Saturday, October 06, 2018

Ohio Street, October 6

Our swim was delayed while we waited at home for a storm to pass through the Loop. We finally got in the water at 8:00 AM instead of our usual 6:30. Jody was right, there was no trouble parking, we got the best spot at the end of Ohio St. The usual runners and bikers were resting for tomorrow's marathon. But it was worth the wait, water was nearly flat, 4 inch swells, 2 inch ripples. The water was 64.2 degrees with air int the upper 60's. The sun even came out at the end. There were two other swimmers, both in full wetsuits. We went to the orange poles and back for what will almost certainly be my last Ohio St. swim, at least for the season. A good way to end this season on a high note.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Yu's Harbor, October 2

We have made it once again into the October club. Barely. We have been waiting for a decent day when we can both come, today seems to be the best we can come up with. Air 61, water 64.7, low clouds, little wind and fairly smooth 1.5 foot swells. The water temp is fine usually for open water but with no sun and cold air this did bring chills, especially getting out. Getting to Yu's harbor was good enough for these conditions. Jody finally brought her underwater camera and took some pictures, here are two.


The first is me doing a Hollywood stroke, looks good in movies and TV, with Yu's harbor in the background. The second is just me doing a normal swim.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Yu's Harbor, September 25

Nice swim for a rainy day. There was a localized storm over my house when we left, it put quite a lot of rain down in my neighborhood. The storm followed us to the Lake, but we were able to cover our stuff and get in the water before it rained. It only lasted a few minutes and any rain that got on us washed off in the lake. Although it remained mostly cloudy, we never did actually see the sun, it was pleasant, Lake and air were about 68 degrees. From the shore the lake looked flat but in the water there was a definite 1 ft. swell, smooth by the beach but choppy near the far wall. We swam to the wall, but lollygagged back. I never put on my goggles the whole way. But we were just enjoying being on the Lake, possibly for the last time at Evanston this season as conditions are expected to get much worse tonight.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Yu's Harbor, September 20

Very surreal. After a pleasant start to the week we had big waves from North winds. This weekend we should see SW winds which should cool down not only the air but also the water. Today was supposed to be a stormy transition. But we noticed that the wind had died down along with the wave height while the air and water continues to be warm. So we went for what may have been the last warm swim. But things were surreal, smooth swells in a checkerboard pattern rather than linear waves. Jody even observed that the waves looked like the fake waves in old war movies. A strange cloud pattern with a sun struggling to come out. An eerie lack of wind. We didn't so much as swim as to vertically traverse much of the distance from the to the wall and back. Today, unlike Monday and Tuesday, we were in no hurry and just taking in the weird vibes. By the time we got to Yu's house on the way back we noticed a change, wind, ripples on the waves and looking behind us was a rainstorm chasing us. We swam fast back to the beach, raced through our changing and headed for the car, expecting to get drenched. But it never did rain on land.

Later in the day the clouds dissipated and it got hot. But more challenges await if we come back this weekend.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Yu's Harbor, September 18

After yesterday's very nice, but short, swim I wanted to get back today and see if we could catch a last bit of this weather pattern for another beautiful swim. But yesterday didn't last. Early this morning a strong north wind picked up churning the water into windblown waves. By shore the waves were only a foot or so, but had a very short wavelength. But in deeper water the waves were bigger, averaging about 2.5 feet with the occasional 4 footer, but they also had somewhat larger wavelengths. We did a lot of breaststroke and the size of the waves was very apparent. However, for me at least, swimming crawl into the waves I have little up and down sensation. It was more a matter of judging when to breathe. Since I usually breathe every stroke I can afford to miss some breaths when at the peak of a wave with my head under water because the next stroke would be in a trough where I could get some air. Usually Jody is a much faster swimmer than me over longer distances but I was keeping up with her up wind. As a former swim coach she attributes that to bad form that just happens to be an advantage swimming into waves. Coming back, not so much as I have trouble keeping straight.

We had a bit more time this morning but I was in a little rush so we only went to Yu's harbor again, but we did lollygag a bit there enjoying lying on our backs and being rocked. There were varying clouds, mostly low lying, and only a bit of sun. Water was between 70 and 71, really quite comfortable, especially while swimming hard. And once again the Lake reminded us not to take it for granted.

Postscript: We didn't realize how close we got to the moon. We were swimming by Yu Darvish's house. Yu's ex-wife is Saeko. Saeko's ex-boyfriend is Maezawa. Maezawa is scheduled to be the first private space traveler on Musk's Big F***ing Rocket to circle the moon.

Monday, September 17, 2018

September 17, Yu's harbor, Evanston

Jody, Joe and I were supposed to go to Ohio St on the 15th but Joe and I bailed out for various reasons, mine was a bad allergic reaction to the algae possibly augmented by a cold. Jody went with husband Bill who didn't swim but followed her on the wall taking pictures. At least she did not feel like she was swimming alone.

Today I'm better so we did a quick trip to Evanston, she needed to be back early. So we swam to Yu's harbor and back at, for me, race pace. At 72.4 this might be a new September record for the water temperature. The water was not still but smooth and the air was in the 70's even at 6:30 AM with light winds and puffy clouds. We wish we had time to stay later for one of the nicest ever Lake swims.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Evanston September 13

The upside of hurricane Florence is beautiful Lake weather here. Due to other commitments this is the first morning Jody and I could get out to the Lake. The sun was just coming up with mostly clear skies, a few puffy clouds, no wind at all and a consistent 68.6 degree water throughout our swim. The water was neither wavy nor flat, it seemed somewhat disturbed. Near the beach it was almost flat, but by the far wall there were wavelets as high as 18 inches. But there was no clear direction or consistency, sort of a large, but relatively smooth chop. But overall, a delightful September swim.