Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Evanston, August 22

Into the lake because of a thunderstorm? Ken and I talked about a lake swim this morning after our swim last week, but it was put on hold due to forecasts of storms. We had our storm this morning about 4AM and the winds brought down a fair number of tree branches. The storm had passed by 6AM so several of us showed up at our outdoor pool for our standard morning swim. The pool was closed and we were debating a plan of action when Jerry, our Masters coach, appeared from the other building to tell us that the pool had lost power during the storm and had to be shut by the health regulations. Worse, his indoor pool was closed for annual maintenence. Feeling a strong need to swim there seemed no better choice than to head to the lake. Paul, who is in training for an ironman in 3 weeks, decided to come along. So Paul and Ken headed back to their neighborhood to get Paul's wetsuit and Ken's work attire and we met at the standard beach in Evanston, which also had storm damage. We were just hoping the waves would not be too intense. In fact they were much lower than last Saturday but there was a strong south wind. I warned them of the possibility of a tough return swim but Ken and Paul are very intense swimmers and made a dash for the wall. I can't believe that it is August 22 and this is my first time to the wall this summer! Our almost, we actually avoided the wall because of the wind and ended up parallel to the wall about 50 yards further out. As predicted it was a rough swim back, one of the worst I have experienced. Paul and Ken have more endurance, they have conducted 5000 yard pool practices recently, but I have the lake experience so actually had an advantage. About halfway back the wind mercifully turned northwest so the swimming got easier and we all made it back in one piece. The water was a cool 67, it is not clear whether this is due to all the recent rain or a belated summer inversion.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Evanston, August 18

Back at my old haunt in Evanston early on a unseasonably cool morning. This time I am with Ken and a new recruit, Sue. We had hoped the wind early last evening had died sufficently so that we could swim to the wall, but it was clearly too wavy. An out-and-back swim seemed prudent. Bit it wasn't until we were in the water that we realized that there were 3 to 4 foot waves. At one point I saw Ken on the face of a wave looking as if he was trying to climb straight up. After about 10 minutes we turned around for the 4 minute swim back. The water was only 71 but seemed warm relative to the 68 degree breeze from the south east. We attempted to body surf for a while but although the waves were large enough they seemed rather thin and not packing much energy. We each got about one decent ride. We called it a day, Sue had a breakfast to go to, Ken and I sat on the beach for a short while. Other than a quick dog walker or too we were completely alone. Several small planes pulling advertisements were making slow progress down the lake positioning themselves for the air show, for now with an audience of just the two of us.