Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Evanston, Indigenous day, October 10

My visit to Evanston last Wednesday made us want to do at least one more swim this season. I suggested Sunday but Jody had other plans for the whole day. But she pointed out that she had Monday off and suggested that. Sunday turned out not to be quite as nice as expected but Monday looked to be wavier but with southeast winds the water temperature would not go down much. The advantage was the air temp would be slightly warmer.

So we delayed our start to let the sun warm the air a bit and arrived at the beach around 9:30. From the beach conditions looked very much like last Wednesday, about 2 foot waves by our beach but larger waves south of the south wall breaking over the wall. Jody's college friend Laurie came along dressed to swim. But Laurie is a flat water swimmer and decided not to swim so she guarded our stuff on the beach. With air temperature about 57 the water felt cold but not dangerously, so Jody and I decided to give it a try. It wasn't that bad, the waves were fairly well formed and not choppy so swimming was not hard. After about 200 yards I could get a temperature reading, 60.8 which was plenty warm, especially with a strong sun. We continued out to what we consider the half way mark and decided not to make Laurie have to wait too long and also to limit our swim since the combined air/water temp was 117.8, sort of the hypothermia warning temperature of 120. But swimming was good, even against the wind so we did go all the way back to the south wall to check for rip currents. There weren't any on that side of the wall so we swam in, we were in the water about 30 minutes.

Fortunately the bathrooms were open, so quickly changed out of our wet swimming gear, no wetsuits of course, and into dry clothes. One thing we have learned in the last year is that the biggest hypothermia danger is that after getting out of cold water and ceasing hard exercise the body can lose 5 degrees quickly. To further our warming we headed to Starbucks for hot coffee and warm chocolate croissant at a sunny outdoor table. If this is it, a great way to end the season.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

PostScript: 2016 season, October 5.

Jody emailed me with Lake conditions for today, she thought it might be swimmable. But she wasn't able to go, so I took my dog to the beach anyway, unfortunately he doesn't swim. It probably was swimmable, there was a strong south wind but the water was 61.6 and at the beach the waves, 1-2 feet, did not seem so fierce. However, on the south side of the wall conditions were quite rough with waves more in the 3-4 foot range banging into the wall. A half way swim would not be out of the question, although the swim back would be tough.

The beach was mostly deserted, no other dogs, birds or geese so my non-swimming dog was bored. So we took a walk along Sheridan Rd to the next park. He thought this was much more fun. I put my dog, he's relatively small, on a flat rock by the Lake so he could see the waves breaking below him and he liked that. The Lake seemed rougher from this vantage point.