Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Best Place to Be on a Hot Day

Next Swims: Mon thru Fri 6AM & 6PM

Last Swims:
Saturday 7/22
Water: 69 a bit choppy, mostly clear
Crew: Kahuna, Sonnakuhuna, Diablo, Panini, Laura, Handyman Hank, Lorraine, Itch, Patriarch

Sunday 7/23
Water: 71 small waves clear
Crew:  Drangonfly, Don Diego, Wet Taco, Foxy Roxy, Capt'n, Handyman Hank, North Shore Nancy, Diablo, Itch, Lorraine, Forger, Showgirl, Magic Mike, Michael, Molly, Nanook, Mr. Anyomous, Moondawg, Mitch, Patriarch

Today was the highest turnout of swimmers for the season and several swimmers made their longest swim of the season.  Molly led the charge to Big Bay and a few brave souls followed her there and back (Itch, Michael, Magic Mike, that I know of).  The rest of us turned back sooner but I think everyone would agree it was a fine day for swimming.  While the rest of Milwaukee is broiling we stayed cool and refreshed.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Weekend Plans

Next Swims:
* Fri 7-21 5:30PM
* Saturday noon
* Sunday noon

Last Swims:
Thu 6PM
Water: 72 clear and choppy
Crew: North Shore Nancy, Angryman Hank, Magic Mike,  Drangonfly, Wet Taco, Danielle, Lorraine,  Moondawg, Itch, Patriarch

Fri 6AM
Water: 67 calm and very clear
Crew: Kristin, Magic Mike, Michael, Kahuna, Hundakahuma, Drangonfly, Showgirl, Patriarch

If we're lucky it might be good for a Big Bay swim this weekend.  And if I'm even luckier I may sweet-talk the Matriarch into providing car shuttle for one way swimmers such as myself.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Life as a Retiree

Next Swims:
*Thu 7/20 6PM
* Fri 6AM & 5:30 PM
*Sat & Sun: tentatively noon, but please comment if you have a preference

Last Swims:  Thu AM it was raining and thundering so I did not go to the beach and I assume no one else did either, but maybe I'm wrong?

Wed 7/19 6PM
Water:  71 small waves and OK clarity
Crew: Kahuna, Sonnakahuna, Mike & his daughter Katie, North Shore Nancy, Nanook, Magic Mike, Itch, Molly, Lorraine, Kristen, Patriarch

Wed 6AM
Water: 68 calm and clear
Crew: Capt'n, Showgirl, Panini, Patriarch

My day yesterday.  Swim with the Kru in the morning.  Go home and get Matriarch and then we go to breakfast with an old friend at the Simple Cafe (yum!).  Go home and knock off the NYT crossword. We jump on our bikes and go to Bradford Beach, where Matriarch relaxes on the beach while I do a short swim.  We eat lunch on the patio and bar next to the beach house.  (Surprisingly good!).  Pedal home and take a nap to rest up for the evening swim.  Living the retirement dream.

The Great Lake Plunge ( is coming up July 30th.  They have extended registration to July 28th.  Enter "procrastinator" at checkout for a $10 discount.  I would describe it as sort of a low key Big Shoulders (which is full).  I am going and Drangonfly too and hopefully others too.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Halcyon Days

Next Swims:  Wed 6PM, Thu 6AM & 6PM

Last Swims:
Wed July 19th 6AM
Water:  66 clear and calm
Crew:  Showgirl, Panini, Capt'n, Patriarch

Tue: 6PM
Water:  68 clear and choppy
Crew:  Jack Frost, Drangonfly, Laura, North Shore Nancy, Handyman Hank, Wet Taco, Itch, Molly, Lorraine, Patriarch

Ah those lazy hazy crazy days of summer.  No better place to be than on the beach on days like these.  Swimming doesn't get much better.  Thoughts of a Big Bay swim are dancing in my addled brain.  Maybe this weekend?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Beauty and the Beach

Next Swims:
*Tue 6PM
*Wed & Thur 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim:  Tue July 18th 6AM
Water:  64 calm, clarity improving (I could see my hand!)
Crew: Panini, Magic Mike, Patriarch

The floating debris we encountered last night is now mostly confined to shore.  A gorgeous morning on the beach.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Swimming Through the Asteroid Belt

Next Swims:  Tue thru Fri  6AM & 6PM

Last Swim: Monday July 17th 6PM
Water 66 murky with gentle swells.  An unusual amount of flotsam and jetsam floating about.
Crew: Kristin, Mondawg, Wet Taco, Jack Frost, Molly, Itch, Drangonfly, Patriarch

Lots of debris floating in the water, mostly twigs and branches.  Not really a problem but annoying.  Kristen said it was like swimming through the Asteroid Belt.

Calming Down and Warming Up

Next Swims: Mon thru Fri 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim: Mon Jul 17 6AM
Water: 59 murky 2-3 ft waves, a bit gunky between the rock piles
Crew: Magic Mike, Patriarch

The lake calmed down considerably since yesterday, but the water was still plenty rough. It was slow going out to the birches but it was great ride back.  Mike said the return trip took seven strokes.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Bombed Out

Next Swims:  Mon thru Fri 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim:  Sun 7/16 noon
Water:  55 murky with very large unorganized waves 3-6 feet very rough

Only one swimmer was brave enough to take the plunge today.  Drangonfly left us all on the beach.  We tried to record her moment of glory, but sadly as happens too frequently these days a wise-ass photobomber stole the show (girl!).

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Surf's Up and So is the Water Temp

Next Swims:
* Sunday 7/16 noon
* Mon - Fri 6AM & 6PM

Last Swims:
Sat 7/15 1PM
Water:  55 clear a little choppy
Crew:  Not sure exactly, I came and left early to go see the Blue Angels which was good but disappointing in that three of the six Blue Angels were grounded with maintenance issues.  Anyhow as a result I didn't see who was all there, but I know a few:  Magic Mike, Drangonfly, Molly, Drew, Liz, Itch, Patriarch, apologies to those I missed

The warmer temp is going up and so are the waves.  3-5 footers predicted tomorrow.  The good news is that big waves often bring in warmer waters.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Few, The Brave

Next Swims:
* Fri July 14th 5:30 PM
* Sat July 15th 1PM
* Sun July 16th noon

Last Swim: Fri 6 AM
Water: 47 clear and calm
Crew:  Diablo (skin!), Showgirl, Dave
Gave it good try: Panini, Lenna
Didn't even try: me

The cold spell continues.  I wish I was as brave as those few who swim anyway. But summer is far from over, there's plenty of good swiming yet to come.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Cold Spell

Next Swims: Friday July 14th, 6AM & 5:30PM

Last Swim:  Thursday 6PM
Water: 50 clear and calm
Crew:  Itch (skin), Danielle
On Shore Waiting For Warm Water to Return: Panini, Wet Taco, Patriarch

The cold spell we've experienced the last few days continues.  A couple brave souls swam anyway. Itch of course but also Danielle who hasn't swum with us recently.  They jumped in like it was nothing and swam to picnic table.  Impressive.

Scooby Sighting

Next Swims 6am, 6pm Thurs-Fri

Last Swim 6am Thursday
Water: 47.7F, flat as glass
Clarity: excellent
Crew: Showgirl Diablo
Shore Support: Scooby
Skin/Suit: 1/1

As I rolled into the parking lot I heard Scooby call, "Showgirl!".  Then he broke the bad news: he had seen Diablo, who said the water was in the 40's.

