nanook, Kahuna, Jackie, Forger, Jack Frost, Itch, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 5/7

It's been so good and I've spent too much time at the beach.  My car smells like Lake Michigan.  Sand is in everything.  My arms and shoulders are tired.  I really should take a day or two off.  No way!  The swim season is short.  I have to take advantage while I can.  See you at 6PM.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Trifecta

Next Swims:  6AM Tuesday through Friday July 28th - July 31st
Also, possibly 6PM swims Tue, Wed, Thu, check back

Friday the 31st at 7:45 PM will be a Blue Moon swim. The full moon rises over the lake at 8:15PM.  Beer Garden after the swim.

Last Swim: Monday July 27th 6PM
Water Temp: 71
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Ultra HD Clear
Crew: Two Mikes, Super Hera, Eric, Dave, Mark, Renee, Mr. Anonymous, Kelly, Diablo, Crash, Jack Frost, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin:  3/10

Tonight we hit a rare trifecta of Lake Michigan swimming.  Water over 70, flat calm and crystal clear.  And on top of that a beautiful summer evening.  This goes down as one of the top ten all time best.  This is what I dream about in January.

Draw

Next Swims: Tonight Mon 7/27 6PM
Tomorrow Tue 7/28 6AM

Last Swim: Monday 7/27 6AM
Water Temp: 58
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity:  Ultra HD Clear
Crew: Diablo, Gumdrop, Forger, Bubba, Capt'n, Showgirl, Crash, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin 4/4

The battle between warm water and cold water was fought to a draw.  The extreme temperature differences that we experienced yesterday have evened out, the water temperature settling down to 58, in between the two extremes.

We're coming back at 6PM tonight.  Today's weather is forecast warm and sunny with an onshore wind, which in theory means warmer but maybe choppier water.  But as with all my predictions it's probably wrong.  The lake is never dull.

A Blue Moon rises over the lake at 8:15 on Friday evening.  We will meet in the Klode parking lot at 7:45 so we can be swimming while the moon rises.  Perhaps the Beer Garden afterwards?  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Thermocline

Next Swims:  6AM Monday - Friday this week, July 27th - July 31st
There may also be some 6PM swims this if conditions are favorable, stay tuned
On Friday evening we'll have a Blue Moon swim followed by a stop for food and beverage, details later

Last Swim: Sunday July 26th 1PM
Water Temps:  Measured 60 on shore but pockets of much warmer and much colder water.  Also, a steep thermocline.
Waves: Gentle Rollers
Water Clarity: Ultra HD Clear
Crew: Jackie, two Annas, Jack Frost, Mark, Renee, Diablo, Capt'n, Showgirl, Valarie, Kate, Lorraine, Neo, Kahuna, Sonnakuhuna, Gigi, Gumdrop, Mr. Anonymous, Itch, Mike, Slip-n-Slide, Dan, Patriarch and I may have missed a couple, there are so many people coming lately it's hard to keep track
Wetsuit/Skin: 12/10
Pitsch: 17

I was amazed so many people showed up to swim, especially after yesterdays report of 49 water temp.  We're either a hardy crew, a determined crew, or a just plain dumb crew.  So let's raise the quality of this blog for just once with a lesson.

Thermocline: Noun. A layer in a large body of water such as a lake, that sharply separates regions differing in temperature, so that the temperature gradient across the layer is abrupt.  For example, standing up in neck deep water today your shoulders felt 70 degree water and your feet felt 40.

An epic battle going on in the lake today between good and evil, warm water and cold.  Extreme differences between one spot and another and surface water versus five feet down.  Into this maelstrom we swam, and it quickly became a test of will.  Those who focused on just the cold spots quickly exited the water, especially because the coldest water of all was right at the rock piles where we start.  But those of us who have experience knew that if we just hung on for a bit, we might find warmer water offshore, and today we did.  We were richly rewarded with (mostly) warm calm clear water.  But it was not a good idea to stop and touch bottom or tread water.

