Swim Report – April 21, 2012 – Plan B: Ohio Street Beach

Throughout the day on Friday, numerous people told, texted, and emailed me about how bad the forecast was looking for Saturday morning. Everything from 20 knot winds, 6 – 9 foot waves, and a small craft advisory.

I’m happy to report that everyone was, for the most part, spot on…

Since we’ve usually lucked out in the early mornings, I decided to throw caution to the wind (pun intended) and head on out to L1 to check things out. Getting there was a bit of a chore, however. I’m still car shopping, so I had to lease the IGo car again, which meant I had to get up earlier and ride my bike out to the site where it is parked. This is typically no big deal, but my bike seat broke on Thursday leaving me with no transportation options other than walking. Fortunately, there is seldom any problem that duct tape cannot address:

I arrived at L1 at 6:50am to a bittersweet scene. The sun was out in full glory (sunrise at 6:07am), but the lake was a total mess. We didn’t have 6 foot waves, but they were cresting at least 4 feet. Plus we had the dreaded washing machine effects going on with the chops.

After getting the official water temperature (45F), I made the executive decision (pretty easy since it was just me) to relocate to Ohio Street Beach where the waves and chops were a bit more subdued. I was already in my swim gear underneath my shirt and sweatpants, so once I got there I quickly shucked off the layers and got ready to swim.

Like earlier in the month, I chose to do a “dash and splash” – a 1/2 mile quick jog out followed by a 1/2 mile swim back to the beach. This time, though, I prepared ahead and wore my Vibrams instead of running barefoot on the cracked concrete. I was also able to swim in them without any problems, so you all should think about getting yourselves a pair of these:

The wind had picked up by the time I started my swim, and the swim area at Ohio Street Beach is much more shallow than L1. Translation – even with the breakwater protection, you still get some very annoying waves and chops at that site.

I got in the water straight east of the Hancock building and started pounding my way south to the beach. My hands and forearms got a bit numb towards the end, but the Vibrams kept my feet surprisingly warm. Fortunately, there was a sustained and increasing north wind that helped propel me to the beach. Just for giggles, I turned around at the beach and did a quick 200 meters into the current and found it to be very, very challenging. So I’m glad I went with the southbound swim plan!

Turbulent L1

The L1 cormorant has returned!

Today’s video:

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