No surprise: Diablo was right.  I put on my wetsuit, and Scooby declined to swim, but it was good to see him anyway.

I made a short but lovely swim to the birches.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Stormy Wednesday

Next Swims:
* Wed 6PM
* Thu 6AM & 6PM
* Fri 6AM & 5:30PM

Last Swims:
Tue 7/11 6PM
Water: 63 calm and clear
Crew: Kahuna, Phoenix, Panini, Laura, Wet Taco, Mike, Lorraine, Itch, Patriarch, plus there were five other swimmers in wetsuits who arrived after we were in the water, I'm not who they were.

Wed 7/12 6AM
Water: 53 choppy and clear
Crew: Diablo
Taking the water temp and then scampering for cover: me

With all the thunder and lightening and rain this morning you might think no one swam, but you can never count out Diablo.  He managed to take advantage of a short lull between storms at 5:30 and squeezed in a short swim.  Surprisingly, despite the storms, the water remains very clear.

Congratulations to Laura for her longest Lake Michigan swim ever.  Not long by our standards, but every swim a little further.  Go Laura!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Queen of Curryland Returns

Next Swims:  Tue - Fri, 6AM and 6PM every day

Last Swims:
Tuesday 7/11 6AM
Water: 58 clear and calm
Crew: Diablo, Drangonfly, Mr Anonymous, Forger, Diana, Rosa, Showgirl, Patriarch
Shore Support: Phoenix, Panini

Monday 7/10 6PM
Water: 60 clear with 1-2 ft gently rolling swells
Crew: Molly, Itch, Wet Taco, Patriarch

It was good to see our old friend Panini The Queen of Curryland on the beach this morning, if not in the water.  She promised to come swimming again soon.  So much for peace and quiet on the beach.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Too. Much To Ask?

Next Swims:  Mon thru Fri 6AM & 6PM

Last Swims: Sunday July 9th noon
Water:  55 clear and calm
Crew: Phoenix aka Crash, Moondawg aka Iceman aka Gumdrop, Jackie, Kahuna, Showgirl, Capt'n, Drangonfly, Itch, Liz, Molly, Lorraine, Kristen, Patriarch

Monday July 10th 6AM
Water: 54 clear and calm
Crew:  Diablo
Overseeing My Domain: Patriarch

After Saturday's amazing swim I guess it was too much to ask for a repeat on Sunday.  Not that it was a bad day, a month ago we would have killed for a day like this.

After I got done whining to myself (no one else would listen) I got mad.  Damn it, even though I would normally don a wetsuit at 55 I decided to man up and go skin.  It was a short but nice swim and the hot sun warmed me up quickly.  So it wasn't so bad after all.

Storms started the day Monday but they mostly passed by 6AM.  I didn't think anyone would be at the beach but I was awake so I decided to head to the beach anyway.  When I arrived Diablo was leaving.  He reported cold water near the rocks but warmer offshore.  I didn't want to swim alone but I decided to head down and at least get a temp reading (54).  Not another soul was on the beach so I declared myself the Emperor of Klode.

I'll be back to try again at 6PM.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Am I Dreaming?

Next Swims:
* Sunday July 9th noon
* Monday thru Friday 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim: Saturday July 8th 1PM
Water:  64 murky with some floating debris near shore, but the further out you went the clearer and cleaner and warmer it got
Crew: Drew, Mike, Laura, El Jeffe, Capt'n, Lorraine, Rick, Neo, Nichole, Sarah, Dave, Julie, Patriarch

Most days the time and distance I swim is determined by how cold the water is.  I hurry to get out of the water and into dry warm clothes.  But today I felt I warm enough that I could have stayed in the water all day, the only limiting factor is how far I can go before my arms and shoulders give out.  It was one of those swims I dream about in winter.  

Friday, July 7, 2017

What a Day

Next Swims:
* Saturday July 8th 1PM
* Sunday July 9th noon

Last Swim:
Friday July 7th 5:30PM
Water Temp:  I measured 56 on shore, but it was warmer away from shore, maybe 60
Murky Near Shore, Clear away from shore, 1-2 foot waves
Crew:  Julie, Debbie, Mike, Eric, El Jeffe, Capt'n, Patriarch

What a crazy day.  From 64 last night to 49 this morning, and back up to near 60 this afternoon.  Just a typical Lake Michigan day I guess.  The winds are expected onshore for the next day, so it should remain warm and possibly get warmer.

Good Luck to all the Big Swell competitors at Devil's Lake Saturday.  Several of the Kru are participating, I expect to see heavy metal dangling from their necks when they return victorious.

Shock And Awe

Next Swims:
* Today Friday July 7th 5:30PM
* Saturday July 8th 1PM
* Sunday July 9th noon

Last Swims:
Thursday 6PM
Water: 64 clear and a little choppy
Crew: Drangonfly, Wet Taco, Phoenix, Eric, Itch, Kristin, Molly, Mitch, Anna, Showgirl, Lorraine, Moondawg, Super Hera, Patriarch

Friday 6AM
Water: 49(!), clear and calm
Crew: Kahuna, Rick, Julie, Debbie, Diablo, Drangonfly
Shore Support: Patriarch

I am shocked that the water temp fell 15 degrees from 64 last night to 49 this morning.  But I am awed that people swam anyway, including two skin swimmers, Rick and Diablo.

The good news is that the wind has shifted onshore and is expected to remain onshore all day.  So the warm water could come back as quickly as it left.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Baby It's Hot Outside

Next Swims:
* Today Thursday July 6th 6PM
* Friday July 7th 6AM & 5:30PM

* Last Swims:
- Wednesday July 5th 6PM
- Water: 64 clear and a bit choppy
- Crew: Wet Taco, Itch, Showgirl, Kahuna, Big Show, Sir James, Patriarch

- Thursday July 6th 6AM
- Water: 59 very clear, flat calm
- Crew: Diana, Rosa, Jack Frost, Mr. Anonymous, Handyman Hank, Drangonfly, Capt'n, Ziggy, Diablo, Patriarch

I can't think of any place I'd rather be on this hot sticky awful day.  Come to the beach and enjoy the nice cool clear clean water!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Experiment

Next Swims: 
  • Wednesday (7/5) 6PM
  • Thursday (7/6) 6AM & 6PM
  • Friday (7/7) 6AM & 5:30PM
  • (note:  all swims from Klode Beach)

Last Swim:
  • Wednesday (7/5) 6AM
  • Water Temp: 60+  (DECENT!)
  • Water Clarity:  Crystal Clear
  • Waves:  Calm
  • Crew:  Diablo, The Patriarch, Crash, Forger, Ziggy, Rosa, Capt'n
  • Skin/Suit:  6/1

After our second consecutive warm winter, a warm sunshine filled spring and a hot start to June a betting man would have placed his money on a warm start to our Lake Michigan swim season.  Looking back at our blog posts from prior years, history would have certainly been on the side of the betting man.  Holding true to form though, the Lady of the Lake has been anything but predictable.  The cold start to our swim season has resulted in the terms "Baltic!", "Bollox!" and "Flah, Flah, Flah" becoming the common words of choice to reference lake temps than "Ah, alright", "Decent" and "Roastin".  Perhaps an indication that the Lady of the Lake disapproves of the mutinous Kru members who have defied the Pirates code and attempted to proclaim new nicknames?

