Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Evanston, July 30

A slight question of storms from leftover hurricane Dolly made us almost opt for Friday, but the storm split going mostly south of us leaving nice weather for today's swim. It was perfect - what more can I say? 70 degree clear water, flat with a light west breeze, mostly sunny.

There was a disturbing article about changes in the Lake ecology in today's paper. Lots more mussels and algae on the Lake bottom. Besides disrupting the food chain it may be producing the e-coli that has the beach directors undies in a knot. A lady we met as we were getting out mentioned that she biked to Ohio street recently only to find the water closed due to e-coli. We suggested she swim with us.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Evanston, July 25

I wanted to come yesterday when the weather seemed more promising but Joe and Ken were busy so we took a chance that the predicted storms would not materialize. At 5AM I checked the radar and no storms within 200 miles so we came just after the sun came up. The water was smooth, not quite glass and 68 F. The sky and the water were cloudy, after the initial red glow of sunrise faded it was not easy to tell where the water ended and the sky began. Air temperature was around 70. Except for somewhat limited visibility, a good swim. These guys are somewhat gluttons for distance so the only complaint was that the swim, about 2km., was too short.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A cold, perfect July 16 in Evanston

I invited Joe and Ken to swim at Evanston assuring them it would be a perfect day, water temperature included. When we got there the Lake was glass smooth. I realized my credibility was in trouble, smooth often means cold. It was a mere 61 F. But these guys are tough enough so once they stopped complaining and started to swim they agreed it was a perfect day: sunny, air in the mid 70's, no wind, clear water and, of course, no waves, and nothing else (boats or people) in the water.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Ohio Street - July 2, 2008

The 2008 season began with a slightly early 4th of July swim. After monitoring all the lake temperature sites I decided that only Ohio Street would be reliably warm enough for an outing. So Joe, Ken and I arrive about 6:15 AM. Parking was difficult, but there is one street left between a parking lot and construction with some spots, enough for our two cars. We get to the lake and already people are leaving the water, a good sign or not? Our first impressions not, it felt cold. But after we got started it felt better. In fact Joe and Ken, who are slightly faster than me in distance swimming, took off ahead. I thought we might discuss the water temperature at one of the landmarks, but I did not catch up with them until the end, now marked by a small orange bouy. The question was, is this as far as we go? My answer was yes. I looked at my watch, the water temperature was 63. Actually, I was slightly better prepared with a new thermal cap my older daughter gave me, at 38 she finally has discovered open water swimming. She found the cap at the Barracuda web site. Joe and Ken just had normal swim caps, and, of course, none of us had wetsuits. The swim back was actually nicer with the sun coming up, even though we were facing a stiff breeze. The water was clear, and although they say the Lake is a bit higher this year it still seemed very shallow to me. One could stand up almost the whole way, if one wanted to since much of the bottom seemed not very inviting what with rocks and algae. By the time we finished even more people had showed up, and by the time we were driving home, via Lakeshore Drive since the northbound Kennedy was a mess, the swim area was absolutely crowded, among others, even an age group swim team was there.