Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 31, Ohio Street

On July 21 Jody and I were in Evanston for a routine swim, nothing to report

Then Jody blew me off the next Saturday, July 28 so to make up she agreed to an unusual weekday Lake swim. There was an unexpected thunderstorm around 4AM but it quickly departed and the sun was out when we left my house about 6AM. We drove to Wilson, near the dog park, and rode our bikes down to Ohio Street. The early morning crowd was out so lots of traffic on the lakefront path. There was almost a disaster as I turned off to the Ohio St. bike racks and a couple of fast guys chose that point to pass me on the left. The water was fairly flat, with a few boat wakes breaking up the monotony the water average a hot 79 degrees and a bright, somewhat annoying, sun. Even after our bike ride we felt we needed more at the end buoy so we continued on to Oak St.

After our swim we rode to our usual Starbucks on Ontario St and had some leisurely coffee. By the time we were on our way again it was cloudy again and a brisk northeast wind had developed. As we rode along our swim route we noticed a great deal of chop and some waves where a half hour earlier we had calm water. We had our most rigorous exercise of the day riding back to Wilson.

We had estimated returning home at 9 but with our extra swim and dallying over coffee we got home at 10:30.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ohio Street, July 14

Still not much interest by our Lake group in going to the Lake, and Jody needed to be somewhere early so Jody and I left my house at 5:30 AM. We had planned to go to Evanston but the weather radar indicated a small storm system that looked like it would go just north of us there, rather than take the risk we decided to go to Ohio Street. We got there by 6 and parking was a little tighter than it has been. Swimmers were already in the lake, but not so many as later. The water was 76 with just a little chop, about the same as our swimming pool. We started out with a few clouds blocking the sun but by the time we left the sky was clear. Keeping an eye on my watch we were able to swim to the official end buoy and back with still plenty of time to stop for coffee to go and for Jody to get home. A nice swim, even if the water was shallow.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Evanston, July 7

Water temperature 71 or 66 or 59? The water was multilayered with different temperature water as well as flowing streams of cold water flowing in from the open lake. The top two inches was definitely 71, which is what my temperature watch recored as I swam. But it was clearly colder under the surface and each stroke went through a temperature change, and some pockets were downright frigid, I'll estimate at 59 but I do not have an accurate reading.

Jody and I swam today and in spite of the the temperature issue we had a very nice swim wall to wall. The water was smooth and clear. At the end of the swim we dropped my watch to the lake floor about 8 ft. below the surface. The watch dial shimmered which, Jody the science teacher told me, meant that there were different temperatures of water flowing over it. There was a current here and it took a little effort to remain in sight of the watch, I preferred not to lose it. So we were not as patient as we should be but we got a reading of 66, it was probably colder but still significantly cooler than the surface 71.

While we waited Jody looked for fish and found some perch. This correlates with the fishing report in the paper which reports perch near shore but the actual sport fishing was in water 150 ft deep or deeper.

Apparently while we were swimming the wind shifted and when we drank our after swim coffee the wind was clearly from the east and Evanston was very comfortable. The cool air did not get to where we live although it is about 10 degrees cooler than it has been.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Evanston, July 4

Attendance at our annual 4th of July season beginning swim was sparse this morning due to a variety of personal reasons. Only Joe and I went to Evanston, thinking it would be cooler and we were not disappointed, we had a great swim. Even though we are in the middle of a heat wave and last night never did cool down, the Lake, given its infinite resource of cold water, was actually cooler today than last Sunday: it was 66. Given the air it felt even cooler than it was getting in but once in it felt great and only getting out back into the heat was a bummer. We did a wall to wall swim and could have gone farther but decided we did enough for the first official day. The water was smooth and clear with only some wind ripples in the light wind, Joe remarked that was actually smoother than our weekday swimming pool.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Evanston, July 1

The water temperature here in Evanston was quite a difference from yesterday at Ohio Street, 68-69 degrees. It actually felt very good. But again the water was missing. It is a slight improvement from Ohio St. but one still had to get far from shore for comfortably swimmable water. I only encountered a few spots over my head.

Since I was alone and the water was perfectly flat and sort of clear, about 10 foot visibility, I decided that instead of just doing our usual workout that I would look for fish. I spent about an hour in the water checking out the various places a fish might hang out. I did have some luck, unlike my experience last week in the Huron section of the lake. By the near wall I found a school of very small fish and where there are still underwater parts of the old Evanston pier I found a bed of 2 inch bottom feeding fish. And in the swimming area I found one 1.5 inch lone fish. There were also some areas with a fishy smell but I did not see a single edible sized fish. So the Lake is not completely dead yet, but I'm glad my fishing is of the viewing sort and not eating sort.