Obviously the lake is in transition.  Will good or edit prevail?  We'll find out at 6AM

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Polar Plunge in July

Next Swims:  Sunday July 26th 1PM, Monday July 27th 6AM

Last Swim: Saturday July 25th 9AM
Water Temp:  49, but possibly even colder
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew:  So I forgot to bring my notebook to the beach so I'm doing this by memory and there were a lot of people there, including some I never met before, so here is as much as a senile old man can remember.  Pam, Michael, Lenore, Raphael, Anna, Kelly, Liz, Blondie, Mr. Anonymous, Scott, Diablo, Nanook, Gumdrop, Mark, Renee, Jackie, Kelly, Showgirl, Capt'n, Patriarch.  I'm sure I've missed some, sorry!
Skin:  Kudos to Lenore, Nanook, and Diablo, who swam skin to sewer pipe and back in frigidly cold water.  I don't know how you do it, I can't even manage it in a full wetsuit.

Our hopes of a Big Bay swim were dashed by frigid water.  Almost unbelievably the water temperature  at the beach has dropped over 20 degrees in just 48 hours.  All is not lost however. The warm surface water that was here two days ago is pooled just offshore and the winds are predicted to turn onshore this afternoon, so the warm water might blow back in.  Or maybe not.  It's impossible to predict and you never really know until you get there. I'll be back Sunday at 1PM hoping for the best.  

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hard to Get

Next Swims: Saturday July 25th 9AM
Sunday July 26th 1PM

Lake conditions are currently extremely variable.  We may or may not attempt a Big Bay swim this weekend, see comments below.

Last Swim: Friday July 24th 6AM
Water Temp 61 at the beach, pockets of very cold water away from the beach (but some warm too)
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Crash, Diablo, Diana, Rosa, Showgirl, Mark, Gumdrop, Mike, Kelly, Forger, Capt'n, Monica, Patriarch

The Lady of the Lake is playing hard to get.  We had hoped to do a "Big Bay" swim this weekend, but she's not going to make it easy for us.  After a week of relatively warm water temps (mid to high 60s), it was much colder this morning (Friday).  God only knows what will happen on Saturday morning.  If the water is warm enough for a long skin swim (high sixties at least) and calm enough, we'll still attempt Big Bay, but if not we'll just do a regular swim and postpone Big Bay to Sunday or another day.

Moral of the Day: You can't predict Lake Michigan, you can only take what it gives you.

P.S.  By a Big Bay swim I mean one or both ways between Klode Park beach and Big Bay park beach.  It's 1.2 miles one way.  For one way swimmers we'll shuttle cars as we need to (or you can leave a bike or shoes at the other end and walk, run, or bike back).  The direction of the one way swim will depend on waves and currents, we'll do it the easy way :)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Almost 70

Next Swims: Friday July 24th 6AM
Saturday July 25th 9AM
Sunday July 26th 1PM

On Saturday, if conditions are favorable, we will do a Big Bay swim.  One or two way swim between Klode park and Big Bay park, 1.2 miles one way.  For the one way swim we will shuttle cars as necessary.

Last Swims:  Friday July 22nd 6AM and 6PM
Water temps: 63 at 6AM, 69 at 6PM
Waves:  Calm at 6AM, a bit choppy at 6PM
Water Clarity:  Super Ultra HD Clear
6AM Crew: Diablo, Crash, Itch, Mike, Tom, Bubba, Mr. Anonymous, Patriarch
6PM Crew: Itch, Lorraine, Capt'n, Liz, Jack Frost, Steve, Nanook, Monique, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 7/11
Pitsch Count: 8

It's been an incredible string of good swimming days.  The water has been crystal clear and temperature has been rising and now is only one degree shy of 70.  But we can't get complacent, we know from experience that it can quickly turn cold.  Come and enjoy it while it lasts.

