OWC Alert: Dangerous Buoy Placement

Every Spring, the City of Chicago sets out the buoys in our swim area, giving us roughly 1/4 mile from the shore to play around in. But it looks like they capitulated to the stand up paddle-board contingency at North Avenue Beach this year.

As you can see below, the new placement of the buoys is ridiculously close to our swim area. This means that we will not only have annoying paddle-boarders in our sacred space, but we will also have the motorboats and jet skiers coming dangerously close to where we typically swim.

L1 from earlier this morning

This is simply unacceptable. I’ve already been in touch with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District to express my grave concerns about this safety hazard. I implore you all to do the same immediately.

Thank you for your continuing support of OWC. Please join me in making your voice heard for all swimmers in Chicago. The lake belongs to all of us – not just to the highest bidder from the multi-sports industrial complex.

UPDATE: It has started already…

New 2015 Chicago Swim Event – The 1st Annual OWC/Sugob Crib Crawl!

Chicago area open water swimmers will have one more Lake Michigan swim option this year thanks to a recently inked partnership between OWC and San Francisco-based Sugob Events!

Dubbed the “OWC/Sugob Crib Crawl,” this will be a 2.72 mile point-to-point swim event from the Harrison-Dever water crib to Oak Street Beach. The unique feature of this event will be a ferry boat swim start – similar to the Alcatraz swims conducted in San Francisco Bay.

Swimmers will board the ferry at Navy Pier which will take them out to a launch area just outside of the landmark water crib. Sugob, one of the preeminent organizers of swims in the Bay Area, will provide timing chips for the swimmers which will activate once they exit the boat. From that point, both Sugob and OWC will provide kayak support for all swimmers while they make their way to the swim landing site just south of L1.

Here is the tentative swim route (pending approval by the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District):

OWC_Sugob Crib Crawl Swim Route_01April2015

This event is currently scheduled for Saturday July 11, 2015 – so be sure to mark your calendars!

Also, because of the unique challenges inherent with this specific swim route, we are limiting this event to the first 100 qualified swimmers.

In order to be eligible to participate in the OWC/Sugob Crib Crawl, you must be an experienced open water swimmer and you must have a Lake Monster Number – no exceptions.

I will provide you all with more details as we get closer to the event. But for now, please mark the date and be sure to let all your friends know about this inaugural open water swim event – right in our very own back yard!


UPDATE – April 2, 2015

1) Please note the original date of this post
2) Please also note the semantics of “Sugob” when the lettering is reversed
3) Gotcha!

** Alert – Equinox swim this Friday **

Last year we celebrated the end of summer by being in the lake just before 10:09pm – the moment the autumnal equinox arrived. We’re looking to do another summer/fall bridge swim for 2011. It will be this Friday, Sept 23, at 4:00am (summer officially ends at 4:05am CST). Dave, Danny, and Amanda are in. Nick is a possibility as well as yours truly if I can get a ride from Evanston (help!). Any other takers?!?

And just in case you forgot, here is a shot from last year’s Super Harvest Moon equinox swim!

Support Team Carol – Donate Today!

Hi everyone! Be sure to come on out to Ohio Street Beach on Saturday morning, July 23, the cheer on Team Carol! Here is our fabulous roster of swimmers:

Laura Kochevar
Sharon Bielski
Mary Rose Birch
Katie Bublitz
Stephen Hernan
Amanda Hunt
Donna Hynes
Kelly Hynes
Laura Hynes
Michael Hynes
Jonathan Leuchs
Scott Rooney

FYI, we’re just shy of reaching our team fundraising goal of $5,000 for the July 23 Swim Across America event, and each of our swimmers has his or her own individual fundraising goal as well.

So please check out the Team Carol Website for this event and feel free to donate to either individual swimmers or to the group as a whole.

And we hope to see you all out at the lake on the 23rd!


World’s Top 100 Open Water Swims

Be sure to check out the World’s Top 100 Open Water Swims over at Open Water Source. A few of them are quite ambitious (i.e. English Channel), but there are a ton of other amazing swims for those looking for shorter distances.

As for myself, I typically choose an event based on the venue. Some of the ones on my bucket list include:

Lake D’Annecy, France

Lake Ohrid, Macedonia

Sandycove Island, Cork, Ireland

Trunk Bay, St. John, Virgin Islands

Happy Summer 2010!

Today is the Summer Solstice. Get out and enjoy it!

(click to enlarge)


Unlike in some municipalities, swimming is celebrated and encouraged in Zurich, Switzerland. The Limmat river, which runs right through the city, is one of the best urban “swimming holes” around. The city has built pathways on both banks for easy pedestrian access, and there plenty of ladders to climb in and out of the river. Plus you can jump and dive off of the foot bridges for a quick dip on a hot day.

But perhaps the best manifestation of Zurich’s swimophilia is the annual Limmatschwimmen, where the city allows participants to commandeer the river for an afternoon and float down the Limmat en masse. I don’t know about you, but this certainly looks like a lot more fun than doing a 5K or 10K run for a cheap t-shirt and a goody bag filled with useless advertisements!


2010 Point to LaPointe 2-Mile Swim – Register Now!

Just a quick reminder. Registration for the fifth annual Point to LaPointe Swim to Madeline Island is now open. The 2.1 mile event will take place on August 7, 2010 in beautiful Bayfield, WI, and I guarantee it will sell out!

Also, I would highly recommend you make your lodging arrangements now. High summer in Bayfield is about as close to heaven on earth as you can get. And many people book their hotel reservations there a year in advance – and have been doing so for years. Don’t miss out on this awesome Lake Superior swim!

Swimming Around the World

There’s a great article on Active.com you should definitely check out: Swimming Around the World: Open Water Destination Races.

However, the one on my short list is the Sandycove Island Challenge in Cork, Ireland. It’s taking place this weekend on the other side of the pond. Anyone interested in getting a Chicago contingency together for their 2010 event?

IMPORTANT: Help Keep the Ladders in Place After Labor Day!

I got this message from Dave yesterday, and we spoke about it again this morning. PLEASE read this and spread the word about the need to keep the ladders intact during the year!

*** RED ALERT ***
As we all know all too well … The summer of 2009 never arrived as promised and very very soon the Chicago Park District will pull all of the swim ladders at Oak Street Beach…. With a lot of phone calls I was able to find the new and improved person who is in charge of them, Mr. Larry Moser. His phone# (312) 746 5561

Seeing that he has yet to return my calls, I have left a message trying to convince him to leave them in.

1) If someone one slips and falls in this winter, it’s a long cold swim to try to get out
2) Many people continue to swim in the fall, winter, and spring
3) The fire and police scuba squads use the area for training and rescues, and they use the ladders
4) The city can save money by not removing the ladders and re-installing them the next year
5) The winter ice has not damaged Ladder #1 over the last 10 years, and it has stayed in year round
6) The new ladders at Montrose are welded in and cannot be removed

*** Hopefully if all of us call to plead our case they might leave in the ladders…
Call now and do not wait or you might show up for a swim next Tuesday and find all of the ladders gone….

Diver Dave
Ladder #1
Oak Street Beach