As an experiment this blog post references only original nicknames.  If the lake temperatures continue their recent trend upwards this must surely be a sign that the Lady of the Lake views the use of original nicknames favorably.  If the lake temperatures again plummet to 'Baltic!" this is surely a sign that the Lady of the Lake still remains upset over the mutinous declaration of self proclaimed nicknames.  So to summarize this experiment....if the lake temps continue their favorable trend upward we should continue to use only original nicknames.  If the lake temps plummet to 'Baltic!' we should no longer use the new nicknames.

My plan is to return to the lake Thursday morning to continue this experiment....stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Glorious Fourth

Next Swims:  Wednesday 6AM &6PM, Thursday 6AM & 6PM, Friday 6AM & 5:30PM

Last Swim: Tuesday July 4th, Big Bay Beach
Water:  60 clear, a little choppy,  but lots of twigs, leaves and pollen in some places, easily avoidable
Crew: Mike, Eric, Showgirl, Wet Taco, Handyman (Angryman?) Hank, Mitch, Itch, Drangonfly, Phoenix, Foxy Roxy, Kahuna, Moondawg, Capt'n, Ziggy, Diablo, Patriarch

A beautiful day and warmer water had swimmers crawling out from whatever rock they've been hiding under to play in the warm sun at the beach.  A large contingent completed a one way swim around the point to Atwater Beach, 1.2 - 1.5 miles, depending on whom you ask and how straight you swim.  The rest of us did an out and back from Big Bay.  All our accomplishments were toasted, multiple times by some (I'm beginning to worry about us).

Fortunately nobody got hauled away in a paddy wagon for swiming which may or may not be illegal at Big Bay, or for alcohol on the beach, which certainly is illegal.

With the warmer water I suspect there will be more people at the morning swims, well at least Capt'n and I will be there 6AM tomorrow (Klode).  I feel like the best part of the season has arrived.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Big Bay on the 4th

Next Swim: Tuesday July 4th noon at Big Bay (5000 N Lake Drive at Pallisades)

I did some research on the internet, which of course is infallible, on swimming at Big Bay.  I found that there are actually two separate adjoining parks.  The southern half is a Whitefish Bay village park called Buckley Park which does not permit swimming (altough I would question whether Whitefish Bay has any jurisdiction at the shoreline or in the water).  The northern half is Big Bay, a Milwaukee County Park which is listed as a Lake Michigan swimming beach on the Milwaukee County parks website.  At the shore the boundary between the two is about 100 yards south of the pier, which puts us well within Big Bay Milwaukee County Park.

Last Swims:  Sunday July 3rd noon (I believe there was also a 9AM crew, if so please blog your swim.)
Water : 54 Clear with one foot waves
Crew: Itch (skin), Mike, Eric, Drangonfly, Mr. Anonymous, Kahuna, Patriarch

A bit cooler than we prefer, and disceptively rough, but still a very nice swim.  A few got as far as mudslide.

I'm sorry to report another tire has appeared on our pristine beach.  We called in our Environmental  Restoration Expert.  Kahuna carefully assessed and analyzed the situation and concluded, "Nothing a little C-4 can't handle".  I'm a little worried about him but we may need his legal expertise if the WFB  popo gives us any flak.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Rained Out (almost)

Next Swims: noon Monday (Klode)  & noon Tuesday (Big Bay)

Some of us may swim earlier on Monday. 9am, if you can't make the noon swim.

Last Swim: noon Sunday
Water: 50, plentiful chop out of the north, and building
Clarity: still very good
Crew: Diablo, Itch, Showgirl, Drangonfly, Neo, Mr. Anonymous, Mike
Shore Support: Patriarch, Phoenix, Foxy Roxy, We'Taco, Laura, Squeeze o'Showgirl, Ted, Allie

In general, I would say there are no bad swims, only varying degrees of goodness. Today we arrived at the beach to sunshine and loveliness, with a hint of darkness to the north.  Growing darkness. Darkness and rain that soon overtook us during our short swim, into the chop, back towards shore.

Let the record show that due to the lack of lightening, this was NOT a knucklehead swim.

We scampered out of the water, up to the overhang and recombobulated with help of our good friend Killepitsch. After a little convincing, we also shared some Ouzo. We waited out the downpour, and headed up the ramp as the skies cleared.

This floatie may or may not depict the quality of our swim today.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Therapeutically Cold

Holiday Weekend Swims: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday noon all three days.
Note: Klode Beach will be closed on Tuesday due to fireworks prep so we will swim at Big Bay instead (Lake Drive & Palisades)

Last Swim: Saturday July 1st noon
Water:  Crystal clear and calm, temperature between 50 and 55, depending on whose thermometer you want to believe.  Anyway it's irrelevant.  We swam through alternating pockets of relatively warm (60?) and bone chilling cold (40?).
Skin Crew: Itch, Showgirl, Diablo, Neo
Suited Crew: Phoenix, Wet Taco, Patriarch

Swimming with the crew can be informative as well as invigorating.  Today for instance I learned there is such a thing as a poop emoji, in fact there's even a smiling one; 💩🙈😩
I could not find a steaming one, however, which I could foresee using to excellent purpose.

In other news Neo declared that the cool temperatures we've been experiencing are actually "therapeutically cold".  It sounds nuts, but maybe he's on to something.  After all cold is good for sore muscles and the shock of cold water certainly takes your mind off whatever's been bothering you.

But who are we kidding?  We swim not because it's good for us but because it's fun, or at least it can be when you're not shivering.  The good news is the wind has shifted and pockets of warm are moving in.  I would not be surprised to find warmer water tomorrow.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Warm Up, Damn it!

Holiday Weekend Swims:  Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue, noon each day.
Note: Due to the closure of Klode Beach for fireworks prep Tuesday's swim will be Big Bay park.  Showgirl keeps calling this an "illegal" swim, I'm not sure why.  Perhaps ther is some obscure regulation I am not aware of?  But I say it's a public park and it's everybody's lake and we'll swim wherever we damn well please.  Arrggghhhh.

Last Swim:  Friday June 30th 5:30PM
Water:  50 clear with small waves
Crew: Itch (skin)
Shore Support: Phoenix, Patriarch

It just HAS to get warmer, right?

Kudos to Showgirl for swimming in 43 degree water.  That is definitely a top ten (or maybe bottom ten) swim.

Toe-mometer, Show-mometer

Next Swims 5:30pm Friday

Saturday - Tuesday: noon (Please use the comments section to propose an alternate time, using coherent, complete sentences and a compelling argument.)

Tuesday the 4th we will flout convention (and the law) and swim at Big Bay.

Last Swim: Friday 6am
water:43.8F ????  WTC? and flat
clarity: very good
crew: Mike, Showgirl, Milkman, John, Diablo?
Suit/Skin: 4/1

Lots of important news to share:  I have joined the hordes of thermometer-carrying nerds on the beach, and behold the inaugural reading below. I'm skeptical, but it sure was cold. I look forward to comparison testing it with all the other thermometer nerds.

