Friday, August 30, 2013

Evanston, August 30

As the Big Swim gets close we use every possible opportunity to get in some Lake swimming. Today we arrive at the beach at 5:50, not really so early by our standards since 6:00 is our usual pool swim time. But this late in the Summer there is only a thin crescent moon and a small amount of glow to provide light. But it is not only enough to swim by but enough to see the Lake bottom for almost the first time this summer. The water is a refreshing 69 and very flat. When the sun comes up it is an amazing purple ball that looks like it is rising out of the water only a short distance from us. Jody is a woman on a mission, way ahead of me, she almost makes it to the wall. We both turn around at 6:10 and head back to the beach so Jody can get to work around 7. A short but sweet swim.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Promontory Point, August 24

Jody, Will and I met at the point at 6:15. It was a beautiful morning but the water was rougher than anticipated, two foot swells with chop. Fortunately Will has gotten some additional wave experience since our earlier swims so he was up for it. My main problem was seeing Jody and Will. But we did, as planned, swim almost to the 63rd Street beach, we didn't want to disturb what seemed to be some sort of church service, and back. The water was not quite 71 but felt warm in the sun. A hard but satisfying swim.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Evanston, August 22

Ever wonder what the ocean would be like if there were no salt? We found out this morning at our Evanston beach. When we arrived there were 3 foot swells with a long wave length, only a little chop and short length wave action. So it looked sort of rough but was actually easy to swim in. A very comfortable 71 degrees. A saltless ocean.

I've been away on a short vacation bringing home, as a souvenir, the Norwalk flu. So I am finally back in the water after a week and in the Lake for the first time in two weeks. Jody is also back in town after a long vacation but she, at least, had swimming opportunities. Our summer pool is being torn down to be replaced next year by an inferior one and our alternate, which I actually like, is too small for the number of displaced swimmers. So when Jody emailed me that she was available to Lake swim this morning I jumped at the chance, especially as only light winds were expected. But there were storms in the area so I qualified my acceptance pending looking at the actual morning weather. Come morning it looked like we would be dry for the next few hours so off we went. And we were glad we came.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

August 8 Ohio Street

I missed my morning pool swim due to an early appointment. So I biked to Ohio St from Wilson beach afterwards. The water was a warmish 72 but felt good in the late morning sun. There was a brisk south wind and so, while there were no waves, there was a 1 foot unexpected chop. I went to the 1/2 mile buoy and back swimming for time. Multiplying by 3 my Big Shoulders will be slower than ever this year. A nice swim anyway. The big disappointment is the Mexican food counter at Wilson was not open. I was really looking forward to their tacos for lunch.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Horsetooth reservoir, Ft. Collins, Colorado, August 3

No swimming in Lake Michigan because I'm in Colorado. The closest big body of water is the Horsetooth Reservoir in the Rocky Mountain foothills just outside of town. It is about 6 miles long and averages about 1/2 mile wide in what was, until recently, a steep valley. Like our Lake there are official swim areas, the one I liked was in a small cove marked by two buoys restricting boating. But the actual official swim area is a small 25 foot radius semicircle marked by a yellow oil boom. Unlike our Lake there are no lifeguards and even the official area gets deep quickly. The big people use the entire cove for swimming which does allow for a 200 yard straight swim, not Lake quality but better than a pool. In my first attempt a park ranger in a boat came up to me and told me that I needed a life jacket to swim outside the marked area. I asked him "are you serious?", his reply was the usual "I don't make rules, I just get paid to enforce them." Later talking to people on shore I learned that this was an unusual encounter, perhaps I somehow looked like an intruder from Chicago. Anyway I didn't have this problem again.

The water was absolutely beautiful, 75ish and very flat and, although a bit silty it had a much nicer feel than the Lake. But mostly the air, sun and just being outdoors made just hanging out at the beach a very pleasant experience. One caveat, unlike our Lake beaches one regular beach visitor was a 7 ft. bull snake. But like the rest of us he was just enjoying the sun and minding his own business so was just part of the ambiance.