Swim Report – May 8, 2022 – Spring Chops

The lake temp regressed slightly to 50.6F, but it was still quite comfortable to swim in. As with last week, I went with just my swim jammers, cap, and thermo rash guard and was plenty comfortable during the 1/4 mile swim.

However, just to mix things up a bit, I decided to jog down to the 1/4 mile turnaround and do a point-to-point swim back to L1 versus doing my usual out-and-back from L1. This turned out to be a good idea as the sustained wind from the south created a slight current that I was swimming with as I made my way north. The lake was a bit choppy, but very pleasant nonetheless.

Happy May and Happy Mothers’ Day!

First glimpse of the sun
May sunrise!
L1 regulars

Swim Report – April 24, 2022 – 50F+ Zone

A nice surprise out at L1 as we finally got out of the “frigid forties.” The lake came in at 51.0F lake. And even though we had some fleeting drizzle at 6:00am, the 65F was more than enough to make things quite comfortable in and out of the water.

Overall, I got in 1/4 mile with just my jammers, swim cap, and thermo rash guard. It felt good to finally ditch the neoprene as you really notice the difference in arm range of motion without it. Looking forward to these longer, warmer days!

Sunrise
L1 post swim

Swim Report – April 10, 2022 – Early Spring Wonder

Quick update as I’m already late on this! The lake temp continues to rise and was a balmy 42.2F at 6:15am. Like last week the air was a bit crisp at 37F air temp. But as you can see it was another amazing morning to be out at the lake!

Dawn colors
Obligatory skyline shot
Sunrise sequence
Lake Monsters were here!

Swim Report – April 3, 2022 – Hello 40F+!

We finally broke through the 40F floor with the lake temp just edging past this milestone at 40.6F. The air was a bit chiller at 36F air temp, but I got in 1/2 mile in perfect swimming conditions with yet another glorious sunrise! Keeping this short and letting the pics tell the story.

Daybreak
Morning skyline
Sunrise sequence!

Swim Report – March 13, 2022 – Last Gasp of Winter!

Daylight Savings Time gave us one less hour of sleep, but it also bumped up sunrise to 7:00am. So this means that our June swims won’t be starting at 4:30am!

While L1 still had some stray ice on it to remind us that it was still officially winter, the swim area itself was free and clear. Plus, you could tell that the lake is shedding off its winter layer as the water was significantly clearer. So we wasted little time and got in the 35.8F lake as soon as we could gear up.

While the water still hadn’t punched through the 40F ceiling, it sure felt a lot warmer than in prior weeks. Much of this was likely due to our acclimation to the cold over the past few months. But you could definitely tell that the hard edge of winter isn’t there anymore – even on a 32F morning.

Given the tranquil lake conditions, I did a just over 1/2 mile in a long lazy loop. Getting back into my civilian clothes was very easy, and I didn’t really have much of an afterdrop to contend with. So it looks like we can finally say goodbye to Old Man Winter – even if it is a bittersweet parting!

Icy welcome mat
Sea of Tranquility
Lake Monsters were here!

Swim Report – March 6, 2022 – Hints of Spring!

We had some very gusty winds from the west, so I was expecting the lakefront to be a mess. But the swim area was perfectly calm with no ice at 6:15am. So we geared up before Ma Nature changed her mind and got in the lake.

For this first time in a while, I was able to do an unencumbered 1/2 mile as there was no ice to bar my way, nor were there any waves or chops to thwart my progress. So I swam to the 1/4 mile point and back in one long loop without any break in my workout – just the way it’s supposed to be!

Post swim was quite tolerable in the 38F air, and I only had a very minor afterdrop. Even better, we got to welcome Jean as a new Lake/Ice Monster – hailing all the way from the Emerald Isle. Way to go Jean!

First sunrise
Second sunrise
The pool is open!
Jean, Lake Monster 536 – and Ice Monster 28 (congrats!)
Snowdrops from my garden – Spring is almost here!

Swim Report – February 27, 2022 – Another Perfect Day

We lucked out this morning as the lake was perfectly calm and just right for a swim. The water temp came in at 33.4F – much balmier than the 28F air temp, and I got in close to 1/2 mile. Plus we had another fantastic sunrise! Keeping this brief as I’m playing catch up on these reports (!)

Late February sunrise

Swim Report – February 20, 2022 – Winter Glory

This Sunday as a vast improvement over the prior week! We still had a very cold lake which came in at a crisp 32.6F. But we had a vastly higher air temp of 28F along with calm water and lots of sunshine! I was able to get in just under 1/4 mile – although I had to backtrack and navigate around various sheets of ice. But it was a very pleasant morning out at the world’s greatest swim site!

Open water!
Sunrise!
Clearing the entry point
Post swim socializing

Swim Report – February 13, 2022 – Deep Freeze

Without a doubt the most intensely cold swim outing of the winter! We had an air temp of 16F and a lake temp of 32.5F that felt downright balmy in comparison. We weren’t able to get in at L1 as the entire area was encase in ice almost to the top. Fortunately, we found an area just south of L1 where we could get in an out much more easily. So we geared up and climbed down our makeshift entry point.

I was only able to get in 1/4 mile as I (literally) ran into an ice sheet at the 1/8 mile point. So I navigated around that and worked my way back to L1 just in time for the lovely post-swim purgatory.

Getting out of the lake and back into my civilian clothing was a harrowing ordeal as the cold air gnawed mercilessly on our exposed skin – especially our hands. I quickly ran out of hot water to pour on them and had to finish changing into my dry clothes using my newly non functioning numb clubs. So needless to say, it was a quick sprint back to the paradise of my heated car!

Still, even with the extreme cold and the dismal overcast skies, this was still a really fun swim – and definitely a challenge!

Impassable ice at L1
Winter skyline
Swim entry area (and stark winter sunrise)

Swim Report – February 6, 2022 – Slurpee Harbor

Four of us made it out to our backup swim site on Sunday after getting an update that L1 was completely frozen over. I arrived a bit early to scope out the lake, and I was elated to discover some patches of open water with fairly easy entry points. Still, there was some work to do to clear the heavy snow layer out of the way. Fortunately, the others had arrived by then, so we got to work making a pathway to the ladder.

We were interrupted by a rather striking sunrise which created some amazing colors on a cloud bank coming in from the north. As you can see by the pics below, it was quite a show! Also, it distracted us from the 19F air temp and a very biting wind from the south. But duty soon called us, so we geared up and climbed into the water.

We were lucky enough to have a clear swim lane of about 6 feet in width that went all along the side wall. In fact, I was hoping to be able to follow this channel all the way out of the harbor and into an even larger patch of open water on the other side of the breakwall. But alas, it was not meant to be since the ice sheet began to move inward towards the side wall.

Given the rather sudden change in circumstances, we had to accept the fact that a swim workout was not in the cards. So instead, we spent about 15 minutes gingerly navigating through ice sheets, breaking them up so we could get back and forth from the entrance ladder. Not exactly the swim experience we were expecting, but an adventure nonetheless!

Post-swim was pretty brutal as the south wind gnawed away at our exposed fingers as soon as we removed our gloves. So needless to say, we hustled to get into our dry clothes and got back to our heated cars as soon as possible.

Still, even with the more extreme cold conditions, this was one of the more enjoyable and memorable outings to date!

Sunrise!
Jetliner
Clearing the path to the swim lane!
Ice Monsters in their element!