Mike and I swam to the birches, Milkman may have gone further.  Welcome John, who might have been a bit shocked and definitely horrified by this morning's temperature. I promise, it will warm up. Because really, could it get any colder?

Oh yeah.  The mystery of the barricaded parking lot has been solved.  Due to  some sort of Klode crime wave, that does not involve yoga moms or any of the Kru, but may include fights and gunfire (??) the WFB popo now close the lot at 9pm and open it at 6am.  Or 6am-ish.  We law-abiding citizens have been deputized to remove the barricades at 6:01am.

The tips of my fingers still feel a bit strange.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

It's Cold, But Itch Don't Care

Next Swims:  Friday 6:00AM & 5:30PM

For holiday weekend (Sat - Tue) swim times, I propose noon each day.  Please comment.
Note: The Tuesday July 4th swim will be at Big Bay due to the closure of Klode Beach for fireworks.

Last Swim: Thursday 6/29 6PM
Water: 49! Clear with ripples
Crew:  Itch (skin!), Patriarch (shore support)

49 degrees is much too cold for these old bones, but not for Itch.  After some waffling and hemming and hawing he completed a skin swim to picnic table.  When he got out his skin was bright red from head to toe, but otherwise he seemed unaffected, no shivering or anything.  Amazing!  Well done my friend.

Getting Warmer. (Not this morning, but sometime soon.)

Next Swims: Thurs, Fri 6am, 6pm

Last Swim: Thurs 6am
water: 52, waves out of the south
clarity: poor
crew: Showgirl, Deanna
shore support: Mr. Anonymous
suit/skin 2/0

Well, those wacky triathletes are in crunch time for their long swims, which conflicts with the chilly temps in our lovely Lake Michigan.  Mr. A skipped the cold water and headed for the J.  Deanna is doing Racine, and decided to embrace the chill.  We made it to picnic table. And back.

It was still a lovely morning at the beach.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Episode of "Cops" filmed at Klode

Next Swims Wed-Fri 6am, 6pm

Last Swim Wed 6am
Water: 53F with annoying chop out of the south, and building
Clarity: good
Crew: Showgirl
skin/suit 0/1

I pulled up to the parking lot and the popo (as Diablo calls them) were blocking the entrance.  Two cars.  The officers headed off on the woodchip path, investigating the crime spree perpetrated by the gang of yoga moms who had managed to breach the orange fence and were down-dogging and namaste-ing in unauthorized park territory.  Or maybe it was something else.

I swam south into the annoying chop, and visited the sewer pipe.  The return trip was much faster, and it seemed that the waves were increasing.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Promotional Materials

Next Swims: M-F 6am and 6pm

Last Swim: Tues 6am
Water: 53F (?) flat like glass
Clarity: clear like glass
Crew: Mike, Showgirl
Skin/Suit: 0/2
Shore Support: Deanna, Laura

The lovely photo today was taken Sunday, courtesy of Drangonfly. If you need any more convincing about whether to come to the beach and swim, that photo should do it.

This morning I pulled into the parking lot and Mike was just heading down the ramp.  When we arrived at the beach, Deanna had already already taken the temperature and decided it was a no-go.

Still on the beach was Laura.  She witnessed the Atwater Beach shipwreck swim a few weeks ago, and (have I mentioned swimming will change your life?) was so impressed and amazed that she vowed to start swimming with us. Today was a wee bit cold for her, but we will reel her in eventually. Also today is her birthday.  Happy Birthday Laura.

Mike and I suited up and started swimming.  My goal was to see the new staircase north of mudslide. Mission accomplished.

2017-06-25 Sunday afternoon

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Calm, warm, and beautiful

Next Swims: M-F 6am and 6pm

Last Swim: Sunday 1pm
Water: 57, nearly flat with pockets of warmer and colder
Clarity: very good
Crew: Nanook, Diablo, Itch, Cap'n, Ara, Handyman Hank, Mr. Anonymous, Showgirl, Mitch, Mike, Eric
Skin/Suit: 4/7
Shore support: Squeeze o'Showgirl

With all the wind in the last day or so I expected to arrive at the beach to see some big waves.  Happily, there were only small ruffles on the surface.  And the water was much warmer.  Most of us swam to mudslide.

In other news, yesterday was my swim-a-versary -- the anniversary of my first swim with the Klode Kru in 2010.  Swimming will change your life.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Nicest Day Yet

Next Swim: Sunday 6-25 1PM

Last Swim: Saturday 6-24 1PM
Water: 59 clear and calm
Crew: Drangonfly, Mitch, Diablo, Itch, Moondawg, Kahuna, Patriarch

The water temp could still be a bit higher, but that's a minor quibble.  A beautiful sunny day.  A fine swim, the best of the season by acclaim.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Save The Turtles

Weekend Swims:  Saturday 6-24 and Sunday 6-25, 1;00 PM both days

Last Swim:  Friday 6-23 5:30 PM
Water:  60 with pockets of warmer and colder, clear with small waves
Crew: Nanook (skin), Diablo (skin), Wet Taco (suit), Drangonfly (skin), Liz (suit), Itch(skin), Anna (suit) , Patriarch (skin)
Special Guest: Turtle (an actual turtle)

 All the gloom and despair of recent days washed away with our first 60 degree water of the season.  Pockets of warmer and colder, some much colder, kept things interesting.  But a great swim nonetheless.    

When we returned there was a turtle on the beach that some kids had been playing with.  Diablo and Itch spent a considerable amount of time and effort trying to lure the turtle into their water.  Their concern was touching. Whodathunk those lugs would give a damn about a turtle - they should treat us as nice.  But my thought is to just leave the turtle alone, he's in his natural habitat (I've seen turtles there on several occasions before). He'll figure out what to do on his own.

If someone has a photo of Turtle please send it to me otherwise my verbal description will have to do:  a six foot across three hundred pound monster with two inch claws and a vicious beak that could easily snap off an appendage or two.   I mean this guy could swim underneath you without you knowing it and just bite off something.  

In the immortal words of Christina Aguilera: "...Cause it makes us that much stronger..."

Late Update:  We are going to swim at 5:30 instead of 6:00PM tonight (Friday 6-23).
As of 2PM the Atwater Buoy is saying 60!

Next Swims:  Friday 6PM
Saturday and Sunday, 1pm

Last Swim: Friday 6am
Water: 54? cloudy-ish with small waves
Crew: Diablo?, Showgirl
Skin/Suit 2/0
Shore Support: lots of seagulls

Further quotes on toughness:
"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
--Mahatma Gandhi

"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential. "
--Winston Churchill

Yes, we are tougher than we used to be, that's for sure.

It was touch and go whether I would get up for the swim, and even after I arrived at the beach, it was iffy.  But then I remembered the powerful words of Super Hera, "If I came to the beach, I'm going to swim." And so I did, thru clouds of mysterious fog lurking near shore.

Feel free to remind me of these remarks on some super-wavy day. Further disclaimer: rafts of dead fish are a non-starter for me.

Whitefish Bay is starting to dress up the park for the 4th, so start thinking about a law-breaking swim over at Big Bay.

Yep, it was foggy.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Good New Days

Next Swims:  Friday 6AM & 6PM
I propose 1PM swims Saturday and Sunday, please comment.

