Friday, September 29, 2017

Evanston September 29

Small Craft Warning, 5-7ft waves with occasional 8-9 foot waves, strong NW wind, water temperature dropping 3 degrees, cold air ... So says the Weather service and press. So why are we at the Lake at Evanston? Actually if today were a Saturday instead of Friday I would have preferred Ohio Street, but I hate dealing with traffic and parking downtown on weekdays. Jody points out that Ohio St would have lower waves but much more chop and be worse to swim in. But more because careful parsing of the reports indicated that this dire forecast was really for later in the day and with nighttime wind from the west the wind waves would be offshore with only soft reflection nearshore. As for the temperature we were hoping that the waves would mix the water, our cold earlier in the week with the warmer offshore water. Also the mere existence of waves adds a degree or 2 of warmth to the water.

But all of the above, the official forecast and my interpretation was off. There were actually 2-4 foot wind waves coming in from the northeast, remember waves always come in towards shore regardless of wind direction. In addition there were some larger waves. And these brought the warmer water that had been blown offshore by the recent SW winds. So water temperatures were in the low 67's. The air was actually about 64 with bright sun so it was certainly warm enough to swim. Going north the waves were hard to swim in, we mostly did breast stroke, partly to keep our heads out of the water and partly to stick closer together. Up by the north wall the waves were larger but with longer wavelengths. We stood on our sandbar about 50 yards from the wall and shore for a while but that got us cold. We swam crawl back to the beach non-stop and what was usually a 20 minute swim only took about 10. This warmed us up. Back at the beach there were some waves big and hard enough to body surf so we did that for a while. Then, for some strange reason, park district workers came to paint the guard chairs. Since that is where we left our stuff we had to get out.

So why were we here today? Because it was loads of fun.