Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Yu's Harbor, September 25

Nice swim for a rainy day. There was a localized storm over my house when we left, it put quite a lot of rain down in my neighborhood. The storm followed us to the Lake, but we were able to cover our stuff and get in the water before it rained. It only lasted a few minutes and any rain that got on us washed off in the lake. Although it remained mostly cloudy, we never did actually see the sun, it was pleasant, Lake and air were about 68 degrees. From the shore the lake looked flat but in the water there was a definite 1 ft. swell, smooth by the beach but choppy near the far wall. We swam to the wall, but lollygagged back. I never put on my goggles the whole way. But we were just enjoying being on the Lake, possibly for the last time at Evanston this season as conditions are expected to get much worse tonight.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Yu's Harbor, September 20

Very surreal. After a pleasant start to the week we had big waves from North winds. This weekend we should see SW winds which should cool down not only the air but also the water. Today was supposed to be a stormy transition. But we noticed that the wind had died down along with the wave height while the air and water continues to be warm. So we went for what may have been the last warm swim. But things were surreal, smooth swells in a checkerboard pattern rather than linear waves. Jody even observed that the waves looked like the fake waves in old war movies. A strange cloud pattern with a sun struggling to come out. An eerie lack of wind. We didn't so much as swim as to vertically traverse much of the distance from the to the wall and back. Today, unlike Monday and Tuesday, we were in no hurry and just taking in the weird vibes. By the time we got to Yu's house on the way back we noticed a change, wind, ripples on the waves and looking behind us was a rainstorm chasing us. We swam fast back to the beach, raced through our changing and headed for the car, expecting to get drenched. But it never did rain on land.

Later in the day the clouds dissipated and it got hot. But more challenges await if we come back this weekend.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Yu's Harbor, September 18

After yesterday's very nice, but short, swim I wanted to get back today and see if we could catch a last bit of this weather pattern for another beautiful swim. But yesterday didn't last. Early this morning a strong north wind picked up churning the water into windblown waves. By shore the waves were only a foot or so, but had a very short wavelength. But in deeper water the waves were bigger, averaging about 2.5 feet with the occasional 4 footer, but they also had somewhat larger wavelengths. We did a lot of breaststroke and the size of the waves was very apparent. However, for me at least, swimming crawl into the waves I have little up and down sensation. It was more a matter of judging when to breathe. Since I usually breathe every stroke I can afford to miss some breaths when at the peak of a wave with my head under water because the next stroke would be in a trough where I could get some air. Usually Jody is a much faster swimmer than me over longer distances but I was keeping up with her up wind. As a former swim coach she attributes that to bad form that just happens to be an advantage swimming into waves. Coming back, not so much as I have trouble keeping straight.

We had a bit more time this morning but I was in a little rush so we only went to Yu's harbor again, but we did lollygag a bit there enjoying lying on our backs and being rocked. There were varying clouds, mostly low lying, and only a bit of sun. Water was between 70 and 71, really quite comfortable, especially while swimming hard. And once again the Lake reminded us not to take it for granted.

Postscript: We didn't realize how close we got to the moon. We were swimming by Yu Darvish's house. Yu's ex-wife is Saeko. Saeko's ex-boyfriend is Maezawa. Maezawa is scheduled to be the first private space traveler on Musk's Big F***ing Rocket to circle the moon.

Monday, September 17, 2018

September 17, Yu's harbor, Evanston

Jody, Joe and I were supposed to go to Ohio St on the 15th but Joe and I bailed out for various reasons, mine was a bad allergic reaction to the algae possibly augmented by a cold. Jody went with husband Bill who didn't swim but followed her on the wall taking pictures. At least she did not feel like she was swimming alone.

Today I'm better so we did a quick trip to Evanston, she needed to be back early. So we swam to Yu's harbor and back at, for me, race pace. At 72.4 this might be a new September record for the water temperature. The water was not still but smooth and the air was in the 70's even at 6:30 AM with light winds and puffy clouds. We wish we had time to stay later for one of the nicest ever Lake swims.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Evanston September 13

The upside of hurricane Florence is beautiful Lake weather here. Due to other commitments this is the first morning Jody and I could get out to the Lake. The sun was just coming up with mostly clear skies, a few puffy clouds, no wind at all and a consistent 68.6 degree water throughout our swim. The water was neither wavy nor flat, it seemed somewhat disturbed. Near the beach it was almost flat, but by the far wall there were wavelets as high as 18 inches. But there was no clear direction or consistency, sort of a large, but relatively smooth chop. But overall, a delightful September swim.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

September 8 Big Shoulders

After Tuesday's aborted swim I hoped for east winds. But I wasn't careful what I wished for and actually got those winds Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Yes the Lake warmed up, but up also came the waves. By Saturday morning they were at 7 feet. I don't know what the guys running Big Shoulders were thinking but they should have known that there was no way the Park District would allow the race. But BS didn't announce the cancellation until almost 7 on race day, and then only to those already at the beach.

Unfortunately Jody was out of town and not swimming so I went with Joe. He was kind enough to let me pick up the goodies, a cap, a shirt and a bag, for Jody and me but wanted to get back to the security of his health club to swim. So I had to go along. If it was just Jody and me we probably would have gotten in the water and swum anyway, at least up to Chicago Ave. Inside the breakwater it was just lots of unorganized chop, maybe 3 feet high. Some other BS swimmers I know later reported that they did an mile in the water and it was fine. But they probably swam along the wall. If BS had used their usual course the first leg would be right into the wind and probably a south bound current coming in from the breaks in the breakwater. I'm not sorry I missed that.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Evanston, September 4

Would have gone Saturday 9/1 but it looked like storms were coming when Joe and I checked at 5:30. As it turned out they were coming but didn't get to Ohio st until 9 so we missed an opportunity. More storms threatened Labor day. I tried for the last day of the pool, Joe guessed lake and he won while I was high and dry.

Today dawned warm and sunny this time I chose Lake. I checked the buoy and it said 68. So I brought warm gear but not my warmest. Stepping in the water this did not feel like 68, but maybe I got soft with all the warm water recently. After I had swum far enough to get a reading I looked at my watch and it said 58. Since my thermometer works it's way down to the correct figure this meant no more than 58. I forced myself to swim 30 minutes near the beach to get my body back in cold water shape, then changed quickly and jumped in my car with the heat on, raced to the first Dunkin Donuts for hot coffee and managed to ward off any real hypothermia. Evanston has always been an outlier for cold inversion water and hopefully this will be the case this week.