Next swims:  Today Thursday July 23rd 6PM, Tomorrow Friday July 24th 6AM

Last Swims:  Thursday 6AM
Water Temp: 63
Waves:  Calm
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Diablo, Crash, Itch, Mike, Tom, Bubba, Mr. Anonymous, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 2/6

Wednesday 6PM
Water Temp: 67
Waves: Gentle rollers
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Lorraine, Itch, Gumdrop, Mr. Anonymous, Patriarch

The swimming has been fantastic and if it continues into the weekend we may attempt a Big Bay Swim and/or a shipwreck swim.  Check back Friday.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Best Part of the Day

Next Swims:  Today Wednesday 7/22 6PM, Tomorrow 7/23 6AM

Last Swim:
Wednesday 7/22 6AM
Water Temp: 61
Waves:  Calm
Water Clarity: Ultra HD Clear, Amazing!
Crew:  Tom, Will, Zoom Zoom, Crash, Super Hera, Diablo, Kelly, Showgirl, Bubba, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 6/5

It was another gorgeous morning on the beach when Showgirl dropped a bomb.  She said her bike ride to work was "the best part of the day".  What?  Better than swimming in the lake?  She quickly tried to back pedal saying she meant the best part of her work day.  But the damage had been done.  Our feelings had been crushed, the sunny morning darkened, the joyful mood blackened.  We should have kicked her off the beach right then and there, but we were too stunned to act.

What could possibly be better than stroking through calm clear water, watching the rippled sand below glide past, ten, twenty feet down.  And if the sun angle is right you can watch your shadow keep pace, and see the reflections from the droplets falling from your fingertips splashing into ringlets on the surface.  And on top of all that, she gets to swim with handsome manly studs like us!

Itch if I were you I'd reconsider.    

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Double Dip Days

Next Swims:  Wednesday July 22nd 6AM and 6PM, Thursday 6AM

Last Swim:  Tuesday July 21st 6PM
Water Temp: 64
Waves:  Choppy
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Kelly, Crash, Renee, Mark, Itch, Lorraine, Mike, Liz, Jackie, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 6/4
Pitsch Count: 10

After yesterday's brief plunge in water temp, it seems that we're back to the low sixties and the swimming has been great.  It will be another Double Dipper on Wednesday with two opportunities to enjoy the fantastic swimming, 6AM and 6PM. If anyone is interested in going out for dinner after the 6PM swim, I could be persuaded.

I believe we have at least 5 of us signed up for the Great Lake Plunge, Crash, Showgirl, Kelly, Capt'n, Patriarch.  They told Crash that they will be very flexible about changing events even the day of the event, so no need to worry about committing to a particular distance or worry about wetsuit versus non-wetsuit.  Here is their web page:  http://www.greatlakeplunge.com

Speaking of events, we have two swimmers signed up for the Alcatraz Sharkfest.  https://raceroster.com/events/2015/3235/2015-alcatraz-sharkfest-swim
Mr. Anonymous, Mike would like to talk to you and compare notes.

Wild Swings

Next Swims:  Tuesday July 21st 6PM, Wednesday July 22nd 6AM

Last Swim:  Tuesday July 21st 6AM
Water Temp: 62
Waves: gentle rollers
Water Clarity: HD Clear
Crew: Kelly, Crash, Diablo, Bubba, Itch, Tom, Showgirl, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/5

I've seen wild swings in lake temperatures before, but not quite as crazy as this.  From 62 yesterday morning to 51 yesterday evening back up to 62 this morning.  Don't ask me why, I have no idea.  Itch's explanation is as good as any (see his comment on yesterday's blog post).  Anyhow, we'll be back tonight (6PM Tuesday) and tomorrow morning (6AM Wednesday).  Any guesses as to what we'll find?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Late Update

Damn the west wind!  Lake water temps have dropped like a stone.  51 at 5PM Monday, a full eleven degrees less than 6AM this morning.  Of course it could flip back just as quickly, but if you come Tuesday morning you may want your wetsuit just in case. Next Swim:  Tuesday 7/20 6AM.  Previously scheduled Tuesday 6PM swim in jeopardy, depending on what we find in the morning.