Last Swim: Thursday 6-22 6PM
Water: 52 clear with small waves
Crew: Itch (skin), Patriarch (suit)
Shore Support: Wet Taco

In this morning's blog post Showgirl reminisced about the good old days of Klode Kru morning swims.  But before we get too teary-eyed, just remember that in the good old days we considered 60 degree water too cold to swim.  We've greatly expanded the envelope of what we consider swimable, and it's not surprising that turnout is sparse when the water is so cold.  I predict good new days when the water warms.

Cooler near the Lake. And in it.

Next Swims 6am, 6pm M-F

Last Swim: Thursday 6am
Water: low 50's, swells out of the south
Clarity: murky near shore, great further out, golf balls still there
Crew: Diablo(?), Mr. Anonymous, Showgirl
Skin/suit: 2/1

I was happy to see Mr. Anonymous in the still-barricaded parking lot this morning.  We reminisced about the heyday of the Klode Kru morning swimming.  Oh, the good old days.

The skys were a bit threatening, but Vince Condella er, the bootcamp leader showed us the radar and said it would pass north of us.

And then we swam.  There were small swells out of the south.  We swam north.  I turned around at the birches, Mr. A continued on.  The return trip was a bit more work, but as always, totally worth it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

We Actually Swam Tonight!

Next Swims:  Thu & Fri 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim:  Wed June 21 6PM
Water:  53 clear with small waves
Crew:  Wet Taco, Moondawg, Drangonfly (skin) , Itch (skin), Patriarch

I was too depressed to blog the last two evening (non) swims.  Water temps below 50 kept us out of the water.  But tonight, with the water a relatively balmy 53 we had a most pleasant swim to britches, despite some heavy duty shivering afterwards.  Showgirl's (golf) balls were sighted, but left on the bottom for the enjoyment of others.

Speaking of exposed private parts, I got to try my new swim changing poncho and it worked just great, I no longer worry about being arrested for indecent exposure while changing into dry clothes.  This might be the must-have item of the year.

The average lake temperature is 62, and some places are over 70, so it's frustrating to be in the small portion of the lake that is well below average.  But I have a feeling that those sultry seas will arrive at Klode soon.


wa'SUP? and... first golf ball sightings of the season

Next Swims: 6am, 6pm M-F

Last Swims: 6am Wed
Water: low 50's, like glass
Clarity: excellent
Crew: Showgirl, Diablo (aka Invisible Man)
Skin/Suit: 2/0

I assume there was swimming last night at 6pm also.

I saw Diablo's bike and shoes, but never actually saw the man, which was odd.

Also odd, for the second morning in a row, the entrance to the Klode parking lot was barricaded.

I swam with the SUP peeps this morning. (stand-up paddleboard) They mostly headed south, and I went north. There were four of them.

In other momentous news, I had my first golf ball sightings of the 2017 swimming season, just south of the birches, 4-5 of them. I left them there for other swimmers to retrieve.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Solstice Swimming

Next Swims 6am, 6pm M-F

Last Swim: 6am Tuesday
water: 52-ish, like glass
Clarity: amazing!
Crew: Showgirl, no sign of Diablo, but that doesn't mean he wasn't there
skin/suit: 2/0

Barbie and I swam together for the first time this morning, and she was a lovely companion in the chilly water.

It's been a year or so since we enjoyed this educational video, so I thought it was worth a re-watch:

I also found this, and though swimming this morning was chilly, it was not quite like this:

It did occur to me that this guy seems to be able to swim with a selfie-stick. Something to aspire to.

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Good Bad Day

Next Swims: 6AM & 6PM Tue - Fri

Last Swims:
No report from the Monday AM Crew
Monday 6PM: Water:  50 (or below!) clear and calm

Itch and I walked down to the beach hoping that all the warm water shown on the maps had finally made it to Klode.   Sadly we were disappointed to read 50 on our thermometers.  Yesterday the water was much colder near the rocks so we speculated that warmer water was only a short walk down the beach.  But it was even colder - 48.   Arggghhh!  However our foul mood was alleviated by an attractive young woman searching for beach glass, we decided to help her.  No luck there either.  Double Arggghhhh.

Fortunately Itch had the foresight to bring along some beer so we popped open a couple of cans of Moon Man and enjoyed the beautiful evening.  Even a bad day at the beach is good.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Beach Cleansed

Next Swims:  Monday - Friday 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim:  Sunday June 18th 1PM
Water:  Calm and mostly clear, 54 degrees with warmer and colder spots, a "wall" of extremely cold water just off the rockpiles

Crew:  Itch, Kahuna, Molly, Diablo, Mitch, Capt'n, Ziggy, Iceman, Drangonfly, Patriarch
Shore support: Phoenix, Squeezashowgirl
Correction:  on yesterday's crew list I omitted Itch and myself, a horrible terrible mistake.  If you're not on the list it's like your swim never happened, its like you don't exist

Today's mission was to get that abominable monolith off the beach.  After much heming and hawing
and trial and error we decided the best approach was the simplist - brute force - we picked the damn thing up and carried it off the beach.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Monolith Must Go!

Next Swim: Sunday 6/18 1PM

Last swim: Saturday 6/17 1PM
Water:  52 clear with one waves a foot or less
Crew:  Mr. Anonymous, Showgirl, Wet Taco, Kahuna, Mitch, Iceman, Handyman Hank, Diablo, with shore support from Phoenix

After a delightfull, if chilly swim, we mounted an expedition to the black monolith that mysteriously appeared on the beach.  We found neither enlightenment a la 2001 a Space Odyssey, nor a purpose in life a la Kahuna, but it did make a fine vantagepoint from which to enjoy the view.

Even so, Kahuna decreed that this abomination and must go.  Much debate ensued as to how to best move  it off the beach.  Drag it? (Kahuna) Float it? (Iceman)  Roll it?  (Itch).  In the end we decided to leave the task for another day.

To be continued................

Friday, June 16, 2017

A new Barbie, and Kahuna has a purpose in life again

Next Swims: Friday 6pm
Saturday and Sunday 1PM  <-- note that this is different from yesterday's post

Last Swim: Friday 6am
Water: 53-54F, the wind ruffled the surface a bit, but basically totally flat
Clarity: excellent
Crew: Diablo, Showgirl, Drangonfly, Kahuna, Milkman, Mr. Anonymous
skin/suit: 3/3
Shore Support: Barbie

In a totally shocking turn of events, there were lots of swimmers today.

How did this come about?  Well, I'll tell you.  Convinced that I'd be swimming solo in the mornings for the rest of the summer, I ordered a "SaferSwimmer" swim buoy, aka Barbie. It arrived yesterday. And... due to that cosmic shift in the universe, suddenly there were lots more swimmers on the beach.

But back to the swim.  It was lovely, therapeutic, and yes, cold. Diablo, Drangonfly, and I went skin, and yes, the rest of the menfolk suited up.

Final topic: there has been a new landmark on beach north of sewerpipe. A big black object. At first I thought it was another tire. I knew this item would catch Kahuna's eye, and fire him up.  He did reconnaissance, and here is his report:
"I did a preliminary survey of the black monolith on the beach. It is not something from 2001 A Space Odyssey. It appears to be a float from a pier. It has a rectangular black plastic cover and had or has styrofoam inside it. Now it also has a good deal of Rock and Sand inside it. It is heavy not a one or two person job to get that moved off Beach. We can take a look at it further tomorrow but my thought is now if we tied a bunch of ropes on it and add a bunch of people on Sunday to pull on the ropes it wouldn't be that hard of a thing to get it dragged back to where the Village People could properly remove it."

