Saturday, June 18, 2016

Ohio Street, June 18, 2016

No open water swimming for me this off season although I did touch the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Arabian (aka Persian) Gulf. I was these places for non-swimming reasons and the conditions, location or schedule was not conducive for swimming.

Today was a rare June day for Chicago Lake swimming. After several unseasonable 90 degree days we had 3 days of northwest winds bring the warm surface water to Chicago. The air was fairly calm and mostly sunny sky with temperatures going up to the 80's. So Joe, Jody and I had to go to Ohio Street. The water varied from 66 to 67 degrees depending on the spot and there were 1 foot waves and some chop. But almost perfect. Getting in was a bit hard since we were not used to cold water, later in the season there would be no problem. But we swam a mile and by the time we got back to the beach we were very comfortable, Jody and Joe wearing just swimsuits and latex caps. I had a neoprene cap and shorts, the shorts being more for speed so I can keep up with Joe and Jody than for warmth.

Actually Joe had been there a week before with his son. But it was colder, about 60, and he actually rented a wetsuit from a vendor who appears to be setting up shop at the beach for the season. He didn't like it but was glad he had it. He scouted out all the construction going on near the beach and parking options. So it worked well for today. New for this week, Mayor Emanuel has re-installed the lockers at the beach, even more than before. He is planning other changes - he hopes to make this beach a world class triathlon training area. Already more athletes than ever seem to be showing up, not so many at 6:30 AM when we arrived but swimming back from the half mile buoy we had to dodge the traffic. One not so welcome, but perhaps necessary improvement discussed is a lane line the whole length of the official swim area. Not really open water but one-way swimming may save many collisions.