Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Evanston, August 30

Our first shock upon arriving at our beach this morning was that the street where we park was torn up for sewer work. The was no legal parking anywhere. Not a real problem, Evanston has lots of beaches and it was past time this summer we should try another one. So we went to a nearby one where there was lots of parking. In fact, things started looking real good as there was a notice that due to guards returning to high school the beach would not be "open" until 4:30 which we interpreted as meaning that no one would be around to "close" the water or otherwise hassle us until we were long gone. So we went for a nice swim, there was a developing north wind but at the time the waves were only about 1 foot and though somewhat insistent on pushing us around we were able to swim though them without much trouble. I may have been DQed for not touching the far wall, but with the waves and not being familiar with the wall I opted to not tempt the under-toe, the mythical lake monster of Evanston who preys on unauthorized swimmers. Swimming back was fine but I noticed a slight outward current as I neared the beach. Unfortunately I had an early afternoon meeting so we could not make ourselves real comfortable on the beach. But it was just as well as just as we where taking a last dip before leaving a lifeguard and briefcase showed up to be official party poopers.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Evanston, August 25

A little less wavy, and a little warmer: 69. This time we could swim to the vicinity of the far end of the far wall. We didn't want to actually touch as there was a lot of wave action against the wall and rocks by this part of the wall made it somewhat dangerous. For the first time we noticed the cause: according to the flags there was a stiff south wind. This had not been so obvious by the beach. Thus a tough swim back, but we have had worse. When we were done it felt like we had actually accomplished something. Again we were content in the park which was just as well as two briefcases were present. The water was open again today.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Evanston, August 23

Cool and windy, a strong wind from the east or northeast. Waves were 2 feet near shore but about 4 feet further out, but with the wind they were not uniform and hard to swim in. Today was an out and back swim of about 20 minutes. Not real hard but not a nice ride back either. Water was 68 and air in the mid 60's, so a cold exit. But there were peaks of sun and we did warm up quickly. No 9AM Boot. Not wanting to re-enter the water we sat in the park outside the beach area for coffee. We expected a skeleton crew to simply protect the beach from swimmers, but a 4 man lifeguard crew showed up and the water was actually open.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Evanston, August 17

A third great day in a row. Now 74 and ripples. We set off right after das Boot and had time after we finished to get our stuff and make ourselves comfortable before the lifeguards came. The bad news: e-coli again. The lifeguard chairs, which, of course, they never sit on, then have the statement




which seems to sum up the job description of an Evanston lifeguard. The briefcase was lazy and did not chase us from the beach, which was nice because it was a great beach day. But Mike really wanted to swim. So when the guard posted at the water got really involved in her book Mike slipped into the water unnoticed and had a short swim. Only when he was leaving the water did she become aware and hustled him out of danger from the dreaded e-coli.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Evanston, August 16

Another perfect swim. It was a little flatter and a degree warmer (72) with just a touch of a north wind to make the return swim quicker. The only bummer was Das Boot making its rounds and delaying the start of the swim by a few minutes and the Briefcase being extra efficient. It was a nice beach day so we hung out just on the other side of the fence for a while.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Evanston, August 15

An unexpectedly great swim! The reports estimated water temps anywhere from 56 to 74, usually given such a range this beach is towards the bottom. And, in spite of my best efforts, I had forgotten my warm cap again. But I felt better immediately when I saw 2 foot waves, in a relative sense wavy water is warmer. We felt even better when we got our feet wet, and then our whole bodies. The water was 71, just a bit warmer than perfect. It was also quite clear for a wavy day. The waves were not locally wind driven and thus did not seem to favor swimming any particular direction, it was not especially easy going but not hard either, and a good deal more fun than flat water. We did a full swim and both felt great afterwards. The beach was nice also, with a front of clouds just to the south but sun where we were. The briefcase didn't bother chasing us in the water, but we had to leave at 10:30 anyway because I had an appointment.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Evanston, August 12

I've been gone for a while and when I got back Mike was on vacation. I was jealous, he got lots of swimming in, but I didn't. We are finally both back so off to the beach, even though the weather wasn't particularly favorable, rather rainy and cooler than the 90 degree days we have been having. I wasn't going to bring a cap, expecting a hot lake, but at the last minute I threw my latex cap in my bag. When we got there Mike immediately got concerned with the uncharacteristic smoothness of the water. "It looks cold", he said. I laughed, forgetting about the August inversion that hits about this time each year. I didn't laugh long once we felt the water. We first went back and got our caps, Mike actually had his thermal cap with him, and then gingerly got in the water. The deeper we got the less happy we were and kept lowering our distance expectations. We finally just stuck to the beach area and were in only about 15 minutes. THE WATER WAS 58 DEGREES. To add to insult to injury the guards came early, closed the water due to e-coli and then made us leave promptly at 10:30, just when the weather was improving. If the e-coli could really survive in this water, more power to them.