Nuts!

Next Swims:  Today Monday July 20th 5PM
Tomorrow Tuesday July 21st 6AM and 6PM

Last Swims:
Monday July 20th 6AM
Water Temp: 62
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Crystal
Crew: Monique, Kelly, Crash, Mr. Anonymous, Showgirl, Capt'n, Diablo, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin:  4/4

Sunday July 19th 1PM
Water Temp:  64 off the beach, but pockets of much warmer and colder
Waves: Gentle Swells
Water Clarity:  Very good
Crew:  Sarah, Mike, Lorraine, Crash, Itch, Valarie, Jackie, Gumdrop, Diablo, Mark, Renee, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 5/7
Pitsch: 8

Yesterday I was swimming by a group of boats tied together in the bay and I came across a guy in the water with a full wetsuit, hood, and face mask.  So I stopped and said hello and he replied, "Are you guys nuts?  How can you swim in this cold water without wetsuits?"  So I answered, "Well then I guess we're nuts."

We're so nuts that we're going to do it twice a day while these excellent swim conditions continue.  We'll be back tonight (Monday) and tomorrow morning and tomorrow evening.

In case you missed the comment in yesterday's blog entry, one of our number, Steve Wolfe, is doing the awesome "Mighty Mac" swim on Labor Day.  It's 4.5 miles across the Mackinac Straight that separates the Upper Peninsula of Michigan from the Lower Peninsula. He will be swimming in the shadow of the iconic Mackinac Bridge.  It's a great swim and a great fund raiser for Habitat For Humanity.  Please join me in supporting Steve and the Habitat by donating on the web site or buying raffle tickets from Steve or both.  To donate go to http://www.mightymacswim.com . For raffle tickets email Steve at wolfeste@gmail.com

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Unexpected Delights

Next Swims: Sunday July 19th 1:00PM, Monday July 20th 6AM

Last swims: Sat 7/18 noon, Sat 7/18 8AM, Fri 7/17 5PM
Water Temp:  Sat Noon 64, Sat 8AM 61, Fri 5PM 63
Waves:  Sat noon 1-2 foot chop, Sat 8AM calm, Fri 5PM small chop
Water Clarity:  Good to excellent
Sat Noon Crew: Crash, Showgirl, Itch, Kevin, Lorraine, Gumdrop, Diablo, Patriarch
Sat 8AM Crew: Mark, Renee, Monica, Kelly, Erin, Capt'n, Patriarch
Fri 5PM Crew: Kelly, Gumdrop, Capt'n, Diablo, Capt'n, Itch, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 6/15
Pitsch Count: 7

Today was filled with unexpected delights.  A big thunderstorm rolled through this morning and I feared the 8AM swim would be washed out.  But by the time we arrived on the beach the storm had passed the sun was out and the water was clear and calm.  Just I when I thought it couldn't get better Kelly brought out her most excellent blueberry banana bread.

Even better yet, some swimmers who were worried about the storm decided to swim at noon instead, and this provided me the opportunity for another Double Dip Day, my second Double Dip in a row.  But I had committed a major transgression!  Because I rode my bike I couldn't bring the Killepitsch, but a minor miracle happened:  Itch pulls out a bottle of Pitsch from his bag!  To be honest until now I wondered what Showgirl (Itch's fiancĂ©) sees in him, but now I totally get it.

The cherry on top of this wonderful day was being flipped the bird by Showgirl.  I wish I could tell you why but I'm not a very good explainer of women.  I mean I was just getting all slobbery and sentimental when she and Itch walked off the beach together, who could be mad about that?  But at any rate being flipped off by Showgirl made my day.

By the way, for those of you who didn't get into Big Shoulders, and even if you did, here is a promising looking Lake Michigan swim event: http://www.greatlakeplunge.com
Capt'n and me are already signed up.  Who will plunge with us?  