Thursday, June 15, 2017

It's Getting Warmer

Next Swims:  Friday 6/16, 6AM & 6PM
I propose noon both Saturday and Sunday.  Please comment your opinions.

Last Swim: Thursday 6/15 6PM
Water: 57 at the beach but warmer away from the rockpiles.  Calm and crystal clear - zillions of small fish swirling about.
Crew:  Molly, Handyman Hank, Itch (skin), Patriarch
Shore support provided by Laura who has been following our blog and seems equal parts fascinated and horrified.  Hope you join us in the water soon Laura.

A gorgeous sunny afternoon at the beach - perfect for a swim.  Molly left us all in the dust, I'm not sure how far she went, Port maybe. The rest of us swam a bit past birches.  The water was very clear and calm, it was one of those days when the water dripping from your fingertips is shadowed on the sandy bottom. A most pleasant swim which will be made even better by the warmer water yet to come.

AWOL: Treasure Chest and Doorway to Hell

Next Swims: 6am, 6pm M-F

Last Swim: 6am Thursday
Water: 55ish, small waves out of the south
Clarity: excellent
Crew: Diablo, Showgirl
Skin/Suit: 2/0

6pm Wednesday, I assume people swam also.

Again, Diablo and I exchanged waves as he left and I arrived at Klode.

There were tiny waves coming out of the south, so I decided to mix things up and head that way.  I also had a hankering to see the southside sewerpipe for the first time this summer, so that's where I went.

The sky was a bit cloudy when I started, but not long into the swim, the sun broke thru, and the shore was lit up.  I had forgotten about all the interesting rocks and stuff on the bottom. I also kept an eye out for the treasure chest and the doorway to Hell, but didn't see either.

Remeber this guy? He's almost totally submerged today.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Definitely Warmer

Weekday swims: 6am and 6pm

Last Swims:
Wednesday 6am
Water: 54-55F? Tiny waves out of the north
Clarity: Spectacular!
Crew: Diablo, Showgirl
Shore Support: Panini
Skin/Suit: 2/0

Also Tuesday night, Itch and Panini swam.

I once again had a drive-by with Diablo as he left Klode.

Great news! The water is definitely getting warmer.

This morning it was crystal clear, and the sun was making beautiful ripply designs on the bottom.  I swam north to the birches.

Oddest thing at the beach this morning: a fully inflated chaise lounge raft.  Why do people bring these things and then leave them??

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Into the Fog

Next Swims: Tues-Fri 6am and 6pm

Last Swim: Tues 6am
Water: 53-54F?, (toe-mometer) flat as glass, not getting any warmer
Clarity: amazing
Crew: Diablo, Showgirl
Skin/Suit:  2/0

As I rounded the corner from Lake Drive, Diablo was just rolling away. It was good to see another member of the group, since only the bootcamp chicks were in the parking lot.

It was foggy and mysterious on the beach. In the old days, I was scared to swim in the fog.  Now I just hug the shore, and enjoy it.

The water was beautifully clear, and I swam to garage.  Moments after I arrived back at the shore, there was the sound of thunder, so I just dodged the bullet on a knucklehead swim, and the skies opened on my way home.

Oddest thing on the beach this morning (other than me): a blue plastic kiddie pool.

Monday, June 12, 2017


Next Swims: 6AM & 6PM every weekday this week

Last (non) Swim: Monday June 12th 6PM
Water: 50 with one foot waves
Wimp Outs: Hank, Patriarch

Hank and I had our enthusiasm curbed by the 50 degree reading on my water thermometer.  What Would Diablo Do (W.W.D.D)?  What Would Showgirl Do (W.W.S.D.)?   Probably swim.  Probably skin.  We didn't care. It was too damn cold for us!

W.W.D.D. ?

Next Swims: Mon-Fri 6AM and 6pm

Last Swim: 6am Monday
Water: 55F, maybe colder (toe-mometer), wind ruffling up the surface a bit
Clarity: excellent
Crew: Showgirl
Skin/Suit:  1/0

I arrived at the beach, alone, and I asked myself, "what would Diablo do?" So I forsook my crappy wetsuit and swam skin to the the garage.  It was lovely.

The beach, the sunrise, the water-- it was all great, if a bit lonely.  I hope to see some actual swimmers some morning soon.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Congratultions to the Plys

Next Swims:  6am & 6PM every weekday day this week - June 12th - 17th
(Although to be honest I'm not sure how many people will show up with the water so cold.)

Last Swims:
Sunday June 11th 10:30AM Klode beach
Water 55 & clear on the beach, colder away from the rockpiles
Huge schools of 3-4 inch fish swirling near shore
Crew: Scooby, Molly, Handyman Hank, Mr. Anonymous, Drangonfly, Wet Taco, Diablo (skin), Nanook (skin), Patriarch
Shore Support: Spawn of Diablo

Last Swims:  Saturday June 11th Atwater beach - shipwreck swim
Water:  Warm near shore, colder outside the protection of the piers
Crew:  No-Ply, Neo, Drangonfly, Mike, Phoenix, Kahuna, Mitch
Shore Support:  Patriarch, Ava

The water was a bit hazy, not the best shipwreck viewing, only No-Ply saw it.

Speaking of No-Ply, hearty congratulations to him and No-Ply, they are expecting twins in September!  Holy Cow!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Weekend Plans

Next Swims:

Saturday June 10th 10:30 AM at Atwater Beach.  We will swim to the shipwreck if conditions permit.  Following the swim stick around for the Shorewood Men's Club Barbeque, Kahuna will sell you a ticket at a special reduced rate.

Sunday June 11th:  Noon at Klode

Update:  I apologize for causing some confusion.  I had posted a start time of 10AM on Saturday, but in an earlier post Kahuna said 11AM.  I need to go earlier because there is a plane to catch this afternoon.  At the risk of even more confusion lets say 10:30 and then the barbeque which starts at 11:30.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Totally Skin-able

Next Swims: Thurs 6pm and Friday 6AM and 6pm

Last Swim: 6am Thursday
Water: 58F (toe-mometer), totally flat
Clarity: improving
Crew: Showgirl, maybe Diablo
Skin/Suit:  1/0

Upcoming events: This Saturday 06/10, Klode Kru Shipwreck Swim at Atwater Beach followed by Shorewood Men's Club BBQ. Stay tuned for details.

Well, it seems a bit silly to blog a single-swimmer swim, but I swam, and it was warm enough to swim skin.  The water was flat and beautiful, the sun was warm, and the beach was deserted.  It's hard to improve on that.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Epic Weekend Events.... Coming Soon to a Beach Near You

Next Swims: Wed-Friday 6AM and 6pm

Last Swim: 6am Wednesday
Water: 54F (toe-mometer), wavy
Clarity: complete lack of clarity
Crew: Showgirl, Panini, Diablo
Skin/Suit: 1/2

Upcoming events: This Saturday 06/10, Klode Kru Shipwreck Swim at Atwater Beach followed by Shorewood Men's Club BBQ. It is a magic day, not to be missed. (And... I will have to miss it.) Stay tuned for details.

There was a rare Diablo sighting this morning. He was riding off into the sunrise as Panini and I arrived at Klode. He assured us that the water was great, and he was right.

We swam to the birches. It was sunny and beautiful, and the waves seemed to be dying down as we finished our swim.

As an extra bonus, we ran into Gigi walking down the ramp as we left.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Super Hera Saves the Swim!

Next Swims: Tues-Friday 6AM and 6pm

Last Swim: 6am Tuesday
Water: 53-55F (toe-mometer), wavy
Clarity: nope, no clarity
Crew: Showgirl, Super Hera
Skin/Suit: 0/2

There were no cars in the parking lot when I arrived this morning.  

I was on the beach, looking askance at the wavy water when Super Hera arrived to save the swim.  We suited up and swam north into the waves to the birches.  The return trip was speedy as the waves carried us back to shore.

The sun, sky, and water were lovely-- it was another great swim.

And, in conclusion, I'm sure I am not alone in eagerly anticipating the next installment in the fascinating story of Jefe and El Guapo.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Summer is Here

Next Swims:  Monday 6/5 6AM & 6PM

Last Swim:  Sunday June 4th noon
Water: 53 calm and crystal clear
Crew:  Diablo, Scott, Mike, Iceman, Capt'n, Showgirl, Phoenix, Itch, Foxy Roxy, Mr. Anonymous, Wet Taco, Drangonfly, Patriarch

A beautiful warm sunny day on the beach.  Everyone was out mom, dad, grandma, grandpa and the kids.  The water is still a bit cool, but it didn't stop our group of thirteen beach bums from enjoying a fantastic swim.

Saturday, June 3, 2017


Next Swim: Sunday 6/4 noon

Last Swims:
Friday 6PM
Water:  51 a little choppy, crystal clear
Swimmers:  Diablo (skin), Itch(skin), Panini, Wet Taco, Patriarch

Saturday 2PM
Water:  50, small waves, clear
Swimmers: Wet Taco, Itch (skin), Showgirl, Foxy Roxy, Drangonfly
Observers:  Ted, Patriarch

All the divisiveness in today's world seem to have gotten to Showgirl as she has been preaching harmony connectiveness and tranquility.  Next we'll see her on the beach at sunrise in full lotus pose hitting on a hookah.  (Or maybe she's already been there, which explains her attitude).

Friday, June 2, 2017

United we stand... and swim

Next Swims: Friday 6PM, 2:00PM Saturday, noon Sunday

Last Swim: 6am Friday, TGIF
Water: 51F (toe-mometer), flat as glass
Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Showgirl, Dave (aka Milkman)
Skin/Suit: 0/2

Despite the seeds of divisiveness Patriarch is trying to sow below, I would suggest that we are all one, all connected. Furthermore, the sun is already up for the 6am swim.

I'd like to tell you that the water has been warming up a bit more each day, but... it hasn't really.  That said, the 60F air temperature and lovely sunrise this morning made it easier to get in.

Today was Milkman's (where do these nicknames come from?) first open water swim of the season, prior to a grueling 1/4min swim this weekend at the Lake Mills tri. I offered to swim next to him, elbow, jostle, kick, push, etc in order to replicate the authentic tri experience.

Anyway, good luck and have fun this weekend, Milkman, and thanks for being there this morning so I couldn't wimp out.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

morning versus evening

Next Swims:  Friday 6/1 6AM and 6PM

Last Swim:  Thursday 6/1, 6:30PM
Water:  51 clear and choppy
Swimmers:  Itch (skin), Wet Taco (wetsuit)
Observer: Patriarch

If you're wondering whether to swim in the morning or the evening:  the morning group is a bunch of tight ass snobs. Think about it - what kind of person would get up before sunrise to swim in 51 degree water?  The evening group is much nicer.

Our Place on the Lake

Next Swims: Fri 6am

Last Swim: Thurs 6am
Water: 51F (by my toe-momenter), small swells
Clarity: very good away from shore
Crew: Panini, Showgirl, Mike, Diablo
Skin/Suit: 1/3

It was another super-beautiful morning at the beach. Diablo was pedaling away as I arrived in the parking lot, and as Mike, Panini, and I walked down the ramp, we could hear the sound of waves on the shore.

Knowing that Diablo had just swam skin meant there was no question whether we were going in, so no one even bothered to try the water before suiting up.  With the usual vow to make it to sewerpipe, we passed it by and continued on the scenic tour north, past garage to the birches.

Back on shore, we chatted about how great it would be to have a vacation cottage up north. In the end, we agreed that having Lake Michigan in our back yard is even better.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Flat, Clear, and Chilly

Next Swims: Wed-Fri 6am

Last Swim: Tues 6am
Water: 50F (by my toe-momenter)
Clarity: excellent
Crew: Panini, Showgirl
Skin/Suit: 0/2

It was a classic, beautiful morning at the beach, with a side of scattered rose petals.  The water was like glass, and was so clear that you could see your shadow on the sand below.  We swam to garage and back.  The water was chilly.

Monday, May 29, 2017

And the Kru said: Let there be morning swims.

Next Swims: Tues-Fri 6AM

Last Swim: Monday noon
Water: 52, nearly flat
Clarity: Good
Crew: Drangonfly, We'Taco, Panini, Showgirl, Phoenix, Super Hera, Allie, FoxyRoxy, LittleFoxy, Diablo, Itch, Gumdrop er... Icepack, Cap'n, Patriarch, Mike, Neo, Mr. Anonymous, Kahuna, Graham
Skin/Suit: 5/14

Shore Support: NashT, Squeeze o'Showgirl

In spite of the wind and the whitecaps on the horizon, the water near shore was nearly flat, with just a few ruffles on the surface. The air was warm, the sun was shining, and the water was a brisk 52.

Undaunted by the cool water, our largest crew this season suited up (or didn't) and swam north. Andrea took her new wetsuit for a spin and is now, and ever shall be... FoxyRoxy.

After the swim there was an impromptu gathering at the Estabrook beer garden where we soaked up the sun and were serenaded by men in lederhosen.  We brainstormed about summer events to have, and declared our intention to host a Lake Michigan swim event, and call it "Big Swell" and maybe even a music festival which we will call... "Summerfest." The Klode Kru thinks big.

There is talk of a group purchase of personalized changing ponchos, where at least one name is guaranteed to be misspelled.  Stay tuned for additional details, or my name isn't Snowgirl.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ohhhhh Cisco

Next Swim: Monday, Memorial Day, noon

Last Swim: Sunday May 28th noon
Water: 51 calm and murky - stirred up from recent storms
Swimmers: Panini, Drangonfly, Itch, Showgirl, Diablo (skin!)
Observers: Patriarch, Scott, Phoenix, Wet Taco

Showgirl was upset that nobody (besides me) got her "Ohhh Poncho" remark in her blog post yesterday.  She was referring, of course, to the old TV show "The Cisco Kid".  Sorry Showgirl but only a person of "a certain age" would remember that.

Showgirl also said something about a monokini, I'm not sure what that is, not sure I want to know.  But I would not be surprised to see her show up at the beach Monday in a sombrero, poncho and monokini.  Ohhhh Pancho!  Ohhhhh Cisco!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Ohhhhh Poncho......

