Sunday, July 26, 2009

Evanston, July 26

Lots of storms predicted the last few days, only a few showed up. With prevailing west winds this side of the Lake was calm except during storms. I gave my group a choice of days this weekend figuring that early in the morning should have less chance of a storm. The only interest was for today and only Joe and Sue actually came.

The weather this morning was beautiful, no clouds, light west wind. But the past days of west winds did keep the water cool, 68. This is the warmest we have had but pretty cool for this time of the summer. The water was exceptionally clear, we could see the bottom the whole way. The swim was otherwise uneventful, and I would classify it as excellent. Sue was glad she finally joined us.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Evanston, July 19

Yesterday was predicted to be wavy but today was to be flatter so I chose today. Several people who said they would come with us canceled so it was only Ken and me. Wavy usually brings warm so I worried when I passed an old guy leaving the lake who said: "sonny, this will wake you up". It did, the water was only 65. But it seemed the sun was about to come out of the clouds so that would have been fine. Unfortunately the sun didn't stay out so it wasn't very fine. Ken and I had discussed trying a longer route, but decided to do the usual. It was flat with long low swells which should not have affected us, but Ken was a little dizzy when we were done. There was a little current as well, but not really a problem. An OK swim but not great.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Evanston, Monday, July 13

Ken missed the last two Saturdays and today looked like a really good Lake day, so I suggested we blow off the crowded Monday pool practice and swim in the Lake. He took me up on it. Today when the two of us got to the Lake, about 6:30 AM, there was a brisk north wind. So, unlike the last swim where the waves were stale wind waves these 1 footers were fresh. So a bit harder to swim outbound. I was grateful that I have a human nose, and not say a dog's nose, so when breathing when swimming into a wave the water does not automatically come up the nose. In addition to the design of a human nose the fact that we lead with the top of our head also helps us shield our nostrils from the waves. So perhaps we humans were meant to swim in the waves.

The water was 67 today so I was not that disappointed that I forgot my thermal cap. I did have a silicone cap with me and that was much easier to swim with anyway. So goodbye thermal cap until the August inversion or September. By the time we got to the far wall the wind had died and the sun was out. So swimming back was wonderful. The first great swim of the summer.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Evanston, July 11

A storm went through here about 4:30 this morning but by the 6AM go or no go decision time it seemed to have passed. But there were still winds left over from the storm and it was quite cloudy. I gave a tentative go and Joe, who was eager not to postpone, seconded the go. By the time Joe and I got to the beach the winds had died down and the sky was clearing. But there were 1 foot waves left over from the storm coming in from the northeast. The swim out was a bit tough with the waves pushing us towards shore where it was very shallow. I just missed some of the pilings from the 1930's pier that are still there. The swim back was faster, besides the waves there was a definite southerly current of about 1 km/hr. Because of the south wall the current was pushing us out as well as south so one had to aim towards shore to end up at the end of the south wall where Joe likes to finish the swim. But the current was slower than our swimming speed so not a hazard.

The water was clear, between 65 and 66 with the warmer water near the beach and colder by the far wall. By the time we were back home the skies had completely cleared and we would have felt very foolish if we had canceled our swim.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009 Evanston

We started the year with our mandatory July 4 swim. Earlier predictions of thunder proved incorrect, instead the forecast was changed to light rain. A few drops on the car windshield is all that we saw. The water was 64 F and glass smooth. It felt cold at first, mostly we have been swimming in a 77 degree pool, but as we swam our bodies adjusted and by the time we were done it didn't feel cold at all even though it was a cool cloudy day. Joe and I did a wall to wall swim, he doesn't like to come all the way out here unless we get some distance and was already looking forward to continuing south to the next turning point. We both had a bit of navigation problems with the low lighting and lack of an obvious horizon. The water was reasonably clear but would have seemed clearer if the sun was out. A good first swim of the season.

After the swim we stopped on the beach to talk to a man with a swimming dog. As we were chatting with him he was busted for the dog on the beach by some plain clothes cops or security, it was not clear which. Even though we were standing with goggles, caps and dripping wet the cops did not seem at all interested in us, which we took as a good sign. It will be interesting to see how tightly Chicago beaches are patrolled this summer as the guards will not be out until 11AM due to budget cuts. I did recently talk to a swimmer who is also a Chicago beach cop who threatened to arrest us if she saw us swimming during closed hours, I guess we won't invite her to join our lake swim group!