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 (greatlakeplunge.com) 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.