Next Swims: Sunday and Monday, noon

Last Swim: Saturday noon
Water: 55  with chop out of the south
Clarity: none
Crew: Drangonfly, We'Taco, Panini, Showgirl, Diablo, Itch, Gumdrop er... Icecube
Skin/Suit: 2/5

What a difference a few degrees can make.  Plus sunshine.The beach was sunny and beautiful. The water is gradually getting warmer.  Most of us suited up, and we all swam south into the chop to picnic table. It was a lovely swim.

So the garment of the summer appears to be the swim poncho, aka changing poncho. It allows you to change out of your wet swim clothes without the risk of flashing everyone at the beach.  First Itch had one. With the hood up he looked a bit like a bearded grim reaper.  Now Drangonfly has one. I'm going to do a beach towel refashion and make my own.

p.s. post to the comments if you know the origins of the subject line

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Relax. Now you have plans for the weekend.

Next Swims: Noon --  Saturday, Sunday, Monday

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Little Rain Must Fall

Next Swim:  Tuesday May 23rd 6PM (maybe, if it's not raining as forecast)

Last Swim:  Sunday May 21st noon
Water:  51, calm, poor visibility due to stirred up sand and silt
Swimmers:  Graham (Cracker?), Neo, Itch, Panini, Showgirl, Wet Taco, Drangonfly, all in wetsuits
Shore Support:  Capt'n, Ali, Andrea, Phoenix, Tony, Patriarch

We could use some warm sunny calm days, but the near term forecast is for more clouds wind and rain.  Sigh!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Next Swim Sunday 5/21 Noon

Itch reports that Tuesday the water temp was 55 with a slight roll.  Wednesday was 49 and choppy.  So, as he says, it's a crap shoot.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Spring Swimming

Next Swim: Sunday 05/14, noon

Last Swim:  Saturday, Noon, 05/13
Water:  53, nice and flat
Clarity: excellent
Crew:  Itch, Showgirl, Holly
Shore Support: Phoenix, Andrea, Squeeze o'Showgirl
skin/suit: 1/2

Warm air, flat water, good swimming.

I swam to the birches, and Itch swam to mudslide.

Today Holly made her inaugural swim with the Klode Kru.  It was perhaps more like a watery walk from the beach to the rock pile, but she was in the water, without a wetsuit, so I'm calling that a skin swim.  Welcome to the Kru, Miss Holly!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Days to Celebrate... with swimming!

Next Swims: Saturday and Sunday noon,  05/13,14

Saturday is Mother Ocean Day, and what better way to celebrate than swimming in our own inland ocean?

Sunday is National Buttermilk Biscuit day.  Or if you prefer, National Dance Like a Chicken Day. 

And yes... Mother's Day.

No matter how or what you celebrate, do it like the bad*ss mother that you are, and join us at the beach.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Spitting Us Out

Next Swim: TBD

Last Swim: Sunday. April 23rd noon
Water: 50 Clear and Calm when we started, a raging sea of whitecaps thirty minutes later
Swimmers: Showgirl, Wet Taco, Iceman, Panini, Itch, Mr. Anonymous, and Diablo (our lone skin swimmer)

The lake is warming much more quickly than usual, but as if to warn us against false optimism, conditions deteriorated rapidly during the swim.  Inside of ten minutes the air temperature dropped 20-30 degrees and the wind went from still to gale force and water from dead calm to heavy foaming chop.  Almost as if she was spitting us out.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Next Swim is Sunday

Next Swim: Sunday April 23rd noon

Thursday, April 20, 2017

That Dot Out There Is Itch

As some of the links in the below post by the Patriarch are not working, here's some pic.s from yesterday's swim.  Above, going long to open the season, that dot out there is itch.

Above, the Happy Iceman, post skin swim in 48 degree water.

Above, happy to see the return of the Kru, the Forsythia in Klode are blooming.

Earliest Opening Day Ever!

Next Swim: TBD

Last Swim:  Tuesday April 18th 6PM
Water: 48, 2 ft waves, very rough
Air: cold cloudy and blustery
Swimmers: Gumdrop, Itch
Spectators:  Panini, Kahuna, Phoenix, Showgirl, Patriarch

Even though the water was much warmer than might be expected from looking at the web or looking at the calendar, it was hardly a great day for a swim.   This did not stop Gumdrop who did a loop inside the rockpiles (skin!).  Or Itch who donned his wetsuit for a cruise to "picnic table" (another one of many non-sensical landmark names - the picnic table that was once there succumbed to the elements long ago).

Luckily for Kahuna and I, none of the ladies ventured forth, which of course would have called our manhood into question if we had not followed.

After the swimmers returned to the beach we of course celebrated the opening of the season with our favorite beverage.

The dot out there is Itch.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Manifestly Awful Idea

Next Swim:  Tuesday April 18th 6PM (no joke!?)

Last Swim: Diablo and Itch claim to have swum "a couple strokes" last Sunday with the water temp registering 47.  Lacking any photographic proof or accounts from reliable witnesses I'm trying to decide whether to file this report under "fake news", "drunken rant", or just plain "bullshit".

Several weeks ago, after one (or five) too many, Itch declared that he would swim at Klode on Tuesday April 18th "no matter what".  (For reference, we normally start lake swimming in mid to late May, when the water temp reaches the 50's, currently it's in the 30's and low 40's.)  At the time we laughed it off, which was probably a mistake because the more we ridiculed the idea the more he insisted that he would be taking the plunge on April 18th.  In the following weeks nobody would have blamed him if he had just dropped the matter, but apparently his self image does not allow him to back off a pledge even if it's a manifestly awful idea.  (One has the impression that a similar chain of boasts and provacations will lead to World War Trump.)

I want no part of this lunacy but feel responsible in the sense I may have helped to provoke this madness, so I will be there to take pictures, dial 911 and administer Killepitsch to the survivors.  See you on the beach Tuesday at 6PM.  

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Klode Cru Lake Michigan 2017 Swim Season Open!

Last Swim: Saturday April 1st, 2017
Water: Clear Calm 75 degrees

Swimming on April 1st!  Unbelievable!  A warm sunny day and clear calm water made for a perfect day of swimming.  Well almost perfect.   An annoying guy on a jet ski tried to ruin the fun, but Crash decked him with a right cross and a knee to the groin.

After the swim we enjoyed cocktails in the new Klode Hot Tub Tiki Bar, compliments of the generous tax payers of Whitefish Bay.  Thank you!

Those of you who swam with us today please share your experience of this incredible swim by adding a comment.

See you on the beach!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Big Shoulders Registration Opens March 1st

Another sign that spring is coming, and we will soon be back in the Lake: registration for Big Shoulders Chicago Open Water Swim Race opens on March 1st, at 10:00 a.m. This year's race will be held on Sept. 9, 2017.   Last year approximately ten members of the Kru did the race.  If you want to do the race, be sure to put a reminder on your calendar, as registration can close quickly (I think like within an hour of opening).  Cost is $80, and the event is quite a picturesque, given the race's downtown location.  If you can't (like me) do a race on Sept. 9th due to other commitments, you may want to consider another race that some Kru members do, the Great Lake Plunge, in Evanston, Illinois, on July 30th.  Registration for that event is now open.     

Sunday, January 1, 2017