Friday, July 17, 2015

Double Dip Day!

Next Swims:  Today Friday July 17th, 5PM
Saturday July 18th 8AM
Sunday July 19th 1PM

Last Swim:  Friday July 17th 6AM
Water Temp: 61, but warmer pockets
Waves: 1-2 foot rollers
Water Clarity:  Clear in the warmer pockets, murky in the colder pockets
Crew: Dean, Monica, Diana, Kelly, Judy, Itch, Diablo, Crash, Ellie, Tom, Showgirl, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 9/4

Because we had so much fun this morning, and because it's going to be very hot today, we decided it's a perfect day for a double dip.  We'll be back on the beach at 5PM.  Join us and beat the heat!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Unpredictable

Next Swims: Friday July 17th 6AM
Saturday 7/18 8AM
Sunday 7/19 1PM

Last Swim: Thursday July 16th 6AM
Water Temp: 64
Waves: Not quite calm
Water Clarity:  Still stirred up and murky from the storms earlier this week, but improving
Crew: Kelly, Gumdrop, Kahuna, Sonnakuhuna, Bubba, Diablo, Slip-n-Slide, Crash, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 5/4

I should know better by now.  The National Weather Service forecast for 1-3 waves this morning was completely wrong.  There were barely any waves, not quite calm but almost.  Relatively warm 64 degree water and a beautiful made for a pleasant swim.  An unpredicted treat.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Troopers

Next Swims:  6AM Thursday and Friday July 16th and 17th

Last Swim:  6AM Wed July 15th
Water Temp: 59
Waves: 1-2 feet, disorganized and rough, slow going
Water Clarity:  All stirred up, murky
Crew:  Monique, Diana, Kelly, Judy, Gumdrop, Kahuna, Sonnakuhuna, Showgirl, Super Hera, Itch, Bubba, Capt'n, Diablo, Nivens McTwist, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/11

Several swimmers new to Lake Michigan have come on board. Despite rough seas they took the plunge.  A tough introduction to the lake but a great accomplishment.  Congratulations on your baptism  into the Klode Kru.  You are all troopers!

According to the forecast, rough seas will continue the next couple days.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Diablo & Capt'n to the Rescue!

Next Swims:  6AM Wed, Thu, Fri, July 15-17

Last Swim: Tuesday July 14th, 6AM
Water Temp: 59
Waves: almost flat
Water Clarity:  Excellent (surprising after a big storm)
Crew:  Rosa, Monique, Cassie, Jessica, Scooby, Kelly, Diablo, Itch, Mr. Anonymous, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin:  7/4

A big thunderstorm Monday morning washed out the 6AM swim, putting our streak of 22 consecutive swim days in peril.  But Diablo and Capt'n swam separately Monday afternoon to preserve our streak, 24 days after this morning's swim.  I LOVE you guys.  You're assholes, but lovable assholes.

Today's quote of the day is from Showgirl.  On the way down to the beach we discussing last nights incredible lightning show over the lake.  I've never seen such intense and sustained lightning.  But weirdly there was no sound of thunder (heat lightning?).   Showgirl says, "If lightning falls in the forest ……………………".

P.S.  James, where you been?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Best Day Yet

Next Swims:  6AM every day this week Mon-Fri July 13-17.  Also, if the warm water continues we may add some evening swims.  Check back.

Last Swim: Sunday July 12th 11AM
Water Temp: 64 but pockets of warmer and colder
Waves:  Small ripples
Water Clarity:  Very Clear
Crew:  At least 26 swimmers today, I didn't get all the names, but here are the ones I did get: Chris, Abe, Steve, Kate, Carla, Kelly, Itch, Diablo, Mara, Tiny Mother, Nivens McTwist, Little Fish, Smartass, Kahuna, Sonnakahuna, Zoom Zoom, Gumdrop, Crash, Showgirl, Scooby, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 7/19
Pitsch Count: 18

A day in Paradise.  Warm clear water and hot sun.  Shivers begone!  


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Landmark Naming Contest!

Next Swims:  11AM Sunday July 12th, 6AM  Monday July 13th

Last Swim: Saturday July 11th, 8AM
Water Temp: 61
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity: Good, not quite crystal clear
Crew: Brian, Don Diego, Beefstick, Slip-n-Slide, Krista, Becca, Nivens McTwist, Tiny Mother, Gumdrop, Kelly, Jack Frost, Renee, Mark, Anna, Showgirl, Crash, Kahuna, Sonnakuhuna, Diablo, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 5/16
Pitsch Count: 18

For many years we've counted on established landmarks along the shore to guide our swims and estimate distance.  But high water, overgrowth, and the ravages of time have made many of them difficult or impossible to see, and a few are just gone.  Going north, the first landmark is "Sewer Pipe", which is still there.  But the next landmark "Garage" is so overgrown that it's visible only in direct light.  "Cedar Grove" never made sense, there are no cedar trees there.  "Mudslide" is obscured by overgrowth, and "Downed Tree" is no longer there.  "Three Piers" is actually three jetties and mostly covered by the high water.  Red (orange?) kayak is no longer on the beach, who knows why.

Going south, "South Beach" is mostly wiped out by the high water, and "Picnic Table" is back in the woods and hard to see.  "Yellow Kayak" is no longer there, although "Silver Spring" storm sewer is still there, as are "First Staircase" and "Second Staircase".  I've not been as far as "Flat Rock" but I suspect it's covered by water.

So we need new landmarks!  Submit your entries to me, along with a non-refundable $20 (cash only!) submission fee (and add $10 handling and facility fees).  Any entry with "Patriarch" in it's name will receive extra consideration (e.g. "Patriarch's Point", "Patriarch's Pier") .  All decisions final.  No refunds.  Good luck!  

  

Friday, July 10, 2015

Improving Conditions

Next Swims:
Saturday July 11th, 8AM followed by breakfast at Solly's
Sunday July 12th 11AM

Last Swim:  Friday July 10th 6AM
Water Temp: 60
Waves: Calm
Water Clarity:  Better than the last couple days, but not quite clear yet
Crew: Kelly, Jackie, Kahuna, Sonnakuhuna, Ellie, Super Hera, Diablo, Nivens McTwist, Capt'n, Itch, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 7/4

Things are looking up.  It was warmer and sunnier on the beach this morning compared to the cloudy windy cool weather the last couple days.  And the water is clearing up, the stirred up silt and sand slowly settling out.  And I'll bet that today's sunny skies will warm the water.  Today was a good day, tomorrow should be even better.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Quiet Morning

Next Swim:  Friday July 10th 6AM

Weekend Plan:  Capt'n is proposing a 9AM swim on Saturday.  Please comment if you have a preference for 9AM or a different time.  Also comment if you have a time preference for Sunday morning.  The current forecast is for storms Saturday afternoon and Sunday, so we may need to adjust times for that.  

Last Swim:  Thursday July 9th 6AM
Water temp: 60
Waves:  A little choppy
Water Clarity:  Murky
Crew: Steve, Danielle, Ellen, Mr. Anonymous, Itch, Bubba, Showgirl, Diablo, Kahuna, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/6

A quiet morning on the beach (Capt'n wasn't there).  Cool and cloudy weather was not conducive to standing around and gabbing so this morning's strategy was "git er done and git someplace warm".  A good swim and a quick exit.  

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Inside Out

Next Swims:  6AM Thursday & Friday July 9th and 10th

Last Swim: Wednesday July 8th, 6AM
Water Temp: 55
Waves: Gently Rolling
Water Clarity: Poor
Crew: Kelly, Capt'n, Diablo, Showgirl, Kahuna, Itch, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin 5/2

A topsy turvy inside out kind of morning.  With the water temp higher than the air temp, it felt more like a September morning than July.  Where oh where did the clear 65 degree water from the weekend go?  To buoy our flagging spirits I wore my "rally trunks", wearing my swim trunks inside out.  OK, I fess up.  I didn't intend to wear my trunks inside out, I was still half asleep when I put them on.  At least it provided some comic relief to the Kru, and who knows maybe I've unintentionally started something, fashion icon that I am.

Swimmer of the day is Kahuna who showed up without a wetsuit, but didn't let that stop him!  Twenty six minutes in 55 degree water is impressive.  Diablo may finally have some competition in the cold water skin swim department!  

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Playing in the Waves

Next Swims:  6AM Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, July 8 - 10

Last Swim: Tuesday July 7th 6AM
Water Temp: 58
Waves: 2-3 feet
Water Clarity:  All stirred up from the storm
Crew: Nanook, Showgirl, Gumdrop, Diablo, Itch, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/3

A raw morning on the beach.  Cool cloudy and windy with cold rough water.  But that didn't stop our crew of six hearty swimmers. We had a great time playing in the waves.  

Monday, July 6, 2015

Back to Reality

Next Swims:  6AM every day this week, July 7-10

Last Swim: Monday July 6th 6AM
Water Temp: 60
Waves:  Small Gentle Rollers
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Julie, Becca, Rosa, Forger, Crash, Kahuna, Mr. Anonymous, Showgirl, Diablo, Gumdrop, Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 7/5

Back to reality.  Yesterday's 65 degree water is but a pleasant memory.  Today's 60 was still very doable, the calmer water made for easier swimming.  

For those of you who like playing in waves, tomorrow might be the day.  A storm is predicted this afternoon, and we could have some waves tomorrow morning, up to 4 feet predicted.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Getting to the Best Part of Summer

Next Swims;  Monday through Friday, July 6 - 10, 6AM every day

Last Swim:  Sunday July 5th noon
Water Temp: 65
Waves:  choppy
Water Clarity:  Capt'n has created a new description for today's water - HD Clear
Crew: Kyle, Jessica, Christina, Jeff, Liz, Scott, Jess, Anna, Erin, Itch, Nanook, Jackie, Sandy, Zoom Zoom, Ice Princess, Scooby, Crash, Renee, Ron, Gumdrop, Capt'n, Diablo, Showgirl, Kahuna, Patriarch - Note:  I may have missed someone with all the swimmers coming and going- sorry!
Wetsuit/Skin: 17/8
Pitsch Count:  At least 20, maybe more

Everyone and their uncles at the lake today.  Swimmers, kayakers, paddle boarders, motor boaters, sailors, sunbathers, sand castle builders, babies, tots, teenagers, uncles and aunts, grandma and grampa, couples, young and old, hard bodies, soft bodies, rock skippers, rock collectors, picnickers, gawkers, picture takers, rock pile climbers; each and every one soaking in a spectacular summer day.

What a fun day for a swim.  The warm water allowed for long swims, Jessica and Kyle win the prize for the longest, to Big Bay and back, an ironman distance swim.  Swimming south against the waves on the way out was a bit difficult but the way back was much faster, it felt to me like the Hand of Allah pushing me home.

It was especially nice to exit the water in the warm sun, no shiverfest today.  Hopefully the warm water will stick around a while, unlikely but I can always hope.  We're entering the best part of swim season, and we have to swim to the fullest.  Next weekend, or some weekend soon, conditions permitting we can do a Big Bay Extravaganza, one or both way swim to Big Bay (roughly half ironman distance one way).  Also, if the water stays so clear we can do a shipwreck swim at Atwater.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Gorgeous Fourth

Next Swims:  Sunday July 5th, noon at Klode
Also Monday through Friday at 6AM at Klode

Last Swims:  Saturday July 4th, 10AM and Noon at Big Bay beach
Water Temp: 61 with warmer pockets
Waves:  Calm at noon, small waves building at noon
Water Clarity:  Excellent
10 AM Crew: Sarah, Erin, Diablo, Kahuna, Sonnakuhuna, Squeezeasonnakuhuna, Patriarch
Noon Crew: Kristie, Tim, Slip-n-Slide, Ellie, Jackie, Anna, Beef Stick, Showgirl, Capt'n
Wetsuit/Skin: 10/6

The last few days have been cold and windy on the beach, when exiting the water quickly became a shiverfest.  But today was warm and sunny, making it much easier to warm up.

Here is a picture of the noon crew:


Friday, July 3, 2015

Holiday Weekend - Updated Schedule

Late Update:  Some swimmers have 4th of July commitments, so by popular demand we are adding a 10AM Saturday swim.

So, there will be two swims on Saturday July 4th, 10AM and noon, both at Big Bay.

Sunday we'll return to Klode, swim time is noon.

Last Swims:  Thursday July 2nd 6AM
Water temp: 59
Waves: Heavy Chop
Water Clarity: Poor
Crew: Nanook, Diablo, Gumdrop, Mr. Anonymous, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/2

Full moon swim, Thursday July 2nd 8:15PM
Water Temp: 62
Waves:  Heavy Chop
Water Clarity: Poor
Crew: Mr. Anonymous, Eileen, Brad, Gretchen, Emily, Little Mother, Neo, Amy, Gumdrop, Showgirl Capt'n, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin 12/0
Pitsch: 12

Friday July 3rd 6AM
Water Temp: 60
Waves:  Calm
Water Clarity: Poor
Crew:  Bubba, Diablo, Capt'n, Kahuna, Showgirl, Andy, Patriarch, Tom, Don Diego, Krista, Becca, Erin
Wetsuit/Skin: 8/4

Much to report but no time.  See you on the beach.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Big Turnouts, Big Swims, Big Plans

Next Swims:  Thursday July 2nd 6AM at Klode

Also on Thursday: A full moon swim 8:15PM at Big Bay (see details below)

Friday July 3rd: 6AM at Klode, there will also be a bike ride leaving Klode at 7AM, I believe they're going to Port (or beyond?) but check with Capt'n for more details

Weekend Swims:  We will have weekend swims both Saturday and Sunday time and place to be determined (Klode is usually closed on the 4th for fireworks, so we will probably do Big Bay)

Last Swims:  Tuesday and Wednesday June 30th and July 1st, 6AM
Water Temp: 59 both days
Waves:  Calm Tuesday, 1-2 foot rollers Wednesday
Water Clarity:  Excellent Tuesday, stirred up and murky Wednesday
Tuesday Crew: Itch, Nanook, Diablo, Showgirl, Bubba, Tom, Gumdrop, Patriarch
Wednesday Crew: Tom, Sandy, Monica, Bunky, Kahuna, Sonnakuhuna, Squeezeasonakuhuna, Diablo, Capt'n, Super Hera, Bubba, Showgirl, Nivens McTwist, Itch, Patiarch

Even though the water temps are stuck in the high fifties we getting some large turnouts and swims are getting longer and fewer are wearing wetsuits.  Adapting to the cold water?  Or maybe anticipation of upcoming cold water swims.  The Racine and Door County Tris are coming up and Mr. Anonymous has the Alcatraz Sharkfest on his agenda!  Whatever the reason, it's good to see so many people on the beach.

On Thursday we'll feature our first "double dip" of the season.  In addition to the usual 6AM swim, we'll do a Full Moon swim at 8:15 PM from Big Bay.  The moon rises over the lake at 8:54 PM.  We should have a great view as the forecast is for clear skies.  Big Bay is two blocks north of Hampton, where Lake Drive takes a large sweeping turn.  Parking is an issue because there is no parking lot and Palisades Road, which borders the park, does not allow parking past 8PM.  So you will have to park on Lake Drive or one of the side streets nearby and hike a block or two.  We'll meet at the top of the asphalt path that leads down the bluff.  Following the swim join us at Three Lions just a few blocks away on